Chemoresistance is associated with increased cytoprotective autophagy and diminished apoptosis in bladder cancer cells treated with the BH3 mimetic (-)-Gossypol (AT-101)
- Background: Acquired resistance to standard chemotherapy causes treatment failure in patients with metastatic bladder cancer. Overexpression of pro-survival Bcl-2 family proteins has been associated with a poor chemotherapeutic response, suggesting that Bcl-2-targeted therapy may be a feasible strategy in patients with these tumors. The small-molecule pan-Bcl-2 inhibitor (−)-gossypol (AT-101) is known to induce apoptotic cell death, but can also induce autophagy through release of the pro-autophagic BH3 only protein Beclin-1 from Bcl-2. The potential therapeutic effects of (−)-gossypol in chemoresistant bladder cancer and the role of autophagy in this context are hitherto unknown.
Methods: Cisplatin (5637rCDDP1000, RT4rCDDP1000) and gemcitabine (5637rGEMCI20, RT4rGEMCI20) chemoresistant sub-lines of the chemo-sensitive bladder cancer cell lines 5637 and RT4 were established for the investigation of acquired resistance mechanisms. Cell lines carrying a stable lentiviral knockdown of the core autophagy regulator ATG5 were created from chemosensitive 5637 and chemoresistant 5637rGEMCI20 and 5637rCDDP1000 cell lines. Cell death and autophagy were quantified by FACS analysis of propidium iodide, Annexin and Lysotracker staining, as well as LC3 translocation.
Results: Here we demonstrate that (−)-gossypol induces an apoptotic type of cell death in 5637 and RT4 cells which is partially inhibited by the pan-caspase inhibitor z-VAD. Cisplatin- and gemcitabine-resistant bladder cancer cells exhibit enhanced basal and drug-induced autophagosome formation and lysosomal activity which is accompanied by an attenuated apoptotic cell death after treatment with both (−)-gossypol and ABT-737, a Bcl-2 inhibitor which spares Mcl-1, in comparison to parental cells. Knockdown of ATG5 and inhibition of autophagy by 3-MA had no discernible effect on apoptotic cell death induced by (−)-gossypol and ABT-737 in parental 5637 cells, but evoked a significant increase in early apoptosis and overall cell death in BH3 mimetic-treated 5637rGEMCI20 and 5637rCDDP1000 cells.
Conclusions: Our findings show for the first time that (−)-gossypol concomitantly triggers apoptosis and a cytoprotective type of autophagy in bladder cancer and support the notion that enhanced autophagy may underlie the chemoresistant phenotype of these tumors. Simultaneous targeting of Bcl-2 proteins and the autophagy pathway may be an efficient new strategy to overcome their “autophagy addiction” and acquired resistance to current therapy.
Selenium supplementation in radiotherapy patients: do we need to measure selenium levels in serum or blood regularly prior radiotherapy?
- Considering the review by Puspitasari and colleagues, an additional discussion of the endpoints of the Se supplementation studies described would be helpful. In our view, selenium can safely be given to selenium-deficient cancer patients prior to and during radiotherapy. Therefore, in order to help the radiation oncologist in decision making, we strongly advocate to determine the selenium status prior to and during a potential adjuvant selenium supplementation, e.g. when trying to ease the side-effects of radiation treatment or in the aftercare situation when the selenium status may become insufficient.
