Loma Linda University

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Nathan Wall, PhD
Assistant Professor, Basic Sciences
School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Radiation Medicine
School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Surgery
School of Medicine
Member, Biochemistry, SM, Faculty of Graduate Studies
Publications    Scholarly Journals--Submitted
  • Mediavilla-Varela M, Fabio J. Pacheco FJ, Almaguel F, Daniels TR, Padilla A, Perez J, Leoh LS, Sahakian E, Wall NR, Lilly MB, De Leon M, and Casiano CA. Docetaxel-induced prostate cancer cell death involves concomitant activation of caspase and lysosomal pathways and is attenuated by LEDGF/p75. Mol Cancer Therapeutics,  8(68) 1-15, 2009. ( 6/2009 )
  Scholarly Journals--Published
  • Neidigh J, Darwanto A, Williams A, Wall NR, Sowers L.  Cloning and characterization of Rhodotorula glutinis thymine hydroxylase. Chemical Research in Toxicology 22(5):885-893, 2009. ( 6/2009 )
  • Parrish YK, Baez I, Milford TA, Benitez A, Galloway N, Rogerio JW, Sahakian E, Kagoda M, Huang G, Hao Q, Sevilla Y, Barsky LW, Zielinska E, Price MA, Wall NR, Dovat S, Payne KJ. IL-7 Dependence in Human B Lymphopoiesis Increases During Progression of Ontogeny from Cord Blood to Bone Marrow. The Journal of Immunology 182(7): 4255-4266, 2009. ( 6/2009 )
  • Khan S, Aspe JR, Asumen MG, Almaguel F, Odumosu O, Acevedo-Martinez S, De Leon M, Langridge W, Wall NR.  Extracellular, cell-permeable survivin inhibits apoptosis while promoting proliferative and metastatic potential. British Journal of Cancer 100(7):1073-1086, 2009. ( 5/2008 - 6/2009 )
  • Kalla-Singh S, Moretta D, Almaguel F, Wall NR, De Leon M, De Leon D.  Differential effect of ProIGF-II and IGF-II on Resveratrol Induced Cell Death by Regulating Survivin Cellular Localization and Mitochondrial Depolarization in Breast Cancer Cells. Growth Factors, 25(6):363-372, 2007. ( 12/2007 )
  • Dohi T, Beltrami E, Wall NR, Plescia J, Altieri DC. "Mitochondrial survivin inhibits apoptosis and promotes tumorigenesis.." Journal of Clinical Investigation 114.8 (2004): 1117-1127. ( 1/2004 )
    Evasion of apoptosis is a hallmark of cancer, but the molecular circuitries of this process are not understood. Here we show that survivin, a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis gene family that is overexpressed in cancer, exists in a novel mitochondrial pool in tumor cells. In response to cell death stimulation, mitochondrial survivin is rapidly discharged in the cytosol, where it prevents caspase activation and inhibits apoptosis. Selective targeting of survivin to mitochondria enhances colony formation in soft agar, accelerates tumor growth in immunocompromised animals, and abolishes tumor cell apoptosis in vivo. Therefore, mitochondrial survivin orchestrates a novel pathway of apoptosis inhibition, which contributes to tumor progression.
  • Sui G, Affar EB, Shi Y, Brignone C, Wall NR, Yin P, Donohoe M, Calvo D, Luke MP, Grossman SR, Shi Y. "Yin Yang 1 is a negative regulator of p53.." Cell 117.7 (2004): 859-872. ( 1/2004 )
    Yin Yang 1 (YY1) is a transcription factor that plays an essential role in development. However, the full spectrum of YY1's functions and mechanism of action remains unclear. We find that YY1 ablation results in p53 accumulation due to a reduction of p53 ubiquitination in vivo. Conversely, YY1 overexpression stimulates p53 ubiquitination and degradation. Significantly, recombinant YY1 is sufficient to induce Hdm2-mediated p53 polyubiquitination in vitro, suggesting that this function of YY1 is independent of its transcriptional activity. We identify direct physical interactions of YY1 with Hdm2 and p53 and show that the basis for YY1-regulating p53 ubiquitination is its ability to facilitate Hdm2-p53 interaction. Importantly, the tumor suppressor p14ARF compromises the Hdm2-YY1 interaction, which is important for YY1 regulation of p53. Taken together, these findings identify YY1 as a potential cofactor for Hdm2 in the regulation of p53 homeostasis and suggest a possible role for YY1 in tumorigenesis.
  • Cohen HY, Miller C, Bitterman KJ, Wall NR, Hekking B, Kessler B, Howitz KT, Gorospe M, deCabo R, Sinclair DA. "Calorie restriction promotes mammalian cell survival by inducing the SIRT1 deacetylase." Science 305.5682 (2004): 390-392. ( 1/2004 )
    A major cause of aging is thought to result from the cumulative effects of cell loss over time. In yeast, caloric restriction (CR) delays aging by activating the Sir2 deacetylase. Here we show that expression of mammalian Sir2 (SIRT1) is induced in CR rats as well as in human cells that are treated with serum from these animals. Insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) attenuated this response. SIRT1 deacetylates the DNA repair factor Ku70, causing it to sequester the proapoptotic factor Bax away from mitochondria, thereby inhibiting stress-induced apoptotic cell death. Thus, CR could extend life-span by inducing SIRT1 expression and promoting the long-term survival of irreplaceable cells.
  • Chen J, Wall NR, Kocher K, Duclos N, Shi Y, Gilliland DG. "Stable expression of small interfering RNA sensitizes TEL-PDGFR to inhibition with imatinib or rapamycin.." Journal of Clinical Investigation 113.12 (2004): 1784-1791. ( 1/2004 )
    Small molecule inhibitors, such as imatinib, are effective therapies for tyrosine kinase fusions BCR-ABL-TEL-PDGFbetaR-mediated human leukemias, but resistance may develop. The unique fusion junctions of these molecules are attractive candidates for molecularly targeted therapeutic intervention using RNA interference (RNAi), which is mediated by small interfering RNA (siRNA). We developed a retroviral system for stable expression of siRNA directed to the unique fusion junction sequence of TEL-PDGFbetaR in transformed hematopoietic cells. Stable expression of the siRNA resulted in approximately 90% inhibition of TEL-PDGFbetaR expression and its downstream effectors, including PI3K and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Expression of TEL-PDGFbetaR-specific siRNA (TPsiRNA) significantly attenuated the proliferation of TEL-PDGFbetaR-transformed Ba/F3 cells or disease latency and penetrance in mice induced by intravenous injection of these Ba/F3 cells. Although a 90% reduction in TEL-PDGFbetaR expression was insufficient to induce cell death, stable siRNA expression sensitized transformed cells to the PDGFbetaR inhibitor imatinib or to the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin. TPsiRNA also inhibited an imatinib-resistant TEL-PDGFbetaR mutant, and the inhibition was enhanced by siRNA in combination with PKC412, another PDGFbetaR inhibitor. Although siRNA delivery in vivo is a challenging problem, stable expression of siRNA, which targets oncogenic fusion genes, may potentiate the effects of conventional therapy for hematologic malignancies.
