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Yu-Xia Chen, Yan Wang, Chen-Chun Fu, Fei Diao, Liang-Nian Song, Zong-Bin Li, Rui Yang and Jian Lu

Glucocorticoids (GCs) are widely used as co-medication in the therapy of solid malignant tumors to relieve some of the side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs. However, recent studies have shown that GCs could render cancer cells more resistant to cytotoxic drug-induced apoptosis, but the mechanism is largely unknown. In the present study, we found that the treatment of human ovarian cancer cell lines HO-8910 and SKOV3 with synthetic GCs dexamethasone (Dex) significantly increased their adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) and their resistance to apoptosis induced by cytotoxic drugs cisplatin and paclitaxel. Dex also increased the protein levels of adhesion molecules integrins β1, α4, and α5 in HO-8910 cells. The neutralizing antibody against integrin β1 prevented Dex-induced adhesion and significantly abrogated the protective effect of Dex toward cytotoxic agents. We further found that transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) alone not only increased cell adhesion and cell survival of HO-8910 cells in the presence of cisplatin, but also had synergistic pro-adhesion and pro-survival effects with Dex. Moreover, TGF-β1-neutralizing antibody that could block TGF-β1-induced cell adhesion and apoptosis resistance markedly abrogated the synergistic pro-adhesion and pro-survival effects of Dex and TGF-β1. Finally, we further demonstrated that Dex could up-regulate the expression of TGF-β receptor type II and enhance the responsiveness of cells to TGF-β1. In conclusion, our results indicate that increased adhesion to ECM through the enhancement of integrin β1 signaling and TGF-β1 signaling plays an important role in chemoresistance induced by GCs in ovarian cancer cells.

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Jian Chen, Qingyuan Hu, Hongwei Hou, Shuo Wang, Yunfei Zhang, Yanbo Luo, Huan Chen, Huimin Deng, Hongfu Zhu, Lirong Zhang, Hansong Liu, An Wang and Yong Liu

Thyroid cancer is the most frequent endocrine tumor with a growing incidence worldwide. However, common diagnostic strategy for thyroid cancer classification is hardly to make a proper diagnosis in some cases. To assist classical approach, this study used metabolomics to screen and validate biomarkers from serum and urinary for papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Overall, 124 untreated PTC, 76 untreated benign thyroid nodule (BTN), and 116 healthy control (HC) were collected in this study. Thirty-six differential metabolites were screened from non-targeted metabolomics with a discovery sample set in comparison with HC and BTN. Serum β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 1-methyladenosine (1-MedA), pregnanediol-3-glucuronide (PdG), urinary nicotinic acid mononucleotide (NAM) and xanthosine (Xan) were validated to be significantly differential by targeted metabolomics in validation set. The logistic regression model incorporating six biomarkers had excellent discrimination from receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) analysis, with area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.943 (95% CI 0.902 to 0.983) and 0.952 (95% CI 0.921 to 0.983) for female alone and female + male samples, respectively. The prediction accuracy and false-negative rate in the real setting of one PTC to ten suspicious nodules were 84.7 and 17.7% with the threshold at probablity of 0.5. Results of a double-blind study for PTC and BTN had true positive value of 100% and true negative value of 91.7%. To conclude, BHB, DHA, 1-MedA, PdG, NAM and Xan are suitable biomarkers for PTC, and logistic regression models with the six biomarkers can be potentially used as clinical diagnosis.