Bio

Professional Education


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Boston College (2009)

Stanford Advisors


Publications

Journal Articles


  • A Novel Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-3 Activator Leads to Adult Salivary Stem Cell Enrichment In Vivo CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Banh, A., Xiao, N., Cao, H., Chen, C., Kuo, P., Krakow, T., Bavan, B., Khong, B., Yao, M., Ha, C., Kaplan, M. J., Sirjani, D., Jensen, K., Kong, C. S., Mochly-Rosen, D., Koong, A. C., Quynh-Thu Le, Q. T. 2011; 17 (23): 7265-7272

    Abstract

    To assess aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) expression in adult human and murine submandibular gland (SMG) stem cells and to determine the effect of ALDH3 activation in SMG stem cell enrichment.Adult human and murine SMG stem cells were selected by cell surface markers (CD34 for human and c-Kit for mouse) and characterized for various other stem cell surface markers by flow cytometry and ALDH isozymes expression by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. Sphere formation and bromodeoxyuridine (BrdUrd) incorporation assays were used on selected cells to confirm their renewal capacity and three-dimensional (3D) collagen matrix culture was applied to observe differentiation. To determine whether ALDH3 activation would increase stem cell yield, adult mice were infused with a novel ALDH3 activator (Alda-89) or with vehicle followed by quantification of c-Kit(+)/CD90(+) SMG stem cells and BrdUrd(+) salispheres.More than 99% of CD34(+) huSMG stem cells stained positive for c-Kit, CD90 and 70% colocalized with CD44, Nestin. Similarly, 73.8% c-Kit(+) mSMG stem cells colocalized with Sca-1, whereas 80.7% with CD90. Functionally, these cells formed BrdUrd(+) salispheres, which differentiated into acinar- and ductal-like structures when cultured in 3D collagen. Both adult human and murine SMG stem cells showed higher expression of ALDH3 than in their non-stem cells and 84% of these cells have measurable ALDH1 activity. Alda-89 infusion in adult mice significantly increased c-Kit(+)/CD90(+) SMG population and BrdUrd(+) sphere formation compared with control.This is the first study to characterize expression of different ALDH isozymes in SMG stem cells. In vivo activation of ALDH3 can increase SMG stem cell yield, thus providing a novel means for SMG stem cell enrichment for future stem cell therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-0179

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298133600009

    View details for PubMedID 21998334

  • The RGD Domain of Human Osteopontin Promotes Tumor Growth and Metastasis through Activation of Survival Pathways PLOS ONE Courter, D., Cao, H., Kwok, S., Kong, C., Banh, A., Kuo, P., Bouley, D. M., Vice, C., Brustugun, O. T., Denko, N. C., Koong, A. C., Giaccia, A., Le, Q. 2010; 5 (3)

    Abstract

    Human osteopontin (OPN), a known tumor associated protein, exists in different isoforms, whose function is unclear. It also possesses a RGD domain, which has been implicated in diverse function. Here, we use genetic approaches to systematically investigate the function of the RGD domain in different OPN isoforms on tumor progression and metastasis for 2 different solid tumor models.Using isoform-specific qRT-PCR, we found that OPN-A and B were the main isoforms overexpressed in evaluated human tumors, which included 4 soft tissue sarcomas, 24 lung and 30 head and neck carcinomas. Overexpression of either OPN-A or B in two different cell types promoted local tumor growth and lung metastasis in SCID mouse xenografts. However, expression of either isoform with the RGD domain either mutated or deleted decreased tumor growth and metastasis, and resulted in increased apoptosis by TUNEL staining. In vitro, whereas mutation of the RGD domain did not affect cell-cell adhesion, soft agar growth or cell migration, it increased apoptosis under hypoxia and serum starvation. This effect could be mitigated when the RGD mutant cells were treated with condition media containing WT OPN. Mechanistically, the RGD region of OPN inhibited apoptosis by inducing NF-kappaB activation and FAK phosphorylation. Inhibition of NF-kappaB (by siRNA to the p65 subunit) or FAK activation (by a inhibitor) significantly increased apoptosis under hypoxia in WT OPN cells, but not in RGD mutant cells.Unlike prior reports, our data suggest that the RGD domain of both OPN-A and B promote tumor growth and metastasis mainly by protecting cells against apoptosis under stressed conditions and not via migration or invasion. Future inhibitors directed against OPN should target multiple isoforms and should inhibit cell survival mechanisms that involve the RGD domain, FAK phosphorylation and NF-kappaB activation.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0009633

    View details for Web of Science ID 000275328800027

    View details for PubMedID 20224789

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