  • Wall NR, Shi Y. "Small RNA: can RNA interference be exploited for therapy?." Lancet 362.9393 (2003): 1401-1403. ( 1/2003 )
    CONTEXT: RNA interference (RNAi) is the sequence-specific gene-silencing induced by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), and gives information about gene function quickly, easily, and inexpensively. The use of RNAi for genetic-based therapies is widely studied, especially in viral infections, cancers, and inherited genetic disorders. RNAi has been used to make tissue-specific knockdown mice for studying gene function in a whole animal. Combined with genomics data, RNAi-directed gene-silencing could allow functional determination of any gene expressed in a cell or pathway. The term RNAi came from the discovery that the injection of dsRNAs into Caenorhabditis elegans interferes with the expression of specific genes containing a complementary region to the delivered dsRNA. Although stalled for a time by the non-gene-specific interferon response elicited by dsRNA molecules longer than about 30 nucleotides in mammalian cells, Tom Tuschl's group found that transfection of synthetic 21-nucleotide small-interfering RNA (siRNA) duplexes were highly selective and sequence-specific inhibitors of endogenous genes. STARTING POINT: siRNA expression has been studied with siRNA from plasmid and viral vectors that efficiently deliver siRNAs into both dividing and non-dividing cells, stem cells, zygotes, and their differentiated progeny. A collection of RNA interference vectors that suppress 50 human de-ubiquitinating enzymes allowed Thijn Brummelkamp and colleagues to study this gene family and to identify de-ubiquitinating enzymes in cancer-relevant pathways (Nature 2003; 424: 797-801). These researchers found that the familial cylindromatosis tumour suppressor gene (CYLD), previously of unknown function, could enhance the activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB, leading to increased resistance to apoptosis. They have now started to investigate the use of CYLD inhibitors in clinical trials. WHERE NEXT: The ability to efficiently and stably produce and deliver sufficient amounts of siRNA to the proper target tissues require refinement before this new technology can be tried clinically. Initial in-vivo studies reported effective transgene suppression in adult mice by chemically synthesised siRNAs. More recently many researchers have used plasmid and viral vectors for transcription of short-hairpin RNAs, both in vitro and in vivo. With these expression systems, gene expression was more stably inhibited than with the transient knockdown recorded with chemically synthesised siRNA. Human trials exploiting these latest findings are likely to soon follow.
  • Blanc-Brude OP, Mesri M, Wall NR, Plescia J, Dohi T, Altieri DC. "Therapeutic targeting of the survivin pathway in cancer: initiation of mitochondrial apoptosis and suppression of tumor-associated angiogenesis.." Clinical Cancer Research 9.7 (2003): 2683-2692. ( 1/2003 )
    PURPOSE: Molecular antagonists of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein survivin have shown promise as novel anticancer strategies for triggering tumor cell apoptosis, dysregulating mitotic progression, and inhibiting tumor growth in preclinical models. However, how survivin couples to the cell death machinery has remained elusive, and the relevant cellular targets of survivin antagonists have not been completely elucidated. Experimental Design: Human umbilical vein and dermal microvascular endothelial cells were infected with replication-deficient adenoviruses encoding survivin (pAd-Survivin), green fluorescent protein (pAd-GFP), or a phosphorylation-defective survivin Thr(34)-->Ala (pAd-T34A) dominant negative mutant. The effect of wild-type or mutant survivin was investigated on capillary network stability, endothelial cell viability, and caspase activation in vitro and on kinetics of tumor growth and development of angiogenesis in a breast cancer xenograft model in vivo. The cell death pathway initiated by survivin targeting was mapped with respect to cytochrome c release, changes in mitochondrial transmembrane potential, and apoptosome requirements using mouse embryonic fibroblasts deficient in Apaf-1 or caspase-9. RESULTS: Adenoviral transduction of endothelial cells with pAd-Survivin inhibited growth factor deprivation- or ceramide-induced apoptosis, reduced caspase-3 and -7 generation, and stabilized three-dimensional capillary networks in vitro. Conversely, expression of pAd-T34A caused apoptosis in umbilical vein and dermal microvascular endothelial cells and resulted in caspase-3 activity. Cell death induced by survivin targeting exhibited the hallmarks of mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis with release of cytochrome c and loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential and was suppressed in Apaf-1 or caspase-9 knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts. When injected in human breast cancer xenografts, pAd-T34A inhibited growth of established tumors and triggered tumor cell apoptosis in vivo. This was associated with a approximately 60% reduction in tumor-derived blood vessels by quantitative morphometry of CD31-stained tumor areas, and appearance of endothelial cell apoptosis by internucleosomal DNA fragmentation in vivo. CONCLUSIONS: Survivin functions as a novel upstream regulator of mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis, and molecular targeting of this pathway results in anticancer activity via a dual mechanism of induction of tumor cell apoptosis and suppression of angiogenesis.
  • Wall NR, O'Connor DS, Plescia J, Pommier Y, Altieri DC. "Suppression of survivin phosphorylation on Thr34 by flavopiridol enhances tumor cell apoptosis.." Cancer Research 63.1 (2003): 230-235. ( 1/2003 )
    Survivin is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis gene family that is expressed in most human cancers and may facilitate evasion from apoptosis and aberrant mitotic progression. Here, exposure of breast carcinoma MCF-7 or cervical carcinoma HeLa cells to anticancer agents, including Adriamycin, Taxol, or UVB resulted in a 4-5-fold increased survivin expression. Changes in survivin levels after anticancer treatment did not involve modulation of survivin mRNA expression and were independent of de novo gene transcription. Conversely, inhibition of survivin phosphorylation on Thr(34) by the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor flavopiridol resulted in loss of survivin expression, and nonphosphorylatable survivin Thr(34)-->Ala exhibited accelerated clearance as compared with wild-type survivin. Sequential ablation of survivin phosphorylation on Thr(34) enhanced tumor cell apoptosis induced by anticancer agents independently of p53 and suppressed tumor growth without toxicity in a breast cancer xenograft model in vivo. These data suggest that Thr(34) phosphorylation critically regulates survivin levels in tumor cells and that sequential ablation of p34(cdc2) kinase activity may remove the survivin viability checkpoint and enhance apoptosis in tumor cells.
  • O'Connor DS, Wall NR, Plescia J, Porter ACG, Altieri DC. "A p34cdc2 survival checkpoint in cancer.." Cancer Cell 2.1 (2002): 43-54. ( 1/2002 )
    A checkpoint surveying the entry into mitosis responds to defects in spindle microtubule assembly/stability. This has been used to trigger apoptosis in cancer cells, but how the spindle checkpoint couples to the cell survival machinery has remained elusive. Here, we report that microtubule stabilization engenders a survival pathway that depends on elevated activity of p34(cdc2) kinase and increased expression of the apoptosis inhibitor and mitotic regulator, survivin. Pharmacologic, genetic, or molecular ablation of p34(cdc2) kinase after microtubule stabilization resulted in massive apoptosis independent of p53, suppression of tumor growth, and indefinite survival without toxicity in mice. By ablating this survival checkpoint, inhibitors of p34(cdc2) kinase could safely improve the efficacy of microtubule-stabilizing agents used to treat common cancers.
