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[en] Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death. Gemcitabine is widely used as a chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, but the prognosis is still poor. Berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid extracted from a variety of natural herbs, possesses a variety of pharmacological properties including anticancer effects. In this study, we investigated the anticancer effects of berberine and compared its use with that of gemcitabine in the pancreatic cancer cell lines PANC-1 and MIA-PaCa2. Berberine inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. After berberine treatment, the G1 phase of PANC-1 cells increased by 10% compared to control cells, and the G1 phase of MIA-PaCa2 cells was increased by 2%. Whereas gemcitabine exerts antiproliferation effects through S-phase arrest, our results showed that berberine inhibited proliferation by inducing G1-phase arrest. Berberine-induced apoptosis of PANC-1 and MIA-PaCa2 cells increased by 7 and 2% compared to control cells, respectively. Notably, berberine had a greater apoptotic effect in PANC-1 cells than gemcitabine. Upon treatment of PANC-1 and MIA-PaCa2 with berberine at a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC_5_0), apoptosis was induced by a mechanism that involved the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) rather than caspase 3/7 activation. Our findings showed that berberine had anti-cancer effects and may be an effective drug for pancreatic cancer chemotherapy
[en] In recent years, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have gained significant attention as a novel class of gene regulators. Although a small number of lncRNAs have been shown to regulate gene expression through diverse mechanisms including transcriptional regulation, mRNA splicing and translation, the physiological function and mechanism of action of the vast majority are not known. Profiling studies in cell lines and tumor samples have suggested a potential role of lncRNAs in cancer. Indeed, distinct lncRNAs have been shown to be embedded in the p53 and Rb networks, two of the major tumor suppressor pathways that control cell cycle progression and survival. Given the fact that inactivation of Rb and p53 is a hallmark of human cancer, in this review we discuss recent evidence on the function of lncRNAs in the Rb and p53 signaling pathways
[en] MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs which regulate cell differentiation, proliferation, development, cell cycle, and apoptosis. Expression profiling of miRNAs has been performed and the data show that some miRNAs are upregulated or downregulated in cancer. Several studies suggest that the expression profiles of miRNAs are associated with clinical outcomes. However, the set of miRNAs with altered expressing differs depending on the type of cancer, suggesting that it is important to understand which miRNAs are related to which cancers. Therefore, this review aimed to discuss potentially crucial miRNAs in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC)
[en] Effects of Noopept (N-phenylacetyl-L-prolylglycine ethyl ester) on the relative level of proliferation marker Ki-67 and cell cycle parameters were studied in HEK293 and SH-SY5Y cell lines. The previously established multifactorial mechanism of action of the drug includes enhancement of neurotrophin NGF and BDNF expression and increase in HIF-1 activity. The possible mitogenic action of Noopept was estimated by its effect on cell proliferation. Noopept did not affect cell distribution over G1, S, G2 cell cycle phases and the relative level of proliferation marker Ki-67 in the cell lines under study. These data suggest that Noopept does not stimulate cell growth.
[en] The activation of caspase proteases and the targeting of protein substrates act as key steps in the engagement and conduct of apoptosis/programmed cell death. However, the discovery of caspase involvement in diverse non-apoptotic cellular functions strongly suggests that these proteins may have evolved from a core behavior unrelated to the induction of cell death. The presence of similar proteases, termed metacaspases, in single cell organisms supports the contention that such proteins may have co-evolved or derived from a critical non-death function. Indeed, the benefit(s) for single cell life forms to retain proteins solely dedicated to self destruction would be countered by a strong selection pressure to curb or eliminate such processes. Examination of metacaspase biology provides evidence that these ancient protease forerunners of the caspase family also retain versatility in function, i.e., death and non-death cell functions. Here, we provide a critical review that highlights the non-death roles of metacaspases that have been described thus far, and the impact that these observations have for our understanding of the evolution and cellular utility of this protease family.
