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PT, L, ZF W, IT C, YM K, MH L, MC H, PC C, TC C, CT C.  2017.  Expression of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase gene is modulated by quadruplex formation in its first exon due to DNA methylation. J Biol Chem.20859-2087. 292(51):20859-20870.
MH, K, ZF W, TY T, MH L, ST H, JJ L, TC C.  2015.  Conformational transition of a hairpin structure to G-quadruplex within the WNT1 gene promoter. J Am Chem Soc. 137(1):210-8.
WC, H, TY T, YT C, CC C, ZF W, CL W, TN H, PT L, CT C, JJ L, PJ L, TC C.  2015.  Direct evidence of mitochondrial G-quadruplex DNA by using fluorescent anti-cancer agents. Nucleic Acids Res.. 43(21):10102-13.
IT, L, YL T, CC K, WC H, CL W, MY L, PJ L, JY S, HC W, HD W, TH T, ISang J, TC C.  2014.  BMVC test, an improved fluorescence assay for detection of malignant pleural effusions. Cancer medicine. 3(1):162-173.
TL, Y, L L, PJ L, TC C, TH Y.  2014.  Detection of cell carcinogenic transformation by a quadruplex DNA binding fluorescent probe. PloS one. 9(1):e86143.
JM, W, FC H, MH K, ZF W, TY T, LC C, SJ Y, TC C, JJ L.  2014.  Inhibition of Cancer Cell Migration and Invasion through Suppressing the Wnt1-mediating Signal Pathway by G-quadruplex Structure Stabilizers. The Journal of biological chemistry.
YH, Y, CH C, WW C, TH M, KY L, YS C, TC C, SJ L.  2014.  Lipid droplet pattern and nondroplet-like structure in two fat mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans revealed by coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy.. Journal of biomedical optics. 19(1):11011. AbstractWebsite

ABSTRACT. Lipid is an important energy source and essential component for plasma and organelle membranes in all kinds of cells. Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy is a label-free and nonlinear optical technique that can be used to monitor the lipid distribution in live organisms. Here, we utilize CARS microscopy to investigate the pattern of lipid droplets in two live Caenorhabditis elegans mutants (fat-2 and fat-3). The CARS images showed a striking decrease in the size, number, and content of lipid droplets in the fat-2 mutant but a slight difference in the fat-3 mutant as compared with the wild-type worm. Moreover, a nondroplet-like structure with enhanced CARS signal was detected for the first time in the uterus of fat-2 and fat-3 mutants. In addition, transgenic fat-2 mutant expressing a GFP fusion protein of vitellogenin-2 (a yolk lipoprotein) revealed that the enhanced CARS signal colocalized with the GFP signal, which suggests that the nondroplet-like structure is primarily due to the accumulation of yolk lipoproteins. Together, this study implies that CARS microscopy is a potential tool to study the distribution of yolk lipoproteins, in addition to lipid droplets, in live animals.

ZF, W, MH L, ST H, TC C.  2014.  Structural basis of sodium-potassium exchange of a human telomeric DNA quadruplex without topological conversion. Nucleic acids research,. 42(7):4723-4733.
MH, L, ZF W, MH K, ST H, TC C.  2014.  Unfolding kinetics of human telomeric g-quadruplexes studied by NMR spectroscopy. The journal of physical chemistry. B. 118(4):931-6.
Wei, PC, Wang ZF, Lo WT, Su MI, Shew JY, Chang TC, Lee WH.  2013.  A cis-element with mixed G-quadruplex structure of NPGPx promoter is essential for nucleolin-mediated transactivation on non-targeting siRNA stress, Feb. Nucleic Acids Research. 41:1533-1543., Number 3 AbstractWebsite