  • Zhang Y, Mohammad R, Rishi AK, Farhana L, Dawson MI, Feng K, Leid M, Peterson V, Zhang X, Edelstein M, Eilander D, Biggar S, Wall N, Reichert U, Fontana JA. "Induction of apoptosis of human B-CLL and ALL cells by a novel retinoid and its non-retinoidal analog. ." Blood 100.8 (2002): 2917-2925. ( 1/2002 )
    We have recently described a novel retinoid 6-[3-(1-adamantyl)-4-hydroxyphenyl]-2-naphthalenecarboxylic acid (CD437/AHPN) that induces apoptosis in a number of malignant cell types. We now describe our studies examining the effects of CD437 and a nonretinoidal analog (MM002) on the in vitro proliferation of the ALL-REH cell line, the in vitro and in vivo growth of a novel Epstein-Barr virus-negative (EBV(-)) B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) cell line (WSU-CLL), and primary cultures of human B-CLL and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells. CD437 and MM002 induce apoptosis in both cell lines, as indicated by the activation of caspase-2 and caspase-3, cleavage of poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) (poly(ADP-ribose)) polymerase, increase in annexin V binding, and subsequent nuclear fragmentation. CD437-mediated apoptosis was not associated with the modulation of Bcl-2, Bax, or Mcl-1 levels, but was associated with the cleavage of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-X(L) to a proapoptotic 18-kD form. This cleavage of Bcl-X(L) was dependent on caspase-3 activation since Bcl-X(L) cleavage and apoptosis were inhibited by the caspase-3 inhibitor Z-DVED-fmk. CD437 markedly inhibited the growth of WSU-CLL cells in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Tumor growth inhibition, growth delay, and log cell kill were 85.7%, 21 days, and 2.1, respectively, in the treated mice. Moreover, 1 of the 5 treated mice was tumor-free longer than 150 days and thus was considered cured. Exposure of primary cultures of both B-CLL and ALL cells obtained from patients to CD437 and MM002 resulted in their apoptosis. These results suggest that CD437 and MM002 analogs may have a potential role in the treatment of B-CLL and ALL.
  • Griffith TS, Fialkov JM, Scott DL, Azuhata T, Williams RD, Wall NR, Altieri DC, Sandler AD. "Induction and regulation of Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand/Apo-2 ligand-mediated apoptosis in renal cell carcinoma. ." Cancer Research 62.11 (2002): 3093-3099. ( 1/2002 )
    The lack of effective therapy for disseminated renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has stimulated the search for novel treatments including immunotherapeutic strategies. However, poor therapeutic responses and marked toxicity associated with immunological agents has limited their use. The tumor necrosis factor family member tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)/Apo-2 ligand induces apoptosis in a variety of tumor cell types, while having little cytotoxic activity against normal cells. In this study the activation and regulation of TRAIL-induced apoptosis and TRAIL receptor expression in human RCC cell lines and pathologic specimens was examined. TRAIL induced caspase-mediated apoptotic death of RCC cells with variable sensitivities among the cell lines tested. Compared with TRAIL-sensitive RCC cell lines (A-498, ACHN, and 769-P), the TRAIL-resistant RCC cell line (786-O) expressed lesser amounts of the death-inducing TRAIL receptors, and greater amounts of survivin, an inhibitor of apoptosis. Incubation of 786-O with actinomycin D increased the expression of the death-inducing TRAIL receptors and, concomitantly, decreased the intracellular levels of survivin, resulting in TRAIL-induced apoptotic death. The link between survivin and TRAIL regulation was confirmed when an increase in TRAIL resistance was observed after overexpression of survivin in the TRAIL-sensitive, survivin-negative RCC line A-498. These findings, along with our observation that TRAIL receptors are expressed in RCC tumor tissue, suggest that TRAIL may be useful as a therapeutic agent for RCC and that survivin may partially regulate TRAIL-induced cell death.
  • Giodini A, Kallio MJ, Wall NR, Gorbsky GJ, Tognin S, Marchisio PC, Symons M, Altieri DC. "Regulation of microtubule stability and mitotic timing by survivin. ." Cancer Research 62.9393 (2002): 2462-2467. ( 1/2002 )
    Survivin is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) gene family, which has been implicated in both preservation of cell viability and regulation of mitosis in cancer cells. Here, we show that HeLa cells microinjected with a polyclonal antibody to survivin exhibited delayed progression in prometaphase (31.5 +/- 6.9 min) and metaphase (126.8 +/- 73.8 min), as compared with control injected cells (prometaphase, 21.5 +/- 3.3 min; metaphase, 18.9 +/- 4.5 min; P < 0.01). Cells injected with the antibody to survivin displayed short mitotic spindles severely depleted of microtubules and occasionally underwent apoptosis without exiting the mitotic block or thereafter. Forced expression of survivin in HeLa cells profoundly influenced microtubule dynamics with reduction of pole-to-pole distance at metaphase (8.57 +/- 0.21 microm versus 10.58 +/- 0.19 microm; P < 0.0001) and stabilization of microtubules against nocodazole-induced depolymerization in vivo. These data demonstrate that survivin functions at cell division to control microtubule stability and assembly of a normal mitotic spindle. This pathway may facilitate checkpoint evasion and promote resistance to chemotherapy in cancer.
  • Fortugno P, Wall NR, Giodini A, O?Connor DS, Plescia J, Padgett KM, Tognin S, Marchisio PC, Altieri DC. "Survivin exists in immunochemically distinct subcellular pools and is involved in spindle microtubule function.." Journal of Cell Science 115.3 (2002): 575-585. ( 1/2002 )
    Survivin is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis gene family that has been implicated in both apoptosis inhibition and regulation of mitosis. However, the subcellular distribution of survivin has been controversial and variously described as a microtubule-associated protein or chromosomal passenger protein. Here, we show that antibodies directed to the survivin sequence Ala(3)-Ile(19) exclusively recognized a nuclear pool of survivin that segregated with nucleoplasmic proteins, but not with outer nuclear matrix or nuclear matrix proteins. By immunofluorescence, nuclear survivin localized to kinetochores of metaphase chromosomes, and to the central spindle midzone at anaphase. However, antibodies to Cys(57)-Trp(67) identified a cytosolic pool of survivin, which associated with interphase microtubules, centrosomes, spindle poles and mitotic spindle microtubules at metaphase and anaphase. Polyclonal antibodies recognizing survivin epitopes Ala(3)-Ile(19), Met(38)-Thr(48), Pro(47)-Phe(58) and Cys(57)-Trp(67) identified both survivin pools within the same mitotic cell. A ratio of approximately 1:6 for nuclear versus cytosolic survivin was obtained by quantitative subcellular fractionation. In synchronized cultures, cytosolic survivin abruptly increased at mitosis, physically associated with p34(cdc2), and was phosphorylated by p34(cdc2) on Thr(34), in vivo. By contrast, nuclear survivin began to accumulate in S phase, was not complexed with p34(cdc2) and was not phosphorylated on Thr(34). Intracellular loading of a polyclonal antibody to survivin caused microtubule defects and resulted in formation of multipolar mitotic spindles, but did not interfere with cytokinesis. These data demonstrate that although both reported localizations of survivin exist in mitotic cells, the preponderant survivin pool is associated with microtubules and participates in the assembly of a bipolar mitotic spindle.
