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Articles by S Wei
Total Records ( 6 ) for S Wei
  P. H Huang , D Wang , H. C Chuang , S Wei , S. K Kulp and C. S. Chen

As part of our effort to understand the mechanism underlying -tocopheryl succinate [vitamin E succinate (VES)]-mediated antitumor effects, we investigated the signaling pathway by which VES suppresses androgen receptor (AR) expression in prostate cancer cells. VES and, to a greater extent, its truncated derivative TS-1 mediated transcriptional repression of AR in prostate cancer cells but not in normal prostate epithelial cells; a finding that underscores the differential susceptibility of normal versus malignant cells to the antiproliferative effect of these agents. This AR repression was attributable to the ability of VES and TS-1 to facilitate the proteasomal degradation of the transcription factor Sp1. This mechanistic link was corroborated by the finding that proteasome inhibitors or ectopic expression of Sp1 protected cells against drug-induced AR ablation. Furthermore, evidence suggests that the destabilization of Sp1 by VES and TS-1 resulted from the inactivation of Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) as a consequence of increased phosphatase activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Stable transfection of LNCaP cells with the dominant-negative JNK1 plasmid mimicked drug-induced Sp1 repression, whereas constitutive activation of JNK kinase activity or inhibition of PP2A activity by okadaic acid protected Sp1 from VES- and TS-1-induced degradation. From a mechanistic perspective, the ability of VES and TS-1 to activate PP2A activity underscores their broad spectrum of effects on multiple signaling mechanisms, including those mediated by Akt, mitogen-activated protein kinases, nuclear factor kappaB, Sp1 and AR. This pleiotropic effect in conjunction with low toxicity suggests the translational potential for developing TS-1 into potent PP2A-activating agents for cancer therapy.

  J Lu , Z Hu , S Wei , L. E Wang , A. K El Naggar , E. M Sturgis and Q. Wei

PIN1, a new peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase, regulates the conformation of Pro-directed phosphorylation sites, revealing a new postphosphorylation regulatory mechanism. PIN1-induced conformational changes potentiate multiple oncogenic signaling pathways, and PIN1 overexpression is reported as a prevalent and specific event in human cancers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that common polymorphisms in the coding and promoter regions of PIN1 are associated with risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). We genotyped three selected PIN1 polymorphisms (–842G>C, –667T>C and Gln33Gln) in a hospital-based case–control study of 1006 patients with SCCHN and 1007 cancer-free control subjects. We found that the –842C variant genotypes were associated with decreased risk for SCCHN [Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.74; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.59–0.93 for the CG genotype, OR = 0.82; 95% CI = 0.34–2.01 for the CC genotype and OR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.59–0.93 for CG+CC genotypes, compared with the GG genotype]. However, no altered risks were observed for –667T>C and Gln33Gln polymorphisms. Further experiments of the reporter gene expression driven by the allelic PIN1 promoter showed that the –842G allele had a higher activity than that driven by the –842C allele, suggesting that the –842C allele was associated with a reduced transcriptional activity, a finding consistent with a reduced risk observed in the case–control analysis. Large prospective studies of diverse ethnic groups and diverse cancer sites are warranted to validate our findings.

  M Yin , J Yan , S Wei and Q. Wei

Several potentially functional polymorphisms of CASP8 encoding an apoptotic enzyme, caspase 8, have been implicated in cancer risk, but individually published studies showed inconclusive results. We performed a meta-analysis of 23 publications with a total of 55 174 cancer cases and 59 336 controls from 55 individual studies. We summarized the data on the associations between three studied CASP8 polymorphisms (G>C D302H, –652 6N del and Ex14-271A>T) and cancer risk and performed subgroup analysis by ethnicity, cancer type, study design and etiology. We found that D302H CC and CG variant genotypes were associated with significantly reduced overall risk of cancers using conservative random genetic models [homozygote comparison: odds ratios (OR) = 0.79; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.69–0.92; dominant comparison: OR = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.89–0.98; recessive comparison: OR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.71–0.93). In further stratified analyses, the reduced cancer risk remained for subgroups of Caucasians, breast or estrogen-related cancers, and hospital- or population-based studies, except for an elevated risk for brain tumors. Similarly, the –652 6N del polymorphism was also associated with significantly reduced overall risk of cancers (homozygote comparison: OR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.75–0.94; dominant comparison: OR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.81–0.96; recessive comparison: OR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.82–0.99) and all subgroups analyzed. However, the Ex14-271A>T polymorphism did not appear to have an effect on cancer risk. These results suggest that CASP8 D302H and –652 6N del polymorphisms are potential biomarkers for cancer risk.

