J. F. Ma

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Muscle atrophy-also known as muscle wasting-is a debilitating syndrome that slowly develops with age (sarcopenia) or rapidly appears at the late stages of deadly diseases such as cancer, AIDS, and sepsis (cachexia). Despite the prevalence and the drastic detrimental effects of these two syndromes, there are currently no widely used, effective treatment(More)
Cachexia, or muscle-wasting syndrome, is one of the major causes of death in patients affected by diseases such as cancer, AIDS and sepsis. However, no effective anti-cachectic treatment is currently available. Here we show that a low dose of pateamine A, an inhibitor of translation initiation, prevents muscle wasting caused by the cytokines interferon γ(More)
Gene expression during muscle cell differentiation is tightly regulated at multiple levels, including translation initiation. The PI3K/mTOR signalling pathway exerts control over protein synthesis by regulating assembly of eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4F, a heterotrimeric complex that stimulates recruitment of ribosomes to mRNA templates. One of the(More)
The deterioration of skeletal muscle that develops slowly with age, termed sarcopenia, often leads to disability and mortality in the elderly population. As the proportion of elderly citizens continues to increase due to the dramatic rise in life expectancy, there are rising concerns about the healthcare cost and social burden of caring for geriatric(More)
HuR promotes myogenesis by stabilizing the MyoD, myogenin and p21 mRNAs during the fusion of muscle cells to form myotubes. Here we show that HuR, via a novel mRNA destabilizing activity, promotes the early steps of myogenesis by reducing the expression of the cell cycle promoter nucleophosmin (NPM). Depletion of HuR stabilizes the NPM mRNA, increases NPM(More)
Cancer cachexia contributes to poor prognosis through progressive depletion of the body's energy and protein reserves; research is revealing the impact of the quantitly of these reserves on survival. Our group has exploitated computed tomography (CT) images to study body composition in cancer patients. We argue that CT taken for the purposes of diagnosis(More)
Radiation therapy is a mainstay of cancer treatment, yet the molecular determinants of clinical response are poorly understood. We identified exceptional responders to radiotherapy based on clinical response, and investigated the associated tumor sequencing data in order to identify additional patients with similar mutations. Among head and neck squamous(More)
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