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BACKGROUND - Non-invasive imaging biomarkers of cellular proliferation hold great promise for quantifying response to personalized medicine in oncology. An emerging approach to assess tumor proliferation utilizes the positron emission tomography (PET) tracer 3'-deoxy-3'[(18)F]-fluorothymidine, [(18)F]-FLT. Though several studies have associated serial changes in [(18)F]-FLT-PET with elements of therapeutic response, the degree to which [(18)F]-FLT-PET quantitatively reflects proliferative index has been continuously debated for more that a decade. The goal of this study was to elucidate quantitative relationships between [(18)F]-FLT-PET and cellular metrics of proliferation in treatment naïve human cell line xenografts commonly employed in cancer research.
METHODS AND FINDINGS - [(18)F]-FLT-PET was conducted in human cancer xenograft-bearing mice. Quantitative relationships between PET, thymidine kinase 1 (TK1) protein levels and immunostaining for proliferation markers (Ki67, TK1, PCNA) were evaluated using imaging-matched tumor specimens. Overall, we determined that [(18)F]-FLT-PET reflects TK1 protein levels, yet the cell cycle specificity of TK1 expression and the extent to which tumors utilize thymidine salvage for DNA synthesis decouple [(18)F]-FLT-PET data from standard estimates of proliferative index.
CONCLUSIONS - Our findings illustrate that [(18)F]-FLT-PET reflects tumor proliferation as a function of thymidine salvage pathway utilization. Unlike more general proliferation markers, such as Ki67, [(18)F]-FLT PET reflects proliferative indices to variable and potentially unreliable extents. [(18)F]-FLT-PET cannot discriminate moderately proliferative, thymidine salvage-driven tumors from those of high proliferative index that rely primarily upon de novo thymidine synthesis. Accordingly, the magnitude of [(18)F]-FLT uptake should not be considered a surrogate of proliferative index. These data rationalize the diversity of [(18)F]-FLT-PET correlative results previously reported and suggest future best-practices when [(18)F]-FLT-PET is employed in oncology.
Diastereomeric 8,5'-cyclopurine 2'-deoxynucleosides, containing a covalent bond between the deoxyribose and the purine base, are induced in DNA by ionizing radiation. They are suspected to play a role in the etiology of neurodegeneration in xeroderma pigmentosum patients. If not repaired, the S-8,5'-cyclo-2'-deoxyguanosine lesion (S-cdG) induces Pol V-dependent mutations at a frequency of 34% in Escherichia coli. Most are S-cdG → A transitions, suggesting mis-incorporation of dTTP opposite the lesion during replication bypass, although low levels of S-cdG → T transversions, arising from mis-incorporation of dATP, are also observed. We report the structures of 5'-d(GTGCXTGTTTGT)-3'·5'-d(ACAAACAYGCAC)-3', where X denotes S-cdG and Y denotes either dA or dT, corresponding to the situation following mis-insertion of either dTTP or dATP opposite the S-cdG lesion. The S-cdG·dT mismatch pair adopts a wobble base pairing. This provides a plausible rationale for the S-cdG → A transitions. The S-cdG·dA mismatch pair differs in conformation from the dG·dA mismatch pair. For the S-cdG·dA mismatch pair, both S-cdG and dA intercalate, but no hydrogen bonding is observed between S-cdG and dA. This is consistent with the lower levels of S-cdG → T transitions in E. coli.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which may exhibit significant health benefits. Strenous exercise is known to acutely generate oxidative stress and an inflammatory state, and serves as an on-demand model to test antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. The purpose of this study was to examine whether 250 g of blueberries per day for 6 weeks and 375 g given 1 h prior to 2.5 h of running at ∼72% maximal oxygen consumption counters oxidative stress, inflammation, and immune changes. Twenty-five well-trained subjects were recruited and randomized into blueberry (BB) (N = 13) or control (CON) (N = 12) groups. Blood, muscle, and urine samples were obtained pre-exercise and immediately postexercise, and blood and urine 1 h postexercise. Blood was examined for F₂-isoprostanes for oxidative stress, cortisol, cytokines, homocysteine, leukocytes, T-cell function, natural killer (NK), and lymphocyte cell counts for inflammation and immune system activation, and ferric reducing ability of plasma for antioxidant capacity. Muscle biopsies were examined for glycogen and NFkB expression to evaluate stress and inflammation. Urine was tested for modification of DNA (8-OHDG) and RNA (5-OHMU) as markers of nucleic acid oxidation. A 2 (treatment) × 3 (time) repeated measures ANOVA was used for statistical analysis. Increases in F₂-isoprostanes and 5-OHMU were significantly less in BB and plasma IL-10 and NK cell counts were significantly greater in BB vs. CON. Changes in all other markers did not differ. This study indicates that daily blueberry consumption for 6 weeks increases NK cell counts, and acute ingestion reduces oxidative stress and increases anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Molecular imaging comprises a range of techniques, spanning not only several imaging modalities but also many disease states and organ sites. While advances in new technology platforms have enabled a deeper understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of malignancy, reliable non-invasive imaging metrics remain an important tool for both diagnostics and patient management. Furthermore, the non- invasive nature of molecular imaging can overcome shortcomings associated with traditional biological approaches and provide valuable information relevant to patient care. Integration of information from multiple imaging techniques has the potential to provide a more comprehensive understanding of specific tumor characteristics, tumor status, and treatment response.
