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Pharmaceutical sciences faculty member publishes research papers

Published: 26 July 2013


Erxi Wu, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, recently co-wrote four research papers.

“An Antimitotic and Antivascular Agent BPR0L075 Overcomes Multidrug Resistance and Induces Mitotic Catastrophe in Paclitaxel-Resistant Ovarian Cancer Cells” was published in PloS One. According to the authors, led by Xinli Liu’s lab at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, paclitaxel plays a major role in the treatment of ovarian cancer. However, resistance to paclitaxel is frequently observed and a new therapy that can overcome the resistance would be clinically important. The authors evaluated antiproliferative effects of an antimitotic and antivascular agent BPR0L075 in paclitaxel-resistant ovarian cancer cells. The results showed BPR0L075 represents a novel microtubule therapeutic to overcome multidrug resistance and trigger alternative cell death by mitotic catastrophe in ovarian cancer cells that are apoptosis-resistant.

The second paper, titled “Hedgehog signaling regulates hypoxia induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition and invasion in pancreatic cancer cells via a ligand-independent manner,” was published in Molecular Cancer. Hypoxia plays an important role in cancer epithelial to mesenchymal transition and invasion. However, it is not clear how hypoxia may contribute to these events. The authors, led by Qingyong Ma’s lab at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, investigated the role of Hedgehog signaling in hypoxia induced pancreatic cancer epithelial to mesenchymal transition and invasion. The findings suggest Hh signaling modulates hypoxia induced pancreatic cancer epithelial to mesenchymal transition and invasion in a ligand-independent manner. Therefore, Hh signaling may represent a promising therapeutic target for preventing pancreatic cancer progression. 

“Lipid Based Signaling Modulates DNA Repair Response and Survival Against Klebsiella Pneumoniae Infection in Host Cells and in Mice” was published in American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. According to the authors, led by Min Wu’s lab at the University of North Dakota, Klebsiella pneumoniae causes serious infections in the urinary tract, respiratory tract and blood. Lipid rafts, also known as membrane microdomains, have been linked to the pathogenesis of bacterial infection. However, whether lipid rafts affect Klebsiella pneumoniae internalization into host cells is unknown. The results suggest lipid rafts may modulate bacterial internalization and impact DNA damage and repair, which is critical to host defense against Klebsiella pneumoniae.

The fourth paper, “BRAF Mutation in Melanoma and Dietary Polyphenols as Adjunctive Treatment Strategy,” is in press for the book Polyphenols in Human Health and Disease by publisher Elsevier. According to the authors, led by Joseph Wu’s lab at New York Medical College, melanomas are the most insidious type of skin cancers, with more than 76,000 new cases and more than 9,100 deaths anticipated by 2013 in the United States. Recent advances in an understanding of genetic alterations that cause mutations in the oncogenes BRAF and NRAS, have provided new leads for treatment of melanoma. A valine-toglutamic acid substitution mutation at position 600 (V600E) in the BRAF kinase gene has been shown to occur in approximately 75 percent of melanoma cases. The mutation results in constitutive activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, offering a target amenable to development of novel therapies and complementary management options.

“To collaborate with some clinical researchers and other basic researchers can supplement our research strengths and boost our NDSU research reputation,” Wu said “Also, together, we would like to find better disease therapeutics and elucidate the mechanisms of the targeted therapy for disease, especially cancer.”

Wu laboratory research interests include cancer therapeutic targets, drug discovery and biomarkers. For more information about Wu lab, visit

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Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013