  • Wall NR, Beck FWJ, Al-Katib AM, Mohammad RM. "Treatment-induced expression of anti-apoptotic proteins in WSU-CLL, a human chronic lymphocytic leukemia cell line. ." Journal of Drug Targeting 9.5682 (2001): 329-339. ( 1/2001 )
    Bryostatin 1 (bryo 1) has been shown to potentiate the anti-tumor activity of 2-chloro-2-deoxyadenosine (2-CdA) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and in the WSU-CLL cell line. However, like resistant CLL, WSU-CLL cells lose their sensitivity to bryo 1/2-CdA treatment. We report that 2-CdA-induced IAP expression may be a possible mechanism whereby resistance to apoptosis is acquired in these cells. In WSU-CLL cells, three members of the Inhibitors of Apoptosis (IAP) family were identified. Bryo 1 treatment of WSU-CLL cells leads to initiation of the apoptotic cascade and induced a marginal increase in XIAP protein expression. In contrast, 2-CdA treatment, alone or in combination with bryo 1, induced a substantial increase in survivin and XIAP proteins and phosphorylation of BAD. Bryo 1 alone induced caspase-7 and -9 dependent [poly ADP-ribose] polymerase (PARP) cleavage, while sequential treatment with bryo 1 (72 h) followed by 2-CdA (24 h) induced caspase-3,-7, and -9 dependent PARP cleavage and increased apoptosis. Although exposure to bryo 1 initiated apoptotic events, apoptosis was first enhanced by 2-CdA, and then reversed in a time-dependent manner by 2-CdA-induced expression of survival proteins. Taken together, resistance to bryo 1/2-CdA treatment may be the result of 2-CdA-induced IAP inhibition of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway caspases.
  • Wall NR, Mohammad RM, Al-Katib AM. "Mitogen-activated protein kinase is required for bryostatin 1-induced differentiation of the human acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line reh.." Cell Growth & Differentiation 12.12 (2001): 641-647. ( 1/2001 )
    Bryostatin 1 (bryo 1) is known to induce the differentiation and cell cycle arrest of human lymphoid leukemia cells in vitro. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), originally identified as a participant in mitogenic signaling, has recently been implicated in the signaling of cellular differentiation. To examine the role of the ERK/mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway in B-lymphoid cell differentiation of the Reh Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia cell line, the effects of bryo 1 on ERK activation were determined. On bryo 1 treatment, the activity of ERK2 (p42) rapidly increased, with ERK1 (p44) protein levels remaining constant. p44/42 immunoprecipitates from lysates of bryo 1-treated cells had increased their ability to phosphorylate the transcription factor Elk-1. Constitutive AP-1 activity was shown to be potentiated after bryo 1 treatment using electrophoretic mobility shift assays. The protein composition of the AP-1 transcription factor complex activated by bryo 1 was analyzed using supershift analysis with specific antibodies against c-Fos, Fos B, c-Jun, Jun B, and Jun D proteins. Supershift analysis revealed that the bryo 1-induced AP-1 complex was composed predominantly of Fos B and Jun D. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of inhibiting MAP/ERK kinase (MEK) on both DNA binding and cellular differentiation. Treatment of Reh cells with 20 microM PD98059, a specific inhibitor of MEK, inhibited bryo 1-induced ERK activity and DNA binding. Furthermore, PD98059 blocked the bryo 1-induced differentiation of Reh cells, as assessed by a number of features associated with lymphoid differentiation, including changes in morphology, cell growth arrest, attachment, and increased expression of the leukocyte integrin CD11c. Moreover, transient transfection of Reh cells with antisense MAP kinase oligonucleotides blocked bryo 1-induced expression of CD11c. Our analysis also shows that CD11c's gene promoter activity is augmented by bryo 1. Therefore, we conclude that activation of the MEK/ERK signaling pathway is necessary for bryo 1-induced differentiation of the pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia cell line Reh.
  • Mesri M, Wall NR, Li J, Kim RW, Altieri DC. "Cancer gene therapy using a survivin mutant adenovirus.." Journal of Clinical Investigation 108.7 (2001): 981-990. ( 1/2001 )
    We have constructed a replication-deficient adenovirus encoding a nonphosphorylatable Thr(34)-->Ala mutant of the apoptosis inhibitor survivin (pAd-T34A) to target tumor cell viability in vitro and in vivo. Infection with pAd-T34A caused spontaneous apoptosis in cell lines of breast, cervical, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer. In contrast, pAd-T34A did not affect cell viability of proliferating normal human cells, including fibroblasts, endothelium, or smooth muscle cells. Infection of tumor cells with pAd-T34A resulted in cytochrome c release from mitochondria, cleavage of approximately 46-kDa upstream caspase-9, processing of caspase-3 to the active subunits of approximately 17 and 19 kDa, and increased caspase-3 catalytic activity. When compared with chemotherapeutic regimens, pAd-T34A was as effective as taxol and considerably more effective than adriamycin in induction of tumor cell apoptosis and enhanced taxol-induced cell death. In three xenograft breast cancer models in immunodeficient mice, pAd-T34A suppressed de novo tumor formation, inhibited by approximately 40% the growth of established tumors, and reduced intraperitoneal tumor dissemination. Tumors injected with pAd-T34A exhibited loss of proliferating cells and massive apoptosis by in situ internucleosomal DNA fragmentation. These data suggest that adenoviral targeting of the survivin pathway may provide a novel approach for selective cancer gene therapy.