Loss of lysosome-associated membrane protein 3 (LAMP3) enhances cellular vulnerability against proteasomal inhibition
Jorge Antolio Domínguez Bautista
- The family of lysosome-associated membrane proteins (LAMP) includes the ubiquitously expressed LAMP1 and LAMP2, which account for half of the proteins in the lysosomal membrane. Another member of the LAMP family is LAMP3, which is expressed only in certain cell types and differentiation stages. LAMP3 expression is linked with poor prognosis of certain cancers, and the locus where it is encoded was identified as a risk factor for Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, we investigated the role of LAMP3 in the two main cellular degradation pathways, the proteasome and autophagy. LAMP3 mRNA was not detected in mouse models of PD or in the brain of human patients. However, it was strongly induced upon proteasomal inhibition in the neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Induction of LAMP3 mRNA following proteasomal inhibition was dependent on UPR transcription factor ATF4 signaling and induced autophagic flux. Prevention of LAMP3 induction enhanced apoptotic cell death. In summary, these data demonstrate that LAMP3 regulation as part of the UPR contributes to protein degradation and cell survival during proteasomal dysfunction. This link between autophagy and the proteasome may be of special importance for the treatment of tumor cells with proteasomal inhibitors.
Medical student's attitude towards influenza vaccination
Birthe A. Lehmann
Robert AC Ruiter
- Background Influenza vaccination is recommended for all healthcare personnel (HCP) and most institutions offer vaccination for free and on site. However, medical students do not always have such easy access, and the predictors that might guide the motivation of medical students to get vaccinated are largely unknown. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional survey study among pre-clinical medical students in a German University hospital to assess the social cognitive predictors of influenza vaccination, as well as reasons for refusal and acceptance of the vaccine. Results Findings show that pre-clinical medical students have comparable knowledge gaps and negative attitudes towards influenza vaccination that have previously been reported among HCP. Lower injunctive norms and higher feelings of autonomy contribute to no intention to get vaccinated against influenza, while a positive instrumental attitude and higher feelings of autonomy contribute to a high intention to get vaccinated. The variables in the regression model explained 20% of the variance in intention to get vaccinated. Conclusions The identified factors should be addressed early in medical education, and hospitals might benefit from a more inclusive vaccination program and accessibility of free vaccines for their medical students.
Differences between mechanically stable and unstable chronic ankle instability subgroups when examined by arthrometer and FAAM-G
- Background: The objective measurement of the mechanical component and its role in chronic ankle instability is still a matter of scientific debate. We analyzed known group and diagnostic validity of our ankle arthrometer. Additionally, functional aspects of chronic ankle instability were evaluated in relation to anterior talar drawer.
Methods: By manual stress testing, 41 functionally unstable ankles were divided as mechanically stable (n = 15) or mechanically unstable (n = 26). Ankle laxity was quantified using an ankle arthrometer. Stiffness values from the load displacement curves were calculated between 40 and 60 N. Known group validity and eta2 were established by comparing manual and arthrometer testing results. Diagnostic validity for the ankle arthrometer was determined by a 2 × 2 contingency table. The functional ankle instability severity was quantified by the German version of the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM-G). Stiffness (40–60 N) and FAAM-G values were correlated.
Results: Mechanically unstable ankles had lower 40–60 N stiffness values than mechanically stable ankles (p = 0.006 and <0.001). Eta for the relation between manual and arthrometer anterior talar drawer testing was 0.628. With 5.1 N/mm as cut-off value, accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity were 85%, 81%, and 93%, respectively. The correlation between individual 40–60 N arthrometer stiffness values and FAAM-G scores was r = 0.286 and 0.316 (p = 0.07 and 0.04).
Conclusions: In this investigation, the ankle arthrometer demonstrated a high diagnostic validity for the determination of mechanical ankle instability. A clear interaction between mechanical (ankle arthrometer) and functional (FAAM-G) measures could not be demonstrated.
The INCA trial (Impact of NOD2 genotype-guided antibiotic prevention on survival in patients with liver Cirrhosis and Ascites): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
- BACKGROUND: Patients with liver cirrhosis have a highly elevated risk of developing bacterial infections that significantly decrease survival rates. One of the most relevant infections is spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). Recently, NOD2 germline variants were found to be potential predictors of the development of infectious complications and mortality in patients with cirrhosis. The aim of the INCA (Impact of NOD2 genotype-guided antibiotic prevention on survival in patients with liver Cirrhosis and Ascites) trial is to investigate whether survival of this genetically defined high-risk group of patients with cirrhosis defined by the presence of NOD2 variants is improved by primary antibiotic prophylaxis of SBP.
