- Credit card debt puzzles (2005)
- Most US credit card holders revolve high-interest debt, often combined with substantial (i) asset accumulation by retirement, and (ii) low-rate liquid assets. Hyperbolic discounting can resolve only the former puzzle (Laibson et al., 2003). Bertaut and Haliassos (2002) proposed an 'accountant-shopper' framework for the latter. The current paper builds, solves, and simulates a fully-specified accountant-shopper model, to show that this framework can actually generate both types of co-existence, as well as target credit card utilization rates consistent with Gross and Souleles (2002). The benchmark model is compared to setups without self-control problems, with alternative mechanisms, and with impatient but fully rational shoppers. Klassifikation: E210, G110
- Amygdalin blocks bladder cancer cell growth in vitro by diminishing cyclin A and cdk2 (2014)
- Amygdalin, a natural compound, has been used by many cancer patients as an alternative approach to treat their illness. However, whether or not this substance truly exerts an anti-tumor effect has never been settled. An in vitro study was initiated to investigate the influence of amygdalin (1.25–10 mg/ml) on the growth of a panel of bladder cancer cell lines (UMUC-3, RT112 and TCCSUP). Tumor growth, proliferation, clonal growth and cell cycle progression were investigated. The cell cycle regulating proteins cdk1, cdk2, cdk4, cyclin A, cyclin B, cyclin D1, p19, p27 as well as the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) related signals phosphoAkt, phosphoRaptor and phosphoRictor were examined. Amygdalin dose-dependently reduced growth and proliferation in all three bladder cancer cell lines, reflected in a significant delay in cell cycle progression and G0/G1 arrest. Molecular evaluation revealed diminished phosphoAkt, phosphoRictor and loss of Cdk and cyclin components. Since the most outstanding effects of amygdalin were observed on the cdk2-cyclin A axis, siRNA knock down studies were carried out, revealing a positive correlation between cdk2/cyclin A expression level and tumor growth. Amygdalin, therefore, may block tumor growth by down-modulating cdk2 and cyclin A. In vivo investigation must follow to assess amygdalin's practical value as an anti-tumor drug.
- HDAC-inhibition counteracts everolimus resistance in renal cell carcinoma in vitro by diminishing cdk2 and cyclin A (2014)
- Background: Targeted therapies have improved therapeutic options of treating renal cell carcinoma (RCC). However, drug response is temporary due to resistance development. Methods: Functional and molecular changes in RCC Caki-1 cells, after acquired resistance to the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-inhibitor everolimus (Cakires), were investigated with and without additional application of the histone deacetylase (HDAC)-inhibitor valproic acid (VPA). Cell growth was evaluated by MTT assay, cell cycle progression and apoptosis by flow cytometry. Target molecules of everolimus and VPA, apoptotic and cell cycle regulating proteins were investigated by western blotting. siRNA blockade was performed to evaluate the functional relevance of the proteins. Results: Everolimus resistance was accompanied by significant increases in the percentage of G2/M-phase cells and in the IC50. Akt and p70S6K, targets of everolimus, were activated in Cakires compared to drug sensitive cells. The most prominent change in Cakires cells was an increase in the cell cycle activating proteins cdk2 and cyclin A. Knock-down of cdk2 and cyclin A caused significant growth inhibition in the Cakires cells. The HDAC-inhibitor, VPA, counteracted everolimus resistance in Cakires, evidenced by a significant decrease in tumor growth and cdk2/cyclin A. Conclusion: It is concluded that non-response to everolimus is characterized by increased cdk2/cyclin A, driving RCC cells into the G2/M-phase. VPA hinders everolimus non-response by diminishing cdk2/cyclin A. Therefore, treatment with HDAC-inhibitors might be an option for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma and acquired everolimus resistance.
- CCL2 chemokine as a potential biomarker for prostate cancer: a pilot study (2014)
- 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.
- Cross-communication between histone H3 and H4 acetylation and Akt-mTOR signalling in prostate cancer cells (2014)
- Molecular tumour targeting has significantly improved anti-cancer protocols. Still, the addition of molecular targeting to the treatment regime has not led to a curative breakthrough. Combined mammalian target of Rapamycin (mTOR) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition has been shown not only to enhance anti-tumour potential, but also to prevent resistance development seen under mono-drug therapy. This investigation was designed to evaluate whether cross-communication exists between mTOR signalling and epigenetic events regulated by HDAC. DU-145 prostate cancer cells were treated with insulin-like growth factor (IGF) to activate the Akt-mTOR cascade or with the HDAC-inhibitor valproic acid (VPA) to induce histone H3 and H4 acetylation (aH3, aH4). Subsequently, mTOR, Rictor, Raptor, p70s6k, Akt (all: total and phosphorylated), H3 and H4 (total and acetylated) were analysed by western blotting. Both techniques revealed a link between mTOR and the epigenetic machinery. IGF activated mTOR, Rictor, Raptor, p70s6k and Akt, but also enhanced aH3 and aH4. Inversely, IGFr blockade and knock-down blocked the Akt-mTOR axis, but simultaneously diminished aH3 and aH4. VPA treatment up-regulated histone acetylation, but also activated mTOR-Akt signalling. HDAC1 and 2 knock-down revealed that the interaction with the mTOR system is initiated by histone H3 acetylation. HDAC-mTOR communication, therefore, is apparent whereby tumour-promoting (Akt/mTORhigh, aH3/aH4low) and tumour-suppressing signals (Akt/mTORlow, aH3/aH4high) are activated in parallel. Combined use of an HDAC- and mTOR inhibitor might then diminish pro-tumour effects triggered by the HDAC- (Akt/mTORhigh) or mTOR inhibitor (aH3/aH4low) alone.