[en] CUL4A; an E3 ubiquitin ligase is involved in the degradation of negative regulators of cell cycle such as p21, p27, p53, etc., through polyubiquitination-mediated protein degradation. The functional role(s) of CUL4A proteins on their targets are well characterized; however, the transcriptional regulation of CUL4A, particularly at its promoter level is not yet studied. Therefore, in this study, using computational tools, we found cAMP responsive elements (CRE) at the locations of − 926 and − 764 with respect to transcription state site + 1 of CUL4A promoter. Hence, we investigated the role of CREB on the regulation of CUL4A transcription. Our chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) data clearly showed increased levels of promoter occupancy of both CREB and pCREB on both CREs of CUL4A promoter. As expected, the expression of CUL4A increases and decreases upon the overexpression of and knocking down of CREB, respectively. Moreover, the inhibition of ERK pathway by U0126 not only reduces the CREB activation but also the CUL4A levels suggesting that CREB is the upstream activator of CUL4A transcription. The reduction of CUL4A levels upon the knocking down of CREB or by U0126 treatment increases the protein levels of CUL4A substrates such as p21 and p27. It is reported that CUL4A activates the ERK1/2 transcription and ERK1/2 pathway activates the CREB by phosphorylation. Based on our data and earlier findings, we report that CREB regulates the CUL4A levels positively which in turn activates the CREB through ERK1/2 pathway in the form of auto-regulatory looped mechanism.This suggests that CUL4A might be involved in proliferation of cancer cells by regulating the ERK1/2 and CREB signaling.
[en] Because epigenetic alterations are believed to be involved in the repression of tumor suppressor genes and promotion of tumorigenesis in choriocarcinomas, novel compounds endowed with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitory activity are an attractive therapeutic approach. HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs) were able to mediate inhibition of cell growth, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and the expression of genes related to the malignant phenotype in choriocarcinoma cell lines. In this review, we discuss the biologic and therapeutic effects of HDACIs in treating choriocarcinoma, with a special focus on preclinical studies
[en] Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Chalcone and its derivatives are reported to exhibit anti-cancer effects in several cancer cell lines, including colon cancer cells. In addition, chalcones have advantages such as poor interaction with DNA and low risk of mutagenesity. In our previous study, a group of chalcone derivatives were synthesized and exhibited strong anti-inflammatory activities. In this study, we evaluated the anti-cancer effects of the chalcone derivative, L2H17, in colon cancer cells. The cytotoxicities of L2H17 on various colon cancer cell lines were investigated by MTT and clonogenic assay. Cell cycle and apoptosis analysis were performed to evaluate the molecular mechanism of L2H17-mediated inhibition of tumor growth. Also, scratch wound and matrigel invasion experiments were performed to estimate the cell migration and invasion after L2H17 treatment. Finally, we observed the anti-colon cancer effects of L2H17 in vivo. Our data show that compound L2H17 exhibited selective cytotoxic effect on colon cancer cells, via inducing G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in CT26.WT cells. Furthermore, L2H17 treatment decreased cell migration and invasion of CT26.WT cells. In addition, L2H17 possessed marked anti-tumor activity in vivo. The molecular mechanism of L2H17-mediated inhibition of tumor promotion and progression were function through inactivated NF-κB and Akt signaling pathways. All these findings show that L2H17 might be a potential growth inhibitory chalcones derivative for colon cancer cells
[en] Ziyuglycoside II is an active compound of Sanguisorba officinalis L. that has anti-inflammation, antioxidation, antibiosis, and homeostasis properties. We report here on the anticancer effect of ziyuglycoside II on human gastric carcinoma BGC-823 cells. We investigated the effects of ziyuglycoside II on cell growth, cell cycle, and cell apoptosis of this cell line. Our results revealed that ziyuglycoside II could inhibit the proliferation of BGC-823 cells by inducing apoptosis but not cell cycle arrest, which was associated with regulation of Bax/Bcl-2 expression, and activation of the caspase-3 pathway. Our study is the first to report the antitumor potential of ziyuglycoside II in BGC-823 gastric cancer cells. Ziyuglycoside II may become a potential therapeutic agent against gastric cancer in the future
[en] In this paper, we discuss in detail the organization of chromatin during a cell cycle at several levels. We show that current experimental data on large-scale chromatin organization have not yet reached the level of precision to allow for detailed modeling. We speculate in some detail about the possible physics underlying the larger scale chromatin organization