- Function of Survivin in Trophoblastic Cells of the Placenta (2013)
- Background: Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity worldwide and its pathogenesis is not totally understood. As a member of the chromosomal passenger complex and an inhibitor of apoptosis, survivin is a well-characterized oncoprotein. Its roles in trophoblastic cells remain to be defined. Methods: The placental samples from 16 preeclampsia patients and 16 well-matched controls were included in this study. Real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis were carried out with placental tissues. Primary trophoblastic cells from term placentas were isolated for Western blot analysis. Cell proliferation, cell cycle analysis and immunofluorescence staining were performed in trophoblastic cell lines BeWo, JAR and HTR-8/SVneo. Results: The survivin gene is reduced but the protein amount is hardly changed in preeclamptic placentas, compared to control placentas. Upon stress, survivin in trophoblastic cells is phosphorylated on its residue serine 20 by protein kinase A and becomes stabilized, accompanied by increased heat shock protein 90. Depletion of survivin induces chromosome misalignment, abnormal centrosome integrity, and reduced localization and activity of Aurora B at the centromeres/kinetochores in trophoblastic metaphase cells. Conclusions: Our data indicate that survivin plays pivotal roles in cell survival and proliferation of trophoblastic cells. Further investigations are required to define the function of survivin in each cell type of the placenta in the context of proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, migration and invasion.
- The effects of clinical hypnosis versus Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) before External Cephalic Version (ECV): a prospective off-centre randomised, double-blind, controlled trial (2012)
- Objective. To examine the effects of clinical hypnosis versus NLP intervention on the success rate of ECV procedures in comparison to a control group. Methods. A prospective off-centre randomised trial of a clinical hypnosis intervention against NLP of women with a singleton breech fetus at or after 370/7 (259 days) weeks of gestation and normal amniotic fluid index. All 80 participants heard a 20-minute recorded intervention via head phones. Main outcome assessed was success rate of ECV. The intervention groups were compared with a control group with standard medical care alone (n=122). Results. A total of 42 women, who received a hypnosis intervention prior to ECV, had a 40.5% (n=17), successful ECV, whereas 38 women, who received NLP, had a 44.7% (n=17) successful ECV (P > 0.05). The control group had similar patient characteristics compared to the intervention groups (P > 0.05). In the control group (n = 122) 27.3% (n = 33) had a statistically significant lower successful ECV procedure than NLP (P = 0.05) and hypnosis and NLP (P = 0.03). Conclusions. These findings suggest that prior clinical hypnosis and NLP have similar success rates of ECV procedures and are both superior to standard medical care alone.
- Mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK): a potential cancer drug target (2011)
- The inability to faithfully segregate chromosomes in mitosis results in chromosome instability, a hallmark of solid tumors. Disruption of microtubule dynamics contributes highly to mitotic chromosome instability. The kinesin-13 family is critical in the regulation of microtubule dynamics and the best characterized member of the family, the mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK), has recently been attracting enormous attention. MCAK regulates microtubule dynamics as a potent depolymerizer of microtubules by removing tubulin subunits from the polymer end. This depolymerizing activity plays pivotal roles in spindle formation, in correcting erroneous attachments of microtubule-kinetochore and in chromosome movement. Thus, the accurate regulation of MCAK is important for ensuring the faithful segregation of chromosomes in mitosis and for safeguarding chromosome stability. In this review we summarize recent data concerning the regulation of MCAK by mitotic kinases, Aurora A/B, Polo-like kinase 1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 1. We propose a molecular model of the regulation of MCAK by these mitotic kinases and relevant phosphatases throughout mitosis. An ever-increasing quantity of data indicates that MCAK is aberrantly regulated in cancer cells. This deregulation is linked to increased malignance, invasiveness, metastasis and drug resistance, most probably due to increased chromosomal instability and remodeling of the microtubule cytoskeleton in cancer cells. Most interestingly, recent observations suggest that MCAK could be a novel molecular target for cancer therapy, as a new cancer antigen or as a mitotic regulator. This collection of new data indicates that MCAK could be a new star in the cancer research sky due to its critical roles in the control of genome stability and the cytoskeleton. Further investigations are required to dissect the fine details of the regulation of MCAK throughout mitosis and its involvements in oncogenesis.
- A lesson for cancer research: placental microarray gene analysis in preeclampsia (2012)
- Tumor progression and pregnancy share many common features, such as immune tolerance and invasion. The invasion of trophoblasts in the placenta into the uterine wall is essential for fetal development, and is thus precisely regulated. Its deregulation has been implicated in preeclampsia, a leading cause for maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Pathogenesis of preeclampsia remains to be defined. Microarray-based gene profiling has been widely used for identifying genes responsible for preeclampsia. In this review, we have summarized the recent data from the microarray studies with preeclamptic placentas. Despite the complex of gene signatures, suggestive of the heterogeneity of preeclampsia, these studies identified a number of differentially expressed genes associated with preeclampsia. Interestingly, most of them have been reported to be tightly involved in tumor progression. We have discussed these interesting genes and analyzed their potential molecular functions in preeclampsia, compared with their roles in malignancy development. Further investigations are warranted to explore the involvement in molecular network of each identified gene, which may provide not only novel strategies for prevention and therapy for preeclampsia but also a better understanding of cancer cells. The trophoblastic cells, with their capacity for proliferation and differentiation, apoptosis and survival, migration, angiogenesis and immune modulation by exploiting similar molecular pathways, make them a compelling model for cancer research.