The mission of the CRCC is the support of promising new directions of research into all aspects of cancer, including its origin, prevention and cure. The CRCC provides seed grants to faculty on the ten campuses, with the expectation that the most promising research will thereafter be funded by larger, long-term grants from other agencies. CRCC awards grants to new faculty to initiate cancer research projects, to established investigators in areas of research other than cancer to initiate cancer research projects, and to established investigators to initiate studies in new areas.
Erythrocyte-derived nano-probes functionalized with antibodies for targeted near infrared fluorescence imaging of cancer cells
Constructs derived from mammalian cells are emerging as a new generation of nano-scale platforms for clinical imaging applications. Herein, we report successful engineering of hybrid nano-structures composed of erythrocyte-derived membranes doped with FDA-approved near infrared (NIR) chromophore, indocyanine green (ICG), and surface-functionalized with antibodies to achieve molecular targeting. We demonstrate that these constructs can be used for targeted imaging of cancer cells in vitro. These erythrocyte-derived optical nano-probes may provide a potential platform for clinical translation, and enable molecular imaging of cancer biomarkers.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an aggressive hematopoietic cancer of plasma cells. The recent emergence of three effective FDA-approved proteasome-inhibiting drugs, bortezomib (Velcade), carfilzomib (Kyprolis), and ixazomib (Ninlaro) confirms that proteasome inhibitors are therapeutically useful against neoplastic disease, in particular refractory MM and mantle cell lymphoma. This study describes the synthesis, computational affinity assessment, and preclinical evaluation of TIR-199, a natural product-derived syrbactin structural analog. Molecular modeling and simulation suggested TIR-199 covalently binds each of the three catalytic subunits (β1, β2 and β5) and revealed key interaction sites. In vitro and cell culture-based proteasome activity measurements confirmed that TIR-199 inhibits the proteasome in a dose-dependent manner and induces tumor cell death in multiple myeloma and neuroblastoma cells as well as other cancer types in the NCI-60 cell panel. It is particularly effective against kidney cancer cell lines, with more than 250-fold higher anti-tumor activities than observed with the natural product syringolin A (SylA). In vivo studies in mice revealed a maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of TIR-199 at 25 mg/kg. The anti-tumor activity of TIR-199 was confirmed in hollow fiber assays in mice. Adverse drug reaction screens in a kidney panel revealed no off-targets of concern. This is the first study to examine the efficacy of a syrbactin in animals. Taken together, the results suggest that TIR-199 is a potent new proteasome inhibitor with promise for further development into a clinical drug for the treatment of multiple myeloma and other forms of cancer.
Regulation of the T-box transcription factor Tbx3 by the tumour suppressor microRNA-206 in breast cancer
The Tbx3 transcription factor is over-expressed in breast cancer, where it has been implicated in proliferation, migration and regulation of the cancer stem cell population. The mechanisms that regulate Tbx3 expression in cancer have not been fully explored. In this study, we demonstrate that Tbx3 is repressed by the tumour suppressor miR-206 in breast cancer cells.Methods:
Bioinformatics prediction programmes and luciferase reporter assays were used to demonstrate that miR-206 negatively regulates Tbx3. We examined the impact of miR-206 on Tbx3 expression in breast cancer cells using miR-206 mimic and inhibitor. Gene/protein expression was examined by quantitative reverse-transcription–PCR and immunoblotting. The effects of miR-206 and Tbx3 on apoptosis, proliferation, invasion and cancer stem cell population was investigated by cell-death detection, colony formation, 3D-Matrigel and tumorsphere assays.Results:
In this study, we examined the regulation of Tbx3 by miR-206. We demonstrate that Tbx3 is directly repressed by miR-206, and that this repression of Tbx3 is necessary for miR-206 to inhibit breast tumour cell proliferation and invasion, and decrease the cancer stem cell population. Moreover, Tbx3 and miR-206 expression are inversely correlated in human breast cancer. Kaplan–Meier analysis indicates that patients exhibiting a combination of high Tbx3 and low miR-206 expression have a lower probability of survival when compared with patients with low Tbx3 and high miR-206 expression. These studies uncover a novel mechanism of Tbx3 regulation and identify a new target of the tumour suppressor miR-206.Conclusions:
The present study identified Tbx3 as a novel target of tumour suppressor miR-206 and characterised the miR-206/Tbx3 signalling pathway, which is involved in proliferation, invasion and maintenance of the cancer stem cell population in breast cancer cells. Our results suggest that restoration of miR-206 in Tbx3-positive breast cancer could be exploited for therapeutic benefit.
Related Research Centers & Groups
- UC Discovery Grant Program; a funding opportunity through UC Research Initiatives (UCRI)
- UC Lab Fees Research Program (LFRP); a funding opportunity through UC Research Initiatives (UCRI)
- Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives (MRPI); a funding opportunity through UC Research Initiatives (UCRI)
- Proof of Concept Commercialization Gap Grants (PoC); a funding opportunity through UC Research Initiatives (UCRI)
- University of California Research Initiatives (UCRI)