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BACKGROUND The expression of the drug-metabolizing enzyme cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) is regulated by the pregnane x receptor (PXR), which is modulated by numerous signaling pathways, including the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) pathway. Flavonoids, commonly consumed by humans as dietary constituents, have been shown to modulate various signaling pathways(More)
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) are morphogens that play a major role in regulating development and homeostasis. Although BMPs are used for the treatment of bone and kidney disorders, their clinical use is limited due to the supra-physiological doses required for therapeutic efficacy causing severe side effects. Because recombinant BMPs are expensive to(More)
Tumor metastasis and lack of NKG2D ligand (NKG2DL) expression are associated with poor prognosis in patients with colon cancer. Here, we found that spironolactone (SPIR), an FDA-approved diuretic drug with a long-term safety profile, can up-regulate NKG2DL expression in multiple colon cancer cell lines by activating the ATM-Chk2-mediated checkpoint pathway,(More)
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) has a high propensity to metastasize, leading to its aggressiveness and a poor survival rate among those with the disease. More than 80% of aggressive ARMSs harbor a PAX3-FKHR fusion transcription factor, which regulates cell migration and promotes metastasis, most likely by regulating the fusion protein’s transcriptional(More)
Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a ligand-activated nuclear receptor and serves as a key regulator to maintain health of the liver and intestine. Bile acids are endogenous ligands of FXR, and there are increasing efforts to identify FXR modulators to serve as biological probes and/or pharmaceutical agents. Natural FXR ligands isolated from plants may serve as(More)
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) is an aggressive childhood muscle sarcoma with a 5-year survival rate of less than 30%. More than 80% of ARMSs harbor a PAX3-FOXO1 fusion transcription factor. However, expression of PAX3-FOXO1 in muscle cells alone is not sufficient and requires the loss of function of Ink4a/ARF to promote malignant proliferation of muscle(More)
BACKGROUND High-throughput RNA interference (RNAi) screening has become a widely used approach to elucidating gene functions. However, analysis and annotation of large data sets generated from these screens has been a challenge for researchers without a programming background. Over the years, numerous data analysis methods were produced for plate quality(More)
As a ligand-dependent transcription factor of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, the pregnane X receptor (PXR) has a multitude of functions including regulating xenobiotic and cholesterol metabolism, energy homeostasis, gut mucosal defense, and cancer development. Whereas the detoxification functions of PXR have been widely studied and well(More)
The pregnane X receptor (PXR) regulates the metabolism and excretion of xenobiotics and endobiotics by regulating the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters. The unique structure of PXR allows it to bind many drugs and drug leads, possibly causing undesired drug-drug interactions. Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate whether chemicals or(More)
The mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis is initiated by mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP). The BCL-2 family effectors BAX and BAK are thought to be absolutely required for this process. Here, we report that BCL-2 ovarian killer (BOK) is a bona fide yet unconventional effector of MOMP that can trigger apoptosis in the absence of both BAX(More)