METHODS/DESIGN: The INCA trial is a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial with two parallel treatment arms (arm 1: norfloxacin 400 mg once daily; arm 2: placebo once daily; 12-month treatment and observational period). Balanced randomization of 186 eligible patients with stratification for the protein content of the ascites (<15 versus ≥15 g/L) and the study site is planned. In this multicenter national study, patients are recruited in at least 13 centers throughout Germany. The key inclusion criterion is the presence of a NOD2 risk variant in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis. The most important exclusion criteria are current SBP or previous history of SBP and any long-term antibiotic prophylaxis. The primary endpoint is overall survival after 12 months of treatment. Secondary objectives are to evaluate whether the frequencies of SBP and other clinically relevant infections necessitating antibiotic treatment, as well as the total duration of unplanned hospitalization due to cirrhosis, differ in both study arms. Recruitment started in February 2014.
DISCUSSION: Preventive strategies are required to avoid life-threatening infections in patients with liver cirrhosis, but unselected use of antibiotics can trigger resistant bacteria and worsen outcome. Thus, individualized approaches that direct intervention only to patients with the highest risk are urgently needed. This trial meets this need by suggesting stratified prevention based on genetic risk assessment. To our knowledge, the INCA trial is first in the field of hepatology aimed at rapidly transferring and validating information on individual genetic risk into clinical decision algorithms.
TRIAL REGISTRATIONS: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00005616 . Registered 22 January 2014. EU Clinical Trials Register EudraCT 2013-001626-26 . Registered 26 January 2015.
Modeling autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C in mice reveals distinct functions for Ltbp-4 isoforms
Alexandra C. Maul
Alexander P. Wohl
F. Thomas Wunderlich
Alexander C. Bunck
Harald Melchner von
- Recent studies have revealed an important role for LTBP-4 in elastogenesis. Its mutational inactivation in humans causes autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C (ARCL1C), which is a severe disorder caused by defects of the elastic fiber network. Although the human gene involved in ARCL1C has been discovered based on similar elastic fiber abnormalities exhibited by mice lacking the short Ltbp-4 isoform (Ltbp4S−/−), the murine phenotype does not replicate ARCL1C. We therefore inactivated both Ltbp-4 isoforms in the mouse germline to model ARCL1C. Comparative analysis of Ltbp4S−/− and Ltbp4-null (Ltbp4−/−) mice identified Ltbp-4L as an important factor for elastogenesis and postnatal survival, and showed that it has distinct tissue expression patterns and specific molecular functions. We identified fibulin-4 as a previously unknown interaction partner of both Ltbp-4 isoforms and demonstrated that at least Ltbp-4L expression is essential for incorporation of fibulin-4 into the extracellular matrix (ECM). Overall, our results contribute to the current understanding of elastogenesis and provide an animal model of ARCL1C.
