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Oncol Lett ; 21(6): 458, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225869


Cryoablation is an emerging type of treatment for cancer. The sensitization of tumors using cryosensitizing agents prior to treatment enhances ablation efficiency and may improve clinical outcomes. Water efflux, which is regulated by aquaporin channels, contributes to cancer cell damage achieved through cryoablation. An increase in aquaporin (AQP) 3 is cryoprotective, whereas its inhibition augments cryodamage. The present study aimed to investigate aquaporin (AQP1, AQP3 and AQP5) gene expression and cellular localization in response to cryoinjury. Cultured breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7) were exposed to freezing to induce cryoinjury. RNA and protein extracts were then analyzed using reverse transcription-quantitative PCR and western blotting, respectively. Localization of aquaporins was studied using immunocytochemistry. Additionally, cells were transfected with small interfering RNA to silence aquaporin gene expression and cell viability was assessed using the Sulforhodamine B assay. Cryoinjury did not influence gene expression of AQPs, except for a 4-fold increase of AQP1 expression in MDA-MD-231 cells. There were no clear differences in AQP protein expression for either cell lines upon exposure to frozen and non-frozen temperatures, with the exception of fainter AQP5 bands for non-frozen MCF-7 cells. The exposure of cancer cells to freezing temperatures altered the localization of AQP1 and AQP3 proteins in both MCF-7 and MDA-MD-231 cells. The silencing of AQP1, AQP3 and AQP5 exacerbated MDA-MD-231 cell damage associated with freezing compared with control siRNA. This was also observed with AQP3 and AQP5 silencing in MCF-7 cells. Inhibition of aquaporins may potentially enhance cryoinjury. This cryosensitizing process may be used as an adjunct to breast cancer cryotherapy, especially in the border area targeted by cryoablation where freezing temperatures are not cold enough to induce cellular damage.

Viruses ; 13(5)2021 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224250


In late 2019, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic emerged to severely impact the global population, creating an unprecedented need for effective treatments. This study aims to investigate the potential of Scutellaria barbata D. Don (SB) as a treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection through the inhibition of the proteases playing important functions in the infection by SARS-CoV-2. FRET assay was applied to investigate the inhibitory effects of SB on the two proteases involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection, Mpro and TMPRSS2. Additionally, to measure the potential effectiveness of SB treatment on infection inhibition, cellular models based on the Calu3 and VeroE6 cells and their TMPRSS2- expressing derivatives were assessed by viral pseudoparticles (Vpp) infection assays. The experimental approaches were conjugated with LC/MS analyses of the aqueous extracts of SB to identify the major constituent compounds, followed by a literature review to determine the potential active components of the inhibitory effects on protease activities. Our results showed that SB extracts inhibited the enzyme activities of Mpro and TMPRSS2. Furthermore, SB extracts effectively inhibited SARS-CoV-2 Vpp infection through a TMPRSS2-dependent mechanism. The aqueous extract analysis identified six major constituent compounds present in SB. Some of them have been known associated with inhibitory activities of TMPRSS2 or Mpro. Thus, SB may effectively prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication through inhibiting Mpro and TMPRSS2 protease activities.

COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/drug effects , Humans , Lung/virology , Pandemics , Peptide Hydrolases , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Plant Extracts/metabolism , Proteolysis , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Scutellaria , Serine Endopeptidases/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects