Asfar S. Azmi

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Recent advancements in cancer research have led to some major breakthroughs; however, the impact on overall cancer-related death rate remains unacceptable, suggesting that further insight into tumor markers and development of targeted therapies is urgently needed. The urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) system represents a family of serine proteases that(More)
Despite rapid advances in many fronts, pancreatic cancer (PC) remains one of the most difficult human malignancies to treat due, in part, to de novo and acquired chemoresistance and radioresistance. Gemcitabine alone or in combination with other conventional therapeutics is the standard of care for the treatment of advanced PC without any significant(More)
It was earlier proposed that an important anti-cancer mechanism of plant polyphenols may involve mobilization of endogenous copper ions, possibly chromatin-bound copper and the consequent pro-oxidant action. This paper shows that plant polyphenols are able to mobilize nuclear copper in human lymphocytes, leading to degradation of cellular DNA. A cellular(More)
Activation of Notch-1 is known to be associated with the development and progression of human malignancies including pancreatic cancer. Emerging evidence suggest that the acquisition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype and induction of cancer stem cell (CSC) or cancer stem-like cell phenotype are interrelated and contributes to tumor(More)
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, which is, in part, due to intrinsic (de novo) and extrinsic (acquired) resistance to conventional therapeutics, suggesting that innovative treatment strategies are required for overcoming therapeutic resistance to improve overall survival of patients. Oral(More)
Trafficking of biological material across membranes is an evolutionary conserved mechanism and is part of any normal cell homeostasis. Such transport is composed of active, passive, export through microparticles, and vesicular transport (exosomes) that collectively maintain proper compartmentalization of important micro- and macromolecules. In pathological(More)
Plant polyphenols are important components of human diet and a number of them are considered to possess chemopreventive and therapeutic properties against cancer. They are recognized as naturally occurring antioxidants but also act as prooxidants catalyzing DNA degradation in the presence of transition metal ions such as copper. We have shown that several(More)
Hypoxia is one of the fundamental biological phenomena that are intricately associated with the development and aggressiveness of a variety of solid tumors. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF) function as a master transcription factor, which regulates hypoxia responsive genes and has been recognized to play critical roles in tumor invasion, metastasis, and(More)
Although chemotherapy is an important therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment, it fails to eliminate all tumor cells due to intrinsic or acquired drug resistance, which is the most common cause of tumor recurrence. Emerging evidence suggests an intricate role of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-type cells in anticancer(More)
The histone methyltransferase EZH2 is a central epigenetic regulator of cell survival, proliferation, and cancer stem cell (CSC) function. EZH2 expression is increased in various human cancers, including highly aggressive pancreatic cancers, but the mechanisms underlying for its biologic effects are not yet well understood. In this study, we probed EZH2(More)