We reported that non-targeting siRNA (NT-siRNA) stress induces non-selenocysteine containing phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (NPGPx) expression to cooperate with exoribonuclease XRN2 for releasing the stress [Wei,P.C., Lo,W.T., Su,M.I., Shew,J.Y. and Lee, W. H. (2011) Non-targeting siRNA induces NPGPx expression to cooperate with exoribonuclease XRN2 for releasing the stress. Nucleic Acids Res., 40, 323-332]. However, how NT-siRNA stress inducing NPGPx expression remains elusive. In this communication, we showed that the proximal promoter of NPGPx contained a mixed G-quadruplex (G4) structure, and disrupting the structure diminished NT-siRNA induced NPGPx promoter activity. We also demonstrated that nucleolin (NCL) specifically bonded to the G4-containing sequences to replace the originally bound Sp1 at the NPGPx promoter on NT-siRNA stress. Consistently, overexpression of NCL further increased NPGPx promoter activity, whereas depletion of NCL desensitized NPGPx promoter to NT-siRNA stress. These results suggest that the cis-element with mixed G4 structure at the NPGPx promoter plays an essential role for its transactivation mediated by NCL to release cells from NT-siRNA stress.

Hsieh, M-C, Chien C-H, Chang C-C, Chan T-C.  2013.  Aggregation induced photodynamic therapy enhancement based on linear and nonlinear excited FRET of fluorescent organic nanoparticles. Journal of Materials Chemistry B,. 1:2350-2357. AbstractWebsite

A binary molecule can self-assemble to form fluorescent organic nanoparticles (FONs) based on the Aggregation-Induced Emission Enhancement (AIEE) property and subsequently, presents an efficient fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to generate singlet oxygen under linear and nonlinear light sources. Biologically, this FON-photosensitizer is much more phototoxic to cancer cells than to normal cells without significant dark toxicity. Eventually, a new approach, called FON FRET-PDT or AIEE FRET-PDT, to promote the PDT effect is expected.

Liu, SW, Chu JF, Tsai CT, Fang HC, Chang TC, Li HW.  2013.  Assaying the binding strength of G-quadruplex ligands using single-molecule TPM experiments. Anal Biochem. 436(2):101-8. AbstractWebsite

G-quadruplexes are stable secondary structures formed by Hoogsteen base pairing of guanine-rich single-stranded DNA sequences in the presence of monovalent cations (Na(+) or K(+)). Folded G-quadruplex (G4) structures in human telomeres have been proposed as a potential target for cancer therapy. In this study, we used single-molecule tethered particle motion (TPM) experiments to assay the binding strength of possible G4 ligands. We found that individual single-stranded DNA molecules containing the human telomeric sequence d[AGGG(TTAGGG)3] fluctuated between the folded and the unfolded states in a 10 mM Na(+) solution at 37 °C. The durations of folded and unfolded states were single-exponentially distributed, and in return the folding and unfolding rate constants were 1.68 ± 0.01 and 1.63 ± 0.03 (s(-1)), respectively. In the presence of G4 ligands, such as TMPyP4, DODCI, BMVC, and BMVPA, the unfolding rate constant decreased appreciably. In addition, combining the Cu(2+)-induced G4 unfolding and TPM assay, we showed that BMVC and TMPyP4 are better G4 stabilizers than DODCI. The capability of monitoring the fluctuation between the folded and the unfolded state of G4 DNA in real time allows the determination of both kinetic and thermodynamic parameters in a single measurement and offers a simple way to assay binding strength under various conditions.

WW, C, CH C, CL W, HH W, YL W, ST D, TS L, TC C.  2013.  Automated quantitative analysis of lipid accumulation and hydrolysis in living macrophages with label-free imaging.. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry. AbstractWebsite

The accumulation of lipids in macrophages is a key factor that promotes the formation of atherosclerotic lesions. Several methods such as biochemical assays and neutral lipid staining have been used for the detection of lipids in cells. However, a method for real-time quantitative assessment of the lipid content in living macrophages has yet to be shown, particularly for its kinetic process with drugs, due to the lack of suitable tools for non-invasive chemical detection. Here we demonstrate label-free real-time monitoring of lipid droplets (LDs) in living macrophages by using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy. In addition, we have established an automated image analysis method based on maximum entropy thresholding (MET) to quantify the cellular lipid content. The result of CARS image analysis shows a good correlation (R 2 > 0.9) with the measurement of biochemical assay. Using this method, we monitored the processes of lipid accumulation and hydrolysis in macrophages. We further characterized the effect of a lipid hydrolysis inhibitor (diethylumbelliferyl phosphate, DEUP) and determined the kinetic parameters such as the inhibition constant, K i. Our work demonstrates that the automated quantitative analysis method is useful for the studies of cellular lipid metabolism and has potential for preclinical high-throughput screening of therapeutic agents related to atherosclerosis and lipid-associated disorders.