Disorders of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) maintenance have emerged as an important cause of human genetic disease, but demonstrating the functional consequences of de novo mutations remains a major challenge. We studied the rate of depletion and repopulation of mtDNA in human fibroblasts exposed to ethidium bromide in patients with heterozygous POLG mutations, POLG2 and TK2 mutations. Ethidium bromide induced mtDNA depletion occurred at the same rate in human fibroblasts from patients and healthy controls. By contrast, the restoration of mtDNA levels was markedly delayed in fibroblasts from patients with compound heterozygous POLG mutations. Specific POLG2 and TK2 mutations did not delay mtDNA repopulation rates. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that mutations in POLG impair mtDNA repopulation within intact cells, and provide a potential method of demonstrating the functional consequences of putative pathogenic alleles causing a defect of mtDNA synthesis.
Copyright Â© 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - 3'-[(18)F]fluoro-3'-deoxythymidine ([(18)F]FLT) is phosphorylated by thymidine kinase 1 (TK-1), a cell cycle regulated enzyme. Appropriate use of [(18)F]FLT tracer requires validation of the TK-1 activity. Here, we report development of a novel phosphoryl-transfer assay to assess phosphorylation of [(18)F]FLT both in tumor cell lysates and tumor cells.
PROCEDURES - The intrinsic F-18 radioactivity was used to quantify both substrate and phosphorylated products using a rapid thin layer chromatography method. Phosphorylation kinetics of [(18)F]FLT in SW480 and DiFi tumor cell lysates and cellular uptake were measured.
RESULTS - The apparent Michaelis-Menten kinetic parameters for [(18)F]FLT are K(m) = 4.8 ± 0.3 μM and V(max) = 7.4 pmol min(-1) per 1 × 10(6) cells with ~2-fold higher TK-1 activity in DiFi versus SW480 lysates.
CONCLUSIONS - The apparent K (m) of [(18)F]FLT was comparable to the value reported with purified recombinant TK-1. The uptake of [(18)F]FLT by SW480 cells is inhibited by nitrobenzylthioinosine or dipyridamole indicating that uptake is mediated predominantly by the equilibrative nucleoside transporters in these tumor cells.
BACKGROUND - Maintaining the correct balance of proliferation versus differentiation in retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) is essential for proper development of the retina. The cell cycle regulator cyclin D1 is expressed in RPCs, and mice with a targeted null allele at the cyclin D1 locus (Ccnd1-/-) have microphthalmia and hypocellular retinas, the latter phenotype attributed to reduced RPC proliferation and increased photoreceptor cell death during the postnatal period. How cyclin D1 influences RPC behavior, especially during the embryonic period, is unclear.
RESULTS - In this study, we show that embryonic RPCs lacking cyclin D1 progress through the cell cycle at a slower rate and exit the cell cycle at a faster rate. Consistent with enhanced cell cycle exit, the relative proportions of cell types born in the embryonic period, such as retinal ganglion cells and photoreceptor cells, are increased. Unexpectedly, cyclin D1 deficiency decreases the proportions of other early born retinal neurons, namely horizontal cells and specific amacrine cell types. We also found that the laminar positioning of horizontal cells and other cell types is altered in the absence of cyclin D1. Genetically replacing cyclin D1 with cyclin D2 is not efficient at correcting the phenotypes due to the cyclin D1 deficiency, which suggests the D-cyclins are not fully redundant. Replacement with cyclin E or inactivation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 restores the balance of RPCs and retinal cell types to more normal distributions, which suggests that regulation of the retinoblastoma pathway is an important function for cyclin D1 during embryonic retinal development.