  • Nabha SM, Mohammad RM, Wall NR, Dutcher JA, Sulkini BM, Pettit GR, Al-Katib AM. "Evaluation of combretastatin a-4 prodrug in non-Hodgkin?s lymphoma xenograft model: preclinical efficacy.." Anticancer Drugs 12.1 (2001): 575-63. ( 1/2001 )
    Combretastatin A-4 prodrug (CA4P) is a new antitubulin agent currently in phase I/II clinical trials against solid tumors. We have previously reported on the in vitro activity of CA4P against a panel of malignant human B-lymphoid cell lines. In this study, we investigated the antitumor and the antiangiogenic activity of CA4P in our diffuse large cell lymphoma WSU-DLCL2-SCID mouse model. WSU-DLCL2 cells (10(7)) were injected s.c. into 5-week-old female ICR-SCID mice. Tumor-bearing mice were treated at the CA4P maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of 800 mg/kg in different dose/schedules. CA4P showed significant antitumor activity against this lymphoma model. Best results were seen when MTD was given in two and four divided doses (400 and 200 mg/kg, respectively). CA4P given in four divided doses (4 x 200 mg/kg) showed a log10 kill of 1.01, T/C of 11.7% and T-C of 12 days. Immunohistochemical staining using anti-CD31 antibody after 6, 24, 48 and 120 h treatment revealed a significant decrease in the number of tumor blood vessels after 24 h (about 80%). Only the periphery of treated tumors revealed the presence of blood vessels. Morphological examination of the tumors after tetrachrome staining showed a necrotic center in tumors of CA4P-treated animals. New blood vessel formation was noted to emerge in tumor tissues as early as 48 h following a single dose of CA4P. The G2/M arrest observed in vitro was not detected in vivo indicating predominance of the antiangiogenic effects with regard to antitumor efficacy in vivo. We conclude that CA4P has antiangiogenic activity in this lymphoma model and the use of this agent should be explored clinically in the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
  • Mohammad RM, Wall NR, Dutcher J, Al-Katib A. "The addition of bryostatin 1 to CHOP chemotherapy improves response in a CHOP-resistant human diffuse large cell lymphoma xenograft model.." Clinical Cancer Research 6.12 (2000): 4950-4956. ( 1/2000 )
    The incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has been increasing at a rate of 4% per year since 1950; more than 62,000 cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2000. Diffuse large cell lymphoma (DLCL) is the prototype of curable non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Empirically designed chemotherapy regimens did not increase the cure rate of 30-40% achieved by the original four-drug regimen introduced in the 1970s [cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP)]. We studied the antitumor effects of the CHOP regimen alone or in combination with a unique protein kinase C activator, bryostatin 1, on a xenograft model for resistant DLCL in mice with severe combined immune deficiency (WSU-DLCL2-SCID). In this model, the efficacy of bryostatin 1 given at 75 microg/kg, i.p., alone for 1 or 2 days [B(1x) and B(2x)]was compared with the efficacy of CHOP alone, bryostatin 1 + CHOP (B+CHOP) given concurrently, bryostatin 1 for 1 day followed by CHOP on day 2 [B(1x)-CHOP], and bryostatin 1 for 2 days followed by CHOP on day 3 [B(2x)-CHOP]. CHOP doses were as follows: (a) cyclophosphamide, 40 mg/kg, i.v.; (b) doxorubicin, 3.3 mg/kg, i.v.; (c) vincristine, 0.5 mg/kg, i.v.; and (d) prednisone, 0.2 mg/kg, every day for 5 days, p.o. Tumor growth inhibition (T/C), tumor growth delay (T-C), and log10 kill for B(1x), B(2x), CHOP, B+CHOP, B(1x)-CHOP and B(2x)-CHOP were 49%, 39%, 25.8%, 15.1%, 14.6%, and 12%; 6, 7, 16, 25, 12, and 15 days; and 0.6, 0.5, 2.2, 3.6, 1.7, and 2.0, respectively. To begin elucidating the mechanism whereby bryostatin 1 potentiated the effects of CHOP in the mouse model; we studied the effect of bryostatin 1 on Bax, Bcl-2, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase proteins in vitro and in vivo. Bax protein increased in a time-dependent manner without any measurable change in Bcl-2 expression. However, significant cleavage of the preapoptotic marker poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase was not recorded, and the percentage of apoptotic cells detected by flow cytometry increased only slightly (approximately 8%) after 96 h of bryostatin 1 exposure. The in vitro and in vivo results emphasize the superiority of combining bryostatin 1 with the CHOP regimen against the WSU-DLCL2 model. One possible mechanism may be the modulatory effects of bryostatin 1 on the Bax:Bcl-2 family of apoptosis-regulatory proteins. The use of this combination should be further explored clinically in the treatment of lymphoma.
  • Nabha SM, Wall NR, Mohammad RM, Pettit GR, Al-Katib AM. "Effects of Combretastatin A-4 prodrug against a panel of malignant human B-lymphoid cell lines. ." Anticancer Drugs 11.5 (2000): 385-392. ( 1/2000 )
    Combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) is one of a family of compounds isolated from the South African willow tree Combretum caffrum. CA-4 was found to be active against murine melanoma and a variety of other human solid tumors. For the first time, we report the effect of CA-4 against a panel of malignant human B-lymphoid cell lines [early pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Reh), diffuse large cell lymphoma (WSU-DLCL2), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (WSU-CLL) and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WSU-WM)]. Our results indicate, using the prodrug form of CA-4, a concentration-dependent growth inhibition in all tested cell lines, although WSU-DLCL2 was more sensitive. Exposure to 4 nM CA-4 for 96 h induced 77% growth inhibition in Reh, 86% in WSU-CLL and 92% in WSU-WM. When used against the WSU-DLCL2 cell line, this same concentration of CA-4 was completely toxic. Morphological examination showed CA-4 induced the formation of giant, multinucleated cells, a phenomenon commonly found in mitotic catastrophe. Only minimal numbers of cells showing characteristics of apoptosis were detected. In WSU-DLCL2 cells, CA-4 (3 nM) induced the highest apoptosis (5%) after 48 h, while the percentage of dead cells was approximately 47%. Exposure of Reh, WSU-CLL, WSU-WM and WSU-DLCL2 cells for 24 h to 5 nM CA-4 induced 19, 28, 57 and 75% G2/M arrest, as determined by flow cytometry, respectively. Based on these preliminary studies, we believe that mitotic catastrophe is the predominant mechanism by which CA-4 induces cell death rather than apoptosis. Further studies to elucidate the mechanisms of CA-4 activity in vitro and in vivo are currently under investigation in our laboratory.
  • Varterasian ML, Mohammad RM, Shurafa MS, Hulburd K, Pemberton PA, Rodriquez DH, Eilender DS, Murgo A, Wall N, Al-Katib AM. "Phase II trial of bryostatin 1 in patients with relapsed low grade non-Hodgkin?s lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. ." Clinical Cancer Research 6.3 (2000): 825-828. ( 1/2000 )
    Bryostatin 1 is a natural product isolated from the marine bryozoan Bugula neritina in 1982 and is currently undergoing evaluation in a number of malignancies. Twenty-five patients with relapsed, low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or chronic lyphocytic leukemia (CLL) received bryostatin 1 by 72-h continuous infusion every 2 weeks at a dose of 120 microg/m2 per course. Patients who progressed while receiving bryostatin 1 alone could participate in a feasibility study by receiving vincristine administered by bolus i.v. injection immediately after the completion of the bryostatin 1 infusion. The dose of vincristine was escalated in groups of three patients as follows: level 1, 0.5 mg/m2; level 2, 1.0 mg/m2; and level 3, 1.4 mg/m2 with vincristine doses capped at 2.0 mg for all patients. Bryostatin 1 alone resulted in one complete remission and two partial remissions. Nine patients received sequential treatment with bryostatin 1 and vincristine. The addition of vincristine at a dose of 2 mg was feasible and caused the expected dose-related sensory neuropathy. Phenotypic analysis by flow cytometric analysis on pre- and post-bryostatin 1-treated peripheral blood lymphocytes revealed up-regulation in the coexpression of CD11c/ CD22 on CD20+ B cells in two of four CLL patients studied, which is consistent with in vitro findings of differentiation of CLL cells to a hairy cell phenotype.