CC, K, WC H, CW K, ZF W, CC C, CC C, CL W, TC C, J S, LJ H.  2013.  Chemical principles for the design of a novel fluorescent probe with high cancer-targeting selectivity and sensitivity.. Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro. 5(10):1217-28. AbstractWebsite

Understanding of principles governing selective and sensitive cancer targeting is critical for development of chemicals for cancer diagnostics and treatment. We determined the underlying mechanisms of how a novel fluorescent small organic molecule, 3,6-bis(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium)carbazole diiodide (BMVC), selectively labels cancer cells but not normal cells. We show that BMVC is retained in the lysosomes of normal cells. In cancer cells, BMVC escapes lysosomal retention and localizes to the mitochondria or to the nucleus, where DNA-binding dramatically increases BMVC fluorescence intensity, allowing it to light up only cancer cells. Structure-function analyses of BMVC derivatives show that hydrogen-bonding capacity is a key determinant of lysosomal retention in normal cells, whereas lipophilicity directs these derivatives to the mitochondria or the nucleus in cancer cells. In addition, drug-resistant cancer cells preferentially retain BMVC in their lysosomes compared to drug-sensitive cancer cells, and BMVC can be released from drug-resistant lysosomes using lysosomotropic agents. Our results further our understanding of how properties of cellular organelles differ between normal and cancer cells, which can be exploited for diagnostic and/or therapeutic use. We also provide physiochemical design principles for selective targeting of small molecules to different organelles. Moreover, our results suggest that agents which can increase lysosomal membrane permeability may re-sensitize drug-resistant cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents.

TY, T, ZF W, CH C, TC C.  2013.  In-cell optical imaging of exogenous G-quadruplex DNA by fluorogenic ligands.. Nucleic acids research. AbstractWebsite

Guanine-rich oligonucleotides (GROs) are promising therapeutic candidate for cancer treatment and other biomedical application. We have introduced a G-quadruplex (G4) ligand, 3,6-bis(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide, to monitor the cellular uptake of naked GROs and map their intracellular localizations in living cells by using confocal microscopy. The GROs that form parallel G4 structures, such as PU22, T40214 and AS1411, are detected mainly in the lysosome of CL1-0 lung cancer cells after incubation for 2 h. On the contrary, the GROs that form non-parallel G4 structures, such as human telomeres (HT23) and thrombin binding aptamer (TBA), are rarely detected in the lysosome, but found mainly in the mitochondria. Moreover, the fluorescence resonant energy transfer studies of fluorophore-labeled GROs show that the parallel G4 structures can be retained in CL1-0 cells, whereas the non-parallel G4 structures are likely distorted in CL1-0 cells after cellular uptake. Of interest is that the distorted G4 structure of HT23 from the non-parallel G4 structure can reform to a probable parallel G4 structure induced by a G4 ligand in CL1-0 living cells. These findings are valuable to the design and rationale behind the possible targeted drug delivery to specific cellular organelles using GROs.

Chou, YS, Chang CC, Chang TC, Yang TL, Young TH, Lou PJ.  2013.  Photo-Induced Antitumor Effect of 3,6-Bis(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium) Carbazole Diiodide. Biomed Research International. AbstractWebsite

We have applied a fluorescent molecule 3,6-bis(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide (BMVC) for tumor targeting and treatment. In this study, we investigated the photo-induced antitumor effect of BMVC. In vitro cell line studies showed that BMVC significantly killed TC-1 tumor cells at light dose greater than 40 J/cm(2). The fluorescence of BMVC in the tumor peaked at 3 hours and then gradually decreased to reach the control level a. er 24 hours. In vivo tumor treatment studies showed BMVC plus light irradiation (iPDT) significantly inhibited the tumor growth. At day 24 a. er tumor implantation, tumor volume was measured to be 225 +/- 79 mm(3), 2542 +/- 181 mm(3), 1533 +/- 766 mm(3), and 1317 +/- 108 mm(3) in the iPDT, control, light-only, and BMVC-only groups, respectively. Immunohistochemistry studies showed the microvascular density was significantly lower in the iPDT group. Taken together, our results demonstrated that BMVC may be a potent tumor-specific photosensitizer (PS) for PDT.

