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Marijuana is one of the most commonly used and abused drugs. Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9-THC), the primary psychoactive component in marijuana, is FDA-approved to ameliorate AIDS-associated wasting. Because cannabinoid receptors are expressed on cells of the immune system, it is possible that chronic Δ-9-THC use may impact HIV disease progression. Until(More)
Myeloid suppressor cells (MSCs) producing high levels of arginase I block T cell function by depleting l-arginine in cancer, chronic infections, and trauma patients. In cancer, MSCs infiltrating tumors and in circulation are an important mechanism for tumor evasion and impair the therapeutic potential of cancer immunotherapies. However, the mechanisms that(More)
The Androgen receptor (AR) plays a central role in the normal development of the prostate gland, in prostate carcinogenesis, and in the progression of prostate cancer (PCa) to advanced metastatic disease. African American (AA) men with PCa present with higher tumor volume, more advanced tumor stage, and higher Gleason score. This could be in part related to(More)
Several variations in the nicotinic receptor genes have been identified to be associated with both lung cancer risk and smoking in the genome-wide association (GWA) studies. However, the relationships among these three factors (genetic variants, nicotine dependence, and lung cancer) remain unclear. In an attempt to elucidate these relationships, we applied(More)
Helicobacter pylori causes acute and chronic gastric inflammation induced by proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines secreted by cells of the gastric mucosa, including gastric epithelial cells. Previous studies have demonstrated that the bacterial arginase, RocF, is involved in inhibiting T cell proliferation and CD3ζ expression, suggesting that arginase(More)
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is a recognized risk factor for gastric cancer. The disease is one of the most common in the world and explains for a significant number of cancer cases and cancer-associated deaths worldwide. H. pylori infection induces huge array of responses at the gastric epithelial cells and the immune system, inducing both(More)
Glioblastoma multiforme is characterized by rapid proliferation, aggressive metastatic potential, and resistance to radio- and chemotherapy. The matricellular protein CYR61 regulates cellular proliferation and migration and is highly expressed in Glioblastomas. MicroRNAs are 22-nucleotides long RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally.(More)
There are more than 1 million persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the United States and approximately 40 % of them have a history of alcohol use disorders (AUD). Chronic heavy alcohol consumption and HIV/AIDS both result in reduced lean body mass and muscle dysfunction, increasing the incidence of comorbid conditions. Previous studies from our(More)
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiological agent of primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), a rapidly progressing malignancy mostly arising in HIV-infected patients. Even under conventional chemotherapy, PEL continues to portend nearly 100% mortality within several months, which urgently requires novel therapeutic strategies. We have(More)
Background: Polymorphisms in several genes (NOD2, MDR1, SLC22A4) have been associated with susceptibility to Crohn's disease. Identification of the remaining Crohn's susceptibility genes is essential for the development of disease-specific targets for immunotherapy. Using gene expression analysis, we identified a differentially expressed gene on 5q33, the(More)