CONCLUSION - Our findings show that cyclin D1 has important roles in RPC cell cycle regulation and retinal histogenesis. The reduction in the RPC population due to a longer cell cycle time and to an enhanced rate of cell cycle exit are likely to be the primary factors driving retinal hypocellularity and altered output of precursor populations in the embryonic Ccnd1-/- retina.
PURPOSE - To evaluate noninvasive molecular imaging methods as correlative biomarkers of therapeutic efficacy of cetuximab in human colorectal cancer cell line xenografts grown in athymic nude mice. The correlation between molecular imaging and immunohistochemical analysis to quantify epidermal growth factor (EGF) binding, apoptosis, and proliferation was evaluated in treated and untreated tumor-bearing cohorts.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - Optical imaging probes targeting EGF receptor (EGFR) expression (NIR800-EGF) and apoptosis (NIR700-Annexin V) were synthesized and evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Proliferation was assessed by 3'-[18F]fluoro-3'-deoxythymidine ([18F]FLT) positron emission tomography. Assessment of inhibition of EGFR signaling by cetuximab was accomplished by concomitant imaging of NIR800-EGF, NIR700-Annexin V, and [18F]FLT in cetuximab-sensitive (DiFi) and insensitive (HCT-116) human colorectal cancer cell line xenografts. Imaging results were validated by measurement of tumor size and immunohistochemical analysis of total and phosphorylated EGFR, caspase-3, and Ki-67 immediately following in vivo imaging.
RESULTS - NIR800-EGF accumulation in tumors reflected relative EGFR expression and EGFR occupancy by cetuximab. NIR700-Annexin V accumulation correlated with cetuximab-induced apoptosis as assessed by immunohistochemical staining of caspase-3. No significant difference in tumor proliferation was noted between treated and untreated animals by [18F]FLT positron emission tomography or Ki-67 immunohistochemistry.
CONCLUSIONS - Molecular imaging can accurately assess EGF binding, proliferation, and apoptosis in human colorectal cancer xenografts. These imaging approaches may prove useful for serial, noninvasive monitoring of the biological effects of EGFR inhibition in preclinical studies. It is anticipated that these assays can be adapted for clinical use.
Loss of nucleoside diphosphate kinase (Ndk) function in Escherichia coli results in an increased frequency of spontaneous mutation and an imbalance in dNTP pool levels. It is presumed that the imbalance in dNTP pool levels is responsible for the mutator phenotype of an E. coli ndk mutant. A human homologue of Ndk and potential suppressor of tumor metastasis, nm23-H2, can complement the mutagenic phenotype of an E. coli ndk mutant. Here, we show that the antimutagenic property of nm23-H2 in E. coli is independent of dNTP pool levels, indicating that dNTP pool imbalance is not responsible for the mutator phenotype associated with the loss of ndk function. We have identified multiple genetic interactions between ndk and genes involved in the metabolism of dUTP, a potentially mutagenic precursor of thymidine biosynthesis. We show that loss of ndk function is synergistic with a dut-1 mutation and synthetically lethal with the loss of thymidine kinase function. Our results suggest that Ndk prevents the accumulation of dUTP in vivo. Based on these results and biochemical studies of Ndk, we propose that the mutagenic phenotype of an ndk mutant is caused by excess misincorporation of uracil in place of thymidine combined with a defect in the uracil base excision pathway.
We sought to develop and optimize a hybridoma-based technology for generating human hybridomas that secrete virus-specific monoclonal antibodies for clinical diagnosis and therapy. We developed a novel electrofusion protocol for efficiently fusing Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-transformed human B cells with myeloma partners. We tested seven myeloma cell lines and achieved highest efficiency when the HMMA 2.5 line was used. We optimized the electrofusion process by improving cell treatments before and after electrofusion as well as varying cell ratios, fusion medium and other experimental parameters. Our fusion efficiency increased remarkably to 0.43%, a significant improvement over the efficiency of previous PEG-based or other electrofusion methods. Using the optimized protocol, we obtained human hybridomas that secrete fully human monoclonal antibodies against two major human respiratory pathogens: respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and an influenza H3N2 vaccine virus strain. In conclusion, we have developed an efficient and routine approach for the generation of human hybridomas secreting functional human virus-specific monoclonal antibodies.