Tseng, T-Y, Chien C-H, Chu J-F, Huang W-C, Lin M-Y, Chang C-C, Chang T-C.  2013.  A specific fluorescent probe for visualizing G-quadruplex DNA by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy. J Biomed Opt.. 18(10):101309. AbstractWebsite

ABSTRACT. The importance of guanine-quadruplex (G4) is not only in protecting the ends of chromosomes for human telomeres but also in regulating gene expression for several gene promoters. However, the existence of G4 structures in living cells is still in debate. A fluorescent probe, 3,6-bis(1-methyl-2-vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide (o-BMVC), for differentiating G4 structures from duplexes is characterized. o-BMVC has a large contrast in fluorescence decay time, binding affinity, and fluorescent intensity between G4 structures and duplexes, which makes it a good candidate for probing G4 DNA structures. The fluorescence decay time of o-BMVC upon interaction with G4 structures of telomeric G-rich sequences is ∼2.8  ns and that of interaction with the duplex structure of a calf thymus is ∼1.2  ns. By analyzing its fluorescence decay time and histogram, we were able to detect one G4 out of 1000 duplexes in vitro. Furthermore, by using fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, we demonstrated an innovative methodology for visualizing the localization of G4 structures as well as mapping the localization of different G4 structures in living cells.

Wang, ZF, Chang TC.  2012.  Molecular engineering of G-quadruplex ligands based on solvent effect of polyethylene glycol, Sep 1. Nucleic Acids Res. 40:8711-20., Number 17 AbstractWebsite

Because various non-parallel G-quadruplexes of human telomeric sequences in K+ solution can be converted to a parallel G-quadruplex by adding polyethylene glycol (PEG) as a co-solvent, we have taken advantage of this property of PEG to study the covalent attachment of a PEG unit to a G-quadruplex ligand, 3,6-bis(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide (BMVC). The hybrid ligand with the PEG unit, BMVC-8C3O or BMVC-6C2O by substituting either the tetraethylene glycol or the triethylene glycol terminated with a methyl-piperidinium cation in N-9 position of BMVC, not only induces structural change from different non-parallel G-quadruplexes to a parallel G-quadruplex but also increases the melting temperature of human telomeres in K+ solution by more than 45 degrees C. In addition, our ligand work provides further confidence that the local water structure plays the key to induce conformational change of human telomere.

Huang, FC, Chang CC, Wang JM, Chang TC, Lin JJ.  2012.  Induction of senescence in cancer cells by the G-quadruplex stabilizer, BMVC4, is independent of its telomerase inhibitory activity, Sep. Br J Pharmacol. 167:393-406., Number 2 AbstractWebsite

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Telomerase is the enzyme responsible for extending G-strand telomeric DNA and represents a promising target for treatment of neoplasia. Inhibition of telomerase can be achieved by stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA structures. Here, we characterize the cellular effects of a novel G-quadruplex stabilizing compound, 3,6-bis(4-methyl-2-vinylpyrazinium iodine) carbazole (BMVC4). EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: The cellular effects of BMVC4 were characterized in both telomerase-positive and alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) cancer cells. The molecular mechanism of how BMVC4 induced senescence is also addressed. KEY RESULTS: BMVC4-treated cancer cells showed typical senescence phenotypes. BMVC4 induced senescence in both ALT and telomerase-overexpressing cells, suggesting that telomere shortening through telomerase inhibition might not be the cause for senescence. A large fraction of DNA damage foci was not localized to telomeres in BMVC4-treated cells and BMVC4 suppressed c-myc expression through stabilizing the G-quadruplex structure located at its promoter. These results indicated that the cellular targets of BMVC4 were not limited to telomeres. Further analyses showed that BMVC4 induced DNA breaks and activation of ataxia telangiectasia-mutated mediated DNA damage response pathway. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: BMVC4, a G-quadruplex stabilizer, induced senescence by activation of pathways of response to DNA damage that was independent of its telomerase inhibitory activity. Thus, BMVC4 has the potential to be developed as a chemotherapeutic agent against both telomerase positive and ALT cancer cells.

Chang, CC, Hsieh MC, Lin JC, Chang TC.  2012.  Selective photodynamic therapy based on aggregation-induced emission enhancement of fluorescent organic nanoparticles, Jan. Biomaterials. 33:897-906., Number 3 AbstractWebsite

Three binary molecule conjugates were designed and synthesized by conjugating a chromophore (3, 6-bis-(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium)-carbazole diiodide, BMVC) to mono-, bis- and trishydroxyl photosensitizers, respectively. BMVC plays the role of cancer cells recognizer; AIEE (aggregation-induced emission enhancement) generator and FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) donor. The self assembling properties of these binary conjugates result in different degrees of AIEE and then achieve the formations of FONs (fluorescent organic nanoparticles), which present efficient FRET and singlet oxygen generations. Biologically, FONs-photosensitizers from these compounds were much more phototoxicities to cancer cell than to normal cell without significant dark toxicity. In addition, their intracellular fluorescent colors switching upon photo-excitation are expected to be used for further cell death biomarker applications. This improved photodynamic activity might be due to the aggregation of compounds in the cell that form FONs which can promote PDT (photodynamic therapy) and are observed in cancer cell but not normal cell.

Chien, CH, Chen WW, Wu JT, Chang TC.  2012.  Investigation of lipid homeostasis in living Drosophila by coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy, Dec. J Biomed Opt. 17:126001., Number 12 AbstractWebsite

To improve our understanding of lipid metabolism, Drosophila is used as a model animal, and its lipid homeostasis is monitored by coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy. We are able to achieve in vivo imaging of larval fat body (analogous to adipose tissue in mammals) and oenocytes (analogous to hepatocytes) in Drosophila larvae at subcellular level without any labeling. By overexpressing two lipid regulatory proteins--Brummer lipase (Bmm) and lipid storage droplet-2 (Lsd-2)--we found different phenotypes and responses under fed and starved conditions. Comparing with the control larva, we observed more lipid droplet accumulation by approximately twofold in oenocytes of fat-body-Bmm-overexpressing (FB-Bmm-overexpressing) mutant under fed condition, and less lipid by approximately fourfold in oenocytes of fat-body-Lsd-2-overexpressing (FB-Lsd-2-overexpressing) mutant under starved condition. Moreover, together with reduced size of lipid droplets, the lipid content in the fat body of FB-Bmm-overexpressing mutant decreases much faster than that of the control and FB-Lsd-2-overexpressing mutant during starvation. From long-term starvation assay, we found FB-Bmm-overexpressing mutant has a shorter lifespan, which can be attributed to faster consumption of lipid in its fat body. Our results demonstrate in vivo observations of direct influences of Bmm and Lsd-2 on lipid homeostasis in Drosophila larvae.

Chang, TC, Chu JF, Tsai YL, Wang ZF.  2012.  Structure conversion and structure separation of G-quadruplexes investigated by carbazole derivatives. Curr Pharm Des. 18:2002-13., Number 14 AbstractWebsite

The challenge of G-quadruplexes is that the G-rich sequences can adopt various G4 structures and possibly interconvert among them, particularly under the change of environmental conditions. Both NMR and circular dichroism (CD) show the spectral conversion of d[AG3(T2AG3)3] (HT22) from Na-form to K-form after Na+/K+ ion exchange. No appreciable change on the induced CD spectra of BMVC molecule and the single molecule tethered particle motion of HT22 in Na+ solution upon K+ titration suggests that the spectral conversion is unlikely due to the structural conversion via fully unfolded intermediate. Although a number of mechanisms were proposed for the spectral change induced by the Na+/K+ ion exchange, determining the precise structures of HT22 in K+ solution may be essential to unravel the mechanism of the structural conversion. Thus, development of a new method for separating different structures is of critical importance for further individual verification. In the second part of this review, we describe a new approach based on "micelle-enhanced ultrafiltration" method for DNA structural separation. The BMVC, a G-quadruplex ligand, is first modified and then forms a large size of emulsion after ultrasonic emulsification, together with its different binding affinities to various DNA structures; for the first time, we are able to separate different DNA structures after membrane filtration. Verification of the possible structural conversion and investigation of structural diversity among various G4 structures are essential for exploring their potential biological roles and for developing new anticancer drugs.