The Ariadne principles: how to handle multimorbidity in primary care consultations
Marjan van den Akker
Jeanet W. Blom
Christian D. Mallen
François G. Schellevi
Hendrik van den Bussche
Paul P. Glasziou
- Multimorbidity is a health issue mostly dealt with in primary care practice. As a result of their generalist and patient-centered approach, long-lasting relationships with patients, and responsibility for continuity and coordination of care, family physicians are particularly well placed to manage patients with multimorbidity. However, conflicts arising from the application of multiple disease oriented guidelines and the burden of diseases and treatments often make consultations challenging. To provide orientation in decision making in multimorbidity during primary care consultations, we developed guiding principles and named them after the Greek mythological figure Ariadne. For this purpose, we convened a two-day expert workshop accompanied by an international symposium in October 2012 in Frankfurt, Germany. Against the background of the current state of knowledge presented and discussed at the symposium, 19 experts from North America, Europe, and Australia identified the key issues of concern in the management of multimorbidity in primary care in panel and small group sessions and agreed upon making use of formal and informal consensus methods. The proposed preliminary principles were refined during a multistage feedback process and discussed using a case example. The sharing of realistic treatment goals by physicians and patients is at the core of the Ariadne principles. These result from i) a thorough interaction assessment of the patient’s conditions, treatments, constitution, and context; ii) the prioritization of health problems that take into account the patient’s preferences – his or her most and least desired outcomes; and iii) individualized management realizes the best options of care in diagnostics, treatment, and prevention to achieve the goals. Goal attainment is followed-up in accordance with a re-assessment in planned visits. The occurrence of new or changed conditions, such as an increase in severity, or a changed context may trigger the (re-)start of the process. Further work is needed on the implementation of the formulated principles, but they were recognized and appreciated as important by family physicians and primary care researchers.
CCL2 chemokine as a potential biomarker for prostate cancer: a pilot study
Ana Maria Waaga-Gasser
Kilian M. Gust
Roman A. Blaheta
- Purpose: Prostate specific antigen is not reliable in diagnosing prostate cancer (PCa), making the identification of novel, precise diagnostic biomarkers important. Since chemokines are associated with more aggressive disease and poor prognosis in diverse malignancies, we aimed to investigate the diagnostic relevance of chemokines in PCa.
Materials and Methods: Preoperative and early postoperative serum samples were obtained from 39 consecutive PCa patients undergoing radical prostatectomy. Serum from 15 healthy volunteers served as controls. Concentrations of CXCL12, CXCL13, CX3CL1, CCL2, CCL5, and CCL20 were measured in serum by Luminex. The expression activity of CXCR3, CXCR4, CXCR5, CXCR7, CXCL12, CXCL13, CX3CR1, CXCL1, CCR2, CCR5, CCR6, CCR7, CCL2, and CCL5 mRNA was assessed in tumor and adjacent normal tissue of prostatectomy specimens by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The associations of these chemokines with clinical and histological parameters were tested.
Results: The gene expression activity of CCL2 and CCR6 was significantly higher in tumor tissue compared to adjacent normal tissue. CCL2 was also significantly higher in the blood samples of PCa patients, compared to controls. CCL5, CCL20, and CX3CL1 were lower in patient serum, compared to controls. CCR2 tissue mRNA was negatively correlated with the Gleason score and grading.
CONCLUSION: Chemokines are significantly modified during tumorigenesis of PCa, and CCL2 is a promising diagnostic biomarker.
Myeloid knockout of HIF-1 α does not markedly affect hemorrhage/resuscitation-induced inflammation and hepatic injury.
- Background. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and NF-κB play important roles in the inflammatory response after hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation (H/R). Here, the role of myeloid HIF-1α in liver hypoxia, injury, and inflammation after H/R with special regard to NF-κB activation was studied. Methods. Mice with a conditional HIF-1α knockout (KO) in myeloid cell-line and wild-type (WT) controls were hemorrhaged for 90 min ( mm Hg) and resuscitated. Controls underwent only surgical procedures. Results. After six hours, H/R enhanced the expression of HIF-1α-induced genes vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and adrenomedullin (ADM). In KO mice, this was not observed. H/R-induced liver injury in HIF-1α KO was comparable to WT. Elevated plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels after H/R were not reduced by HIF-1α KO. Local hepatic hypoxia was not significantly reduced in HIF-1α KO compared to controls after H/R. H/R-induced NF-κB phosphorylation in liver did not significantly differ between WT and KO. Conclusions. Here, deleting HIF-1α in myeloid cells and thereby in Kupffer cells was not protective after H/R. This data indicates that other factors, such as NF-κB, due to its upregulated phosphorylation in WT and KO mice, contrary to HIF-1α, are rather key modulators of inflammation after H/R in our model.