  Z Liu , G Li , S Wei , J Niu , L. E Wang , E. M Sturgis and Q. Wei

Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of TERT-rs2736098 (C > T) and CLPTM1L-rs401681(C > T) at the 5p15.33 locus are significantly associated with cancer risk as reported in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but there are no reported studies for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). In a case–control study of 1079 SCCHN cases and 1115 cancer-free controls of non-Hispanic whites who were frequency matched by age and sex, we genotyped for these two SNPs and assessed their associations with SCCHN risk. Compared with the CC genotypes of each polymorphism, the associations of a slightly reduced risk of SCCHN with the variant genotypes of CT + TT of both polymorphisms were approaching statistical significance [Odds ratio (OR) = 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.76–1.08 for TERT-rs2736098 and OR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.71–1.04 for CLPTM1L-rs401681, respectively]. When the two SNPs were combined, the variant genotypes of the two SNPs were significantly associated a moderately reduced risk of SCCHN (OR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.67–0.99), and the number of variant genotypes was associated with a significantly reduced risk in a dose–response manner (P = 0.028). Furthermore, the reduced risk was more pronounced in ever smokers, ever drinkers and patients with oropharyngeal cancer. Our results suggested that these two SNPs at the 5p15.33 locus may be associated with a reduced risk of SCCHN, particularly for their combined effect. Although we added additional evidence for the association of the two SNPs with cancer risk as reported in GWAS, additional studies are needed to replicate our findings.

  Y. J Huang , J Niu , S Wei , M Yin , Z Liu , L. E Wang , E. M Sturgis and Q. Wei

Human DEC1 (deleted in esophageal cancer 1) gene is located on chromosome 9q, a region frequently deleted in various types of human cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). However, only one epidemiological study has evaluated the association between DEC1 polymorphisms and cancer risk. In this hospital-based case–control study, four potentially functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms –1628 G>A (rs1591420), –606 T>C [rs4978620, in complete linkage disequilibrium with –249T>C (rs2012775) and –122 G>A(rs2012566)], c.179 C>T p.Ala60Val (rs2269700) and 3' untranslated region-rs3750505 as well as the TP53 tumor suppressor gene codon 72 (Arg72Pro, rs1042522) polymorphism were genotyped in 1111 non-Hispanic Whites SCCHN patients and 1130 age-and sex-matched cancer-free controls. After adjustment for age, sex and smoking and drinking status, the variant –606CC (i.e. –249CC) homozygotes had a significantly reduced SCCHN risk (adjusted odds ratio = 0.71, 95% confidence interval = 0.52–0.99) compared with the –606TT homozygotes. Stratification analyses showed that a reduced risk associated with the –606CC genotype was more pronounced in subgroups of non-smokers, non-drinkers, younger subjects (defined as ≤57 years), carriers of the TP53 Arg/Arg (rs1042522) genotype, patients with oropharyngeal cancer or late-stage SCCHN. Further in silico analysis revealed that the –249 T-to-C change led to a gain of a transcription factor-binding site. Additional functional analysis showed that the –249T-to-C change significantly enhanced transcriptional activity of the DEC1 promoter and the DNA–protein-binding activity. We conclude that the DEC1 promoter –249 T>C (rs2012775) polymorphism is functional, modulating susceptibility to SCCHN among non-Hispanic Whites.

  S Wei , A Guo , B Chen , W Kutschke , Y. P Xie , K Zimmerman , R. M Weiss , M. E Anderson , H Cheng and L. S. Song

The transverse tubule (T-tubule) system is the ultrastructural substrate for excitation–contraction coupling in ventricular myocytes; T-tubule disorganization and loss are linked to decreased contractility in end stage heart failure (HF).


We sought to examine (1) whether pathological T-tubule remodeling occurs early in compensated hypertrophy and, if so, how it evolves during the transition from hypertrophy to HF; and (2) the role of junctophilin-2 in T-tubule remodeling.

Methods and Results:

We investigated T-tubule remodeling in relation to ventricular function during HF progression using state-of-the-art confocal imaging of T-tubules in intact hearts, using a thoracic aortic banding rat HF model. We developed a quantitative T-tubule power (TTpower) index to represent the integrity of T-tubule structure. We found that discrete local loss and global reorganization of the T-tubule system (leftward shift of TTpower histogram) started early in compensated hypertrophy in left ventricular (LV) myocytes, before LV dysfunction, as detected by echocardiography. With progression from compensated hypertrophy to early and late HF, T-tubule remodeling spread from the LV to the right ventricle, and TTpower histograms of both ventricles gradually shifted leftward. The mean LV TTpower showed a strong correlation with ejection fraction and heart weight to body weight ratio. Over the progression to HF, we observed a gradual reduction in the expression of a junctophilin protein (JP-2) implicated in the formation of T-tubule/sarcoplasmic reticulum junctions. Furthermore, we found that JP-2 knockdown by gene silencing reduced T-tubule structure integrity in cultured adult ventricular myocytes.


T-tubule remodeling in response to thoracic aortic banding stress begins before echocardiographically detectable LV dysfunction and progresses over the development of overt structural heart disease. LV T-tubule remodeling is closely associated with the severity of cardiac hypertrophy and predicts LV function. Thus, T-tubule remodeling may constitute a key mechanism underlying the transition from compensated hypertrophy to HF.

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