  • Beck FWJ, Al-Katib AM, Ahmad I, Wall NR, Liu KZ, Mantsch HH, Mohammad RM. "Bryostatin 1-induced modulation of nucleoside transporters and 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine influx in WSU-CLL cells.." International Journal of Molecular Medicine 5.4 (2000): 341-347. ( 1/2000 )
    WSU-CLL cells, a fludarabine resistant B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia cell line, has been shown to exhibit enhanced sensitivity to 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine (2-CdA) following 48-72 h exposure to bryostatin 1. For 2-CdA to manifest its chemotherapeutic activity, it must first enter the cell through one of several specific nucleoside transporter systems. We present data to show that bryostatin 1-induced enhanced influx of 2-CdA is in part the result of bryostatin 1-induced modulation of nucleoside transporters in WSU-CLL cells. The bi-directional equilibrative NBMPR sensitive transporters in WSU-CLL cells were significantly down-regulated 90 min post-exposure to 1-200 nM bryostatin 1. This down-regulation was evident up to 144 h. In contrast, WSU-CLL cells exhibited a transient increase in Na+-dependent concentrative 2-CdA influx from 48 to 96 h after bryostatin 1 exposure which was evident for a longer duration than that accounted for by the increase in deocycytidine kinase activity. These data may, in part, explain the enhanced efficacy of 2-CdA seen in WSU-CLL cells following 48-72 h exposure to bryostatin 1. It may raise questions as to the importance of the bi-directional transporters in determining the resistance or sensitivity of CLL cells to 2-CdA or other nucleoside analogues.
  • Wall NR, Mohammad RM, Reddy KR, Al-Katib AM. "Bryostatin 1 induces the ubiquitination and proteasome degradation of Bcl-2 in the human early pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line, reh.." International Journal of Molecular Medicine 5.2 (2000): 165-171. ( 1/2000 )
    The ubiquitin-mediated proteolytic system has been implicated in the turnover of a number of intracellular proteins. In the present study, we investigated the novelty and potential role of bryostatin 1, a macrocyclic lactone isolated from the marine bryozoan, Bugula neritina, in inducing the ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis of the oncoprotein Bcl-2. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting analyses revealed that Bcl-2 is ubiquitinated following exposure of the acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cell line Reh to 1 nM bryostatin 1. Bcl-2 protein rapidly decreases to 50% of that recorded in the control after 24 h of bryostatin 1 treatment. In the subsequent 24 h, Bcl-2 protein again rapidly decreases to 6% of its pre-bryostatin 1 level at which time a plateau is reached and maintained for another 72 h. Furthermore, ubiquitin-Bcl-2 conjugates are detected in untreated as well as bryostatin 1 treated cells, indicating that ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis plays a role in the normal turnover of Bcl-2. However, ubiquitin-Bcl-2 conjugates increase in a time-dependent manner following bryostatin 1 treatment. Lactacystin, which inhibits the proteinase activities of the proteasome, inhibited the bryostatin 1-induced decrease of Bcl-2 protein. The effect of bryostatin 1 on the proteolytic efficiency of the 26S proteasome in Reh cell extracts was also investigated and shown to increase following 1 h of bryostatin 1 treatment. Proteolytic activity reached its highest point by 3 h, and subsequently returned to control levels by 12 h, post-bryostatin 1 treatment. In addition, bryostatin 1 treatment of the Reh cell line decreased expression of bcl-2 mRNA within 3 h. However, bcl-2 mRNA expression returned after 24 h. We speculate that this decrease in mRNA together with increased 26S proteolytic activity accounts for the initial rapid decrease recorded in Bcl-2 protein. These findings indicate that bryostatin 1 treatment of Reh ALL cells decreases Bcl-2 expression through two processes: a) enhanced Bcl-2 protein degradation through the activation of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and b) decreased bcl-2 mRNA expression.
  • Wall NR, Mohammad RM, Nabha SM, Pettit GR, Al-Katib AM. "Modulation of cIAP-1 by novel antitubulin agents when combined with bryostatin 1 result in increased apoptosis in the human early pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line, reh. ." Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 266.1 (1999): 76-80. ( 1/1999 )
    Previous studies have shown that bryostatin 1 induces a decrease in the expression of the antiapoptotic protooncogene Bcl-2 in the human acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cell line Reh. This down-regulation has been shown to reduce drug resistance of the Reh cells to anti-tubulin polymerization agents. In the present study we investigated the effect of bryostatin 1 alone and in combination with novel anti-tubulin agents (dolastatin 10 and auristatin PE) and the chemotherapeutic vincristine on the inhibitor of apoptosis protein cIAP-1. Cells were cultured with bryostatin 1 (1 nM), dolastatin 10 (0.1 ng/ml), auristatin PE (0.1 ng/ml), or vincristine (0.5 ng/ml) alone or the combination of these anti-tubulins with bryostatin 1. Western blots were conducted to assess the effects of the above agents on cIAP-1 protein level. Flow-cytometric analysis [7-amino-actinomycin D (7AAD)] was conducted to assess apoptosis as well as staining for morphology using tetrachrome stain. Our results show that cIAP-1 is induced in a time-dependent fashion after bryostatin 1 exposure up to 72 h. However, upon treatment of cells with a combination of bryostatin 1 and dolastatin 10 or auristatin PE, the induction of cIAP-1 was abolished, leading to a significant increase in apoptosis. The initial 24- and 48-h reduction in cIAP-1 protein level recorded in the bryostatin 1 and vincristine combination recovered to control levels by 72 h. We believe that this phenomenon is responsible for the reduced apoptosis recorded in this combination. Results of this study should prove useful in guiding the clinical application of these novel agents in the treatment of ALL.
  • Wall NR, Mohammad RM, Al-Katib AM. "Bax:Bcl-2 ratio modulation by bryostatin 1 and novel antitubulin agents is important for the susceptibility to drug-induced apoptosis in the human early pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line, reh. ." Leukemia Research 23.10 (1999): 881-888. ( 1/1999 )
    The ratio of Bax to Bcl-2 protein can determine whether cells will die via apoptosis or be protected from it. Reh was found to express a high basal level of Bcl-2 but was lacking of Bax protein expression. Treatment with bryostatin 1 induced a down-regulation in Bcl-2 protein that was not accompanied by an obvious Bax protein induction or apoptosis. These results suggest that a decreased level of Bcl-2 alone in this cell line is not sufficient for apoptosis induction. In an effort to identify the mechanism whereby apoptosis could be induced in this ALL model, we treated Reh cells with three microtubule inhibitors: dolastatin 10, auristatin PE and vincristine, in the presence and absence of bryostatin 1. When used alone, only dolastatin 10 induced apoptosis that was detected morphologically, and by flow cytometry. Western blots revealed that dolastatin 10-induced apoptosis was accompanied by the induction of Bax protein and the reduction in Bcl-2 protein. Auristatin PE and vincristine induced both Bax and Bcl-2 protein, leaving the Bax:Bcl-2 ratio constant. Reh cells pretreated for 24 h with bryostatin 1 followed by dolastatin 10, auristatin PE or vincristine showed significant apoptosis which was accompanied by Bcl-2 protein down regulation and Bax protein up regulation. We conclude that: (1) expression of bax is necessary for apoptosis-induction in this model; (2) a decrease in Bcl-2 level alone is not sufficient and might not be necessary for apoptosis-induction; and (3) the ratio of Bax:Bcl-2 plays a critical role in susceptibility to apoptosis in Reh cells. The results from this study should prove useful in guiding the clinical application of these novel agents in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
  • Mohammad RM, Limvarapuss C, Wall NR, Hamdy N, Beck FWJ, Pettit GR, Al-Katib A. "A new tubulin polymerization inhibitor, auristatin PE, induces tumor regression in a human Waldenstrom?s macroglobulinemia xenograft model.." International Journal of Oncology 15.2 (1999): 367-372. ( 1/1999 )
    Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM) is an uncommon lymphoproliferative disease which remains incurable with current treatment protocols. We have previously established a permanent WM cell line, WSU-WM, which grows as a xenograft in severe combined immune deficient (SCID) mice. In this study, we investigated the anti-tumor effects of auristatin PE (a structural modification of the marine, shell-less mollusk peptide constituent dolastatin 10). WSU-WM cells were cultured in RPMI-1640 at a concentration of 2x10(5) cells/ml using 24-well plates. Auristatin PE or dolastatin 10 were added to triplicate wells and cell count and viability were assessed after 24, 48 and 72 h. Results showed that both agents were active against WSU-WM, and were able to induce complete growth inhibition at 100 pg/ml. The efficacy of these agents in vivo was evaluated using the WSU-WM SCID mouse xenograft model. Auristatin PE and dolastatin 10 were given i.v. via tail vein at 2.0 mg/kg and 0.2 mg/kg, respectively. The agents were given every second day for three injections which represent the maximum tolerated doses. Tumor growth inhibition (T/C), tumor growth delay (T-C), and log10 kill for auristatin PE and dolastatin 10 were 0%, 18 days, 2.83 and 67%, 2 days, 0.06, respectively. Based on these animal results, dolastatin 10 was inactive while auristatin PE was highly active. We therefore focused further investigation on auristatin PE to understand some of its mechanisms of action. Using two flow cytometry assays, propidium iodide for cell cycle analysis and 7-amino actinomycin D (7AAD) to detect apoptosis, we were able to demonstrate that auristatin PE at 10 pg/ml after 24 h arrested 50% of WSU-MW cells in G2M. Concomitantly, 31% of auristatin PE-treated cells entered apoptosis. By 72 h, greater than 75% of the cells became apoptotic. The activity of auristatin PE should be evaluated in other tumor types and in clinical trials.
  • Mohammad RM, Limvarapuss C, Hamdy N, Dutcher BS, Beck FWJ, Choudhuri R, Wall NR, Al-Katib AM. "Treatment of De Novo fludarabine resistant-CLL xenograft model with bryostatin 1 followed by fludarabine.." International Journal of Oncology 14.5 (1999): 945-950. ( 1/1999 )
    WSU-CLL is a de novo fludarabine resistant cell line established from a patient with advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) refractory to chemotherapy including fludarabine (Flud). Our previous studies indicate that bryostatin 1 (Bryo 1) induces differentiation of WSU-CLL and increases the ratio of dCK/5'-NT activity and Bax/Bcl-2. This study tests the hypothesis that Bryo 1-differentiated cells are more susceptible to Flud than the parent WSU-CLL cells. Flud, given sequentially after Bryo 1, in vitro and in vivo animal studies resulted in significantly higher rates of growth inhibition and improved animal survival. Flud at 100 to 600 nM exhibited a dose-dependent growth inhibitory effect on the WSU-CLL cell line. The sequential exposure to Bryo 1 (10 nM for 72 h) followed by Flud (100 nM) resulted in significantly higher rates of growth inhibition than either the reverse addition of these two agents or each agent alone, but was not significantly different than the concurrent addition of Bryo 1 + Flud. Using 7-amino-actinomycin D staining and flow cytometry, apoptosis was seen in 40.8% of cells treated with Bryo 1 (10 nM, 72 h) followed by Flud, compared with Flud (100 nM, 72 h) followed by Bryo 1 (18.1%). To demonstrate that Bryo 1 enhancement of Flud efficacy was not restricted to in vitro culture, we used the WSU-CLL xenograft model in mice with severe combined immune deficiency (SCID). Bryo 1 + Flud at the maximum tolerated doses (75 microg/kg i.p. and 200 mg/kg i.v., respectively) were administered to mice in different combinations. The survival in days, the tumor growth inhibition ratio (T/C), the tumor growth delay (T-C) in days, log10 kill, as well as mean tumor weight (mtw) of mice treated with Bryo 1 followed by Flud, were significantly better than control and other groups. T/C%, T-C, log10 kill and mtw were as follows: Bryo 1 (36.8%, 10 days, 0.8, 375 mg); Flud (100%, 0. 0 day, 0.0, 1130 mg); Bryo 1 + Flud (14.3%, 12 days, 0.95, 288 mg); Bryo 1 followed by Flud (4.6%, 17 days, 1.35, 35 mg); Flud followed by Bryo (40.3%, 10 days, 0.80, 175 mg). We conclude that: i) Bryo 1 sensitizes WSU-CLL cells to Flud and enhances apoptosis; ii) the sequential treatment with Bryo 1 followed by Flud resulted in higher anti-tumor activity compared with either agent alone, in combination, or the reverse addition of these agents and iii) these results are comparable to those of Bryo 1 followed by 2-CdA suggesting common pathway(s) of interaction between Bryo 1 and purine analogues.
  • Mohammad RM, Beck FWJ, Katato K, Hamdy N, Wall N, Al-Katib A. "Potentiation of 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine activity by bryostatin 1 in resistant B-CLL cell line: association with increased ratios of dCK/5?-NT and Bax/Bcl-2.." Biological Chemistry 379.10 (1998): 1253-1261. ( 1/1998 )
    The activities of 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine (2-CdA) metabolizing enzymes, deoxycytidine kinase (dCK) and cytosolic 5'-nucleotidase (5'-NT) were measured in control and bryostatin 1 treated CLL cells using an EBV-negative WSU-CLL cell line. This cell line was established from a patient with CLL resistant to fludarabine. The results revealed a significant increase in dCK activity in bryostatin 1 treated cells at 48 and 72 h compared with the control. 5'-NT activity decreased significantly at 48 h. The ratio of dCK to 5'-NT activity was significantly increased in bryostatin 1 treated WSU-CLL cells after 48 h. WSU-CLL cells treated with bryostatin 1 exhibited an increase in the percentage of apoptotic and dead cells from control levels of 16% to 40%. This percentage was further increased to 67% following the addition of 11.2 microM 2-CdA to WSU-CLL cells pretreated with bryostatin 1. Results from Western blot analysis indicate that WSU-CLL cells express high levels of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and c-myc, and a low level of Bax. p53 in untreated WSU-CLL cells is undetectable. WSU-CLL cells treated with bryostatin 1 showed a significant increase in the ratio of Bax to Bcl-2. To demonstrate that the bryostatin 1 mediated enhancement of 2-CdA efficacy was not restricted to in vitro cell culture, we have studied the tumor growth delay of WSU-CLL xenografts treated with placebo, bryostatin 1, 2-CdA, and bryostatin 1 followed by 2-CdA. SCID mice given bryostatin 1 at 75 microg x kg(-1) x d(-1) for 5 days followed by 30 mg x kg(-1) x d(-1) 2-CdA for 5 days in two cycles, had significantly improved tumor growth delay (P = 0.05). We conclude that bryostatin 1 is not only capable of inducing apoptosis by itself, but also sensitizes de novo resistant WSU-CLL cells to the chemo-therapeutic effects of 2-CdA. The bryostatin 1-induced increased ratio of dCK/5'-NT activity and an increased ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 are at least two mechanisms through which this natural compound is able to potentiate the anti-tumor activity of 2-CdA in otherwise resistant CLL cells.
