DISSECT Method Using PNA-LNA Clamp Improves Detection of EGFR T790m Mutation.

DISSECT Method Using PNA-LNA Clamp Improves Detection of EGFR T790m Mutation.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e67782
Guha M, Castellanos-Rizaldos E, Makrigiorgos GM

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with small molecule EGFR inhibitors, such as gefitinib, frequently develop drug resistance due to the presence of secondary mutations like the T790M mutation on EGFR exon 20. These mutations may originate from small subclonal populations in the primary tumor that become dominant later on during treatment. In order to detect these low-level DNA variations in the primary tumor or to monitor their progress in plasma, it is important to apply reliable and sensitive mutation detection methods. Here, we combine two recently developed methodologies, Differential Strand Separation at Critical Temperature (DISSECT), with peptide nucleic acid-locked nucleic acid (PNA-LNA) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of T790M EGFR mutation. DISSECT pre-enriches low-abundance T790M EGFR mutations from target DNA prior to implementing PNA-LNA PCR, a method that can detect 1 mutant allele in a background of 100-1000 wild type alleles. The combination of DISSECT and PNA-LNA PCR enables the detection of 1 mutant allele in a background of 10,000 wild type alleles. The combined DISSECT-PNA-LNA PCR methodology is amenable to adaptation for the sensitive detection of additional emerging resistance mutations in cancer. HubMed – drug


Regulation of the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition by Claudin-3 and Claudin-4.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e67496
Lin X, Shang X, Manorek G, Howell SB

The mechanisms that control intracellular adhesion are central to the process of invasion and metastasis. Claudin-3 (CLDN3) and claudin-4 (CLDN4) are major structural molecules of the tight junctions that link epithelial cells. Our prior work has demonstrated that knockdown of the expression of either CLDN3 or CLDN4 produces marked changes in the phenotype of ovarian carcinoma cells including increases in growth rate in vivo, migration, invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance, similar to those produced by the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We postulated that these changes may result from the ability of CLDN3 or CLDN4 to suppress EMT. In this study we found that knockdown of either CLDN3 or CLDN4 increased cell size and resulted in flattened morphology. While knockdown of CLDN3 or CLDN4 did not alter the expression of vimentin, it significantly down-regulated the level of E-cadherin and up-regulated N-cadherin expression. Conversely, over-expression of CLDN3 or CLDN4 in a cell line that does not express endogenous CLDN3 or CLDN4 decreased N-cadherin expression. Re-expression of E-cadherin in the CLDN3 or CLDN4 knockdown cells reduced migration, invasion and tumor growth in vivo. Loss of either CLDN3 or CLDN4 resulted in activation of the PI3K pathway as evidenced by increased Akt phosphorylation, elevated cellular PIP3 content and PI3K activity as well as up-regulation of the mRNA and protein levels of the transcription factor Twist. Taken together, these findings suggest that CLDN3 and CLDN4 function to sustain an epithelial phenotype and that their loss promotes EMT. HubMed – drug


Identification and Functional Characterisation of CRK12:CYC9, a Novel Cyclin-Dependent Kinase (CDK)-Cyclin Complex in Trypanosoma brucei.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e67327
Monnerat S, Almeida Costa CI, Forkert AC, Benz C, Hamilton A, Tetley L, Burchmore R, Novo C, Mottram JC, Hammarton TC

The protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, is spread by the tsetse fly and causes trypanosomiasis in humans and animals. Both the life cycle and cell cycle of the parasite are complex. Trypanosomes have eleven cdc2-related kinases (CRKs) and ten cyclins, an unusually large number for a single celled organism. To date, relatively little is known about the function of many of the CRKs and cyclins, and only CRK3 has previously been shown to be cyclin-dependent in vivo. Here we report the identification of a previously uncharacterised CRK:cyclin complex between CRK12 and the putative transcriptional cyclin, CYC9. CRK12:CYC9 interact to form an active protein kinase complex in procyclic and bloodstream T. brucei. Both CRK12 and CYC9 are essential for the proliferation of bloodstream trypanosomes in vitro, and we show that CRK12 is also essential for survival of T. brucei in a mouse model, providing genetic validation of CRK12:CYC9 as a novel drug target for trypanosomiasis. Further, functional characterisation of CRK12 and CYC9 using RNA interference reveals roles for these proteins in endocytosis and cytokinesis, respectively. HubMed – drug


Differential Changes in Expression of Stress- and Metabolic-Related Neuropeptides in the Rat Hypothalamus during Morphine Dependence and Withdrawal.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e67027
Pintér-Kübler B, Ferenczi S, Núnez C, Zelei E, Polyák A, Milanés MV, Kovács KJ

Chronic morphine treatment and naloxone precipitated morphine withdrawal activates stress-related brain circuit and results in significant changes in food intake, body weight gain and energy metabolism. The present study aimed to reveal hypothalamic mechanisms underlying these effects. Adult male rats were made dependent on morphine by subcutaneous implantation of constant release drug pellets. Pair feeding revealed significantly smaller weight loss of morphine treated rats compared to placebo implanted animals whose food consumption was limited to that eaten by morphine implanted pairs. These results suggest reduced energy expenditure of morphine-treated animals. Chronic morphine exposure or pair feeding did not significantly affect hypothalamic expression of selected stress- and metabolic related neuropeptides – corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), urocortin 2 (UCN2) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) compared to placebo implanted and pair fed animals. Naloxone precipitated morphine withdrawal resulted in a dramatic weight loss starting as early as 15-30 min after naloxone injection and increased adrenocorticotrophic hormone, prolactin and corticosterone plasma levels in morphine dependent rats. Using real-time quantitative PCR to monitor the time course of relative expression of neuropeptide mRNAs in the hypothalamus we found elevated CRH and UCN2 mRNA and dramatically reduced POMC expression. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) mRNA levels were transiently increased during opiate withdrawal. These data highlight that morphine withdrawal differentially affects expression of stress- and metabolic-related neuropeptides in the rat hypothalamus, while relative mRNA levels of these neuropeptides remain unchanged either in rats chronically treated with morphine or in their pair-fed controls. HubMed – drug