  • Lian F, Bhuiyan M, Li Y, Wall N, Kraut M, Sarkar FH. "Genistein-induced G2-M arrest, p21waf1 upregulation, and apoptosis in a non-small-cell lung cancer cell line. ." Nutrition and Cancer 31.3 (1998): 184-191. ( 1/1998 )
    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the world, with increasing incidence in many developed countries. Epidemiological data suggest that consumption of soy products (the isoflavone genistein) may be associated with a decreased risk of breast and prostate cancer; however, such studies are not available for lung cancer. We investigated cell growth inhibition, modulation in gene expression, and induction of apoptosis by genistein in H460 non-small lung cancer cells. Genistein inhibited H460 cell growth in a dose-dependent manner. Flow-cytometric analysis showed that 30 microM genistein arrested cell cycle progression at the G2-M phase. 4,6-Diamidino-2-phenylindole staining, flow-cytometric analysis, and DNA laddering were used to investigate apoptotic cell death, and the results show that 30 microM genistein can cause typical DNA laddering, a hallmark for apoptosis. In addition, flow cytometry and 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining showed induction of apoptosis by genistein. Our investigation also demonstrated the modulation of p21WAF1 by Western blot analysis of cell lysates obtained from cultured cells treated with 30 and 50 microM genistein for 24, 48, and 72 hours. Simultaneously, immunocytochemical staining was conducted for the expression of p21WAF1 protein. Our results showed that genistein can upregulate p21WAF1 expression in genistein-treated cells. From these results, we conclude that genistein may act as an anticancer agent, and further studies may prove its efficacy in non-small lung cancer cells. Thus the biological effects of genistein may, indeed, be due to the modulation of cell growth, cell death, and cell cycle regulatory molecules.
  • Mohammad RM, Pettit GR, Almatchy VP, Wall N, Varterasian M, Al-Katib A. "Synergistic interaction of selected marine animal products against human diffuse large cell lymphoma. ." Anticancer Drugs 9.2 (1998): 21-29. ( 1/1998 )
    We have previously reported that bryostation 1 (Bryo 1) induces differentiation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in vitro to a hairy cell (HC) stage. This study tests the hypothesis that Bryo 1-differentiated CLL cells are more susceptible to 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine (2-CdA) than parent CLL cells. A recently established EBV-negative CLL line (WSU-CLL) from a patient resistant to chemotherapy including fludarabine was used to test this hypothesis. Both Bryo 1 (10-1000 nM) and 2-CdA (5.6-22.4 microM) exhibited a dose-dependent growth inhibitory effect on the WSU-CLL cell line. In vitro, the sequential exposure to Bryo 1 (100 nM for 72 h) followed by 2-CdA (11.2 microM) resulted in significantly higher rates of growth inhibition than either agent alone. Changes in immunophenotype, enzymes, lipids, proteins, and the DNA of WSU-CLL cells were studied before and after Bryo 1 treatment. Bryo 1 induced a positive tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase reaction and two important markers, CD11c and CD25, after 72 h of culture, confirming the differentiation of CLL to HC. The Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopic analysis showed that the amount of membrane lipids significantly increased in Bryo 1-treated cells compared to controls after 24 h, whereas the protein content, as well as the DNA content, decreased. This finding supports the change of CLL to HC. To evaluate the in vivo efficacy of Bryo 1 and 2-CdA, we used a xenograft model of CLL in WSU-CLL-bearing mice with severe combined immune deficiency. s.c. tumors were developed by injection of 10(7) WSU-CLL cells, and fragments were then transplanted into a new batch of severe combined immunodeficient mice. Bryo 1 and 2-CdA at the maximum tolerated doses (75 micrograms/kg i.p. and 30 mg/kg s.c., respectively) were administered to the mice at different combinations and schedules. The survival in days, the tumor growth inhibition ratio, the tumor growth delay, and the log10 kill of the mice treated with Bryo 1 followed by 2-CdA were significantly better than the control and other groups. We conclude that the sequential treatment with Bryo 1 followed by 2-CdA resulted in higher antitumor activity and improved animal survival.
  • Mohammad RM, Katato K, Almatchy VP, Wall N, Liu K-Z, Schultz CP, Mantsch HH, Varterasian M, Al-Katib A. "Sequential treatment of human chronic lymphocytic leukemia with bryostatin 1 followed by 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine: preclinical studies. ." Clinical Cancer Research 4.2 (1998): 445-453. ( 1/1998 )
    We studied the antitumor effects of dolastatin 10, its structural modification, auristatin PE (TZT-1027), and vincristine alone and in combination with bryostatin 1 on a human diffuse large cell lymphoma line (WSU-DLCL2) in vitro and in vivo. WSU-DLCL2 cells were cultured in RPMI 1640 at a concentration of 2 x 10(5)/ml using a 24-well plate. Agents were added to triplicate wells, and cell count, viability, mitosis and apoptosis were assessed. Dolastatin 10 showed no apparent inhibition of cell growth at concentrations less than 500 pg/ ml. Auristatin PE showed significant growth inhibition at concentrations as low as 10 pg/ml, while vincristine had a minimal effect at 50 pg/ml. Dolastatin 10, auristatin PE and vincristine-treated cultures, at 50 pg/ml, exhibited 11, 1.7; 45, 11.8%; and 39, 25% mitosis and apoptosis, respectively. In the WSU-DLCL2 SCID mouse xenograft model, the efficacy of these agents alone or in combination with bryostatin 1 was evaluated. Tumor growth inhibition (T/C), tumor growth delay (T-C) and log10 kill for dolastatin 10, auristatin PE, vincristine and bryostatin 1 were 30%, 14 days and 1.4; 0.0%, 55 days and 5.5; 29.6%, 16 days and 1.6; and 39%, 7 days and 0.7, respectively. When given in combination, two out of five mice treated with auristatin PE + bryostatin 1 were free of tumors for 150 days and were considered cured. Dolastatin 10 + bryostatin 1 and vincristine + bryostatin 1 combinations were highly active but no cure was observed. We conclude that: (i) auristatin PE is more effective in this model than dolastatin 10, vincristine or bryostatin 1, (ii) auristatin PE can be administered at a concentration 10 times greater than dolastatin 10, and (iii) there is a synergistic effect between these agents and bryostatin 1, which is more apparent in the bryostatin 1 + auristatin PE combination. The use of these agents should be further explored clinically in the treatment of lymphoma.
  Scholarly Journals--Accepted
  • Asumen MG, Ifeacho TV Cockerham L, Pfandl C, and Wall NR. Dynamic changes to survivin subcellular localization are initiated by DNA damage. OncoTargets and Therapy, 3:1-9, 2010. ( 9/2009 - 6/2010 )
  • Galloway NR, Aspe JR, Sellers C, Wall NR. Enhanced antitumor effect of combined gemcitabine and proton radiation in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.  Pancreas 38(7) 782-790, 2009. ( 9/2008 - 8/2009 )
  Books and Chapters
  • Mohammad RM, Wall NR, Al-Katib AM. Human Cell Culture, Volume III, Cancer Cell Lines, Part 3: Leukemias and Lymphomas.. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000. 61 - 80 ( 1/2000 )