Stanford Advisors


All Publications


  • The magic bullet: Niclosamide. Frontiers in oncology Jiang, H., Li, A. M., Ye, J. 2022; 12: 1004978

    Abstract

    The term 'magic bullet' is a scientific concept proposed by the German Nobel laureate Paul Ehrlich in 1907, describing a medicine that could specifically and efficiently target a disease without harming the body. Oncologists have been looking for a magic bullet for cancer therapy ever since. However, the current therapies for cancers-including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy-pose either pan-cytotoxicity or only single-target efficacy, precluding their ability to function as a magic bullet. Intriguingly, niclosamide, an FDA-approved drug for treating tapeworm infections with an excellent safety profile, displays broad anti-cancer activity in a variety of contexts. In particular, niclosamide inhibits multiple oncogenic pathways such as Wnt/β-catenin, Ras, Stat3, Notch, E2F-Myc, NF-κB, and mTOR and activates tumor suppressor signaling pathways such as p53, PP2A, and AMPK. Moreover, niclosamide potentially improves immunotherapy by modulating pathways such as PD-1/PDL-1. We recently discovered that niclosamide ethanolamine (NEN) reprograms cellular metabolism through its uncoupler function, consequently remodeling the cellular epigenetic landscape to promote differentiation. Inspired by the promising results from the pre-clinical studies, several clinical trials are ongoing to assess the therapeutic effect of niclosamide in cancer patients. This current review summarizes the functions, mechanism of action, and potential applications of niclosamide in cancer therapy as a magic bullet.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fonc.2022.1004978

    View details for PubMedID 36479072

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9720275

  • Mitochondrial uncoupling induces epigenome remodeling and promotes differentiation in neuroblastoma. Cancer research Jiang, H., Greathouse, R. L., Tiche, S. J., Zhao, M., He, B., Li, Y., Li, A. M., Forgo, B., Yip, M., Li, A., Shih, M., Banuelos, S., Zhou, M., Gruber, J. J., Rankin, E. B., Hu, Z., Shimada, H., Chiu, B., Ye, J. 2022

    Abstract

    The Warburg effect is the major metabolic hallmark of cancer. According to Warburg himself, the consequence of the Warburg effect is cell dedifferentiation. Therefore, reversing the Warburg effect might be an approach to restore cell differentiation in cancer. In this study, we used a mitochondrial uncoupler, niclosamide ethanolamine (NEN), to activate mitochondrial respiration, which induced neural differentiation in neuroblastoma cells. NEN treatment increased the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)+/NADH and pyruvate/lactate ratios and also the alpha-ketoglutarate (alpha-KG)/2- hydroxyglutarate (2-HG) ratio. Consequently, NEN treatment induced promoter CpG island demethylation and epigenetic landscape remodeling, activating the neural differentiation program. In addition, NEN treatment upregulated p53 but downregulated N-Myc and beta-catenin signaling in neuroblastoma cells. Importantly, even under hypoxia, NEN treatment remained effective in inhibiting 2-HG generation, promoting DNA demethylation, and suppressing hypoxia-inducible factor signaling. Dietary NEN intervention reduced tumor growth rate, 2-HG levels, and expression of N-Myc and beta-catenin in tumors in an orthotopic neuroblastoma mouse model. Integrative analysis indicated that NEN treatment upregulated favorable prognosis genes and downregulated unfavorable prognosis genes, which were defined using multiple neuroblastoma patient datasets. Altogether, these results suggest that mitochondrial uncoupling is an effective metabolic and epigenetic therapy for reversing the Warburg effect and inducing differentiation in neuroblastoma.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-22-1029

    View details for PubMedID 36318118

  • Use of Niclosamide Ethanolamine as a Mitochondrial Decoupler in Neuroblastoma Rafeeqi, T., Jiang, H., Greathouse, R., He, B., Li, A., Shimada, H., Ye, J., Chiu, B. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2022: S194-S195
  • NMNAT2 and NAD(+) are Downregulated in Glaucomatous RGCs and Overexpression of NMNAT2 Rescues Glaucomatous Neurodegeneration Liu, D., Fang, F., Zhuang, P., Feng, X., Liu, P., Huang, H., Li, L., Chen, W., Liu, L., Sun, Y., Jiang, H., Ye, J., Hu, Y. ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC. 2022
  • Aldehyde dehydrogenase 3A1 deficiency leads to mitochondrial dysfunction and impacts salivary gland stem cell phenotype. PNAS nexus Viswanathan, V., Cao, H., Saiki, J., Jiang, D., Mattingly, A., Nambiar, D., Bloomstein, J., Li, Y., Jiang, S., Chamoli, M., Sirjani, D., Kaplan, M., Holsinger, F. C., Liang, R., Von Eyben, R., Jiang, H., Guan, L., Lagory, E., Feng, Z., Nolan, G., Ye, J., Denko, N., Knox, S., Rosen, D., Le, Q. 2022; 1 (2): pgac056

    Abstract

    Adult salivary stem/progenitor cells (SSPC) have an intrinsic property to self-renew in order to maintain tissue architecture and homeostasis. Adult salivary glands have been documented to harbor SSPC, which have been shown to play a vital role in the regeneration of the glandular structures postradiation damage. We have previously demonstrated that activation of aldehyde dehydrogenase 3A1 (ALDH3A1) after radiation reduced aldehyde accumulation in SSPC, leading to less apoptosis and improved salivary function. We subsequently found that sustained pharmacological ALDH3A1 activation is critical to enhance regeneration of murine submandibular gland after radiation damage. Further investigation shows that ALDH3A1 function is crucial for SSPC self-renewal and survival even in the absence of radiation stress. Salivary glands from Aldh3a1 -/- mice have fewer acinar structures than wildtype mice. ALDH3A1 deletion or pharmacological inhibition in SSPC leads to a decrease in mitochondrial DNA copy number, lower expression of mitochondrial specific genes and proteins, structural abnormalities, lower membrane potential, and reduced cellular respiration. Loss or inhibition of ALDH3A1 also elevates ROS levels, depletes glutathione pool, and accumulates ALDH3A1 substrate 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE, a lipid peroxidation product), leading to decreased survival of murine SSPC that can be rescued by treatment with 4-HNE specific carbonyl scavengers. Our data indicate that ALDH3A1 activity protects mitochondrial function and is important for the regeneration activity of SSPC. This knowledge will help to guide our translational strategy of applying ALDH3A1 activators in the clinic to prevent radiation-related hyposalivation in head and neck cancer patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/pnasnexus/pgac056

    View details for PubMedID 35707206

  • NMNAT2 Is Downregulated in Glaucomatous RGCs and RGC-Specific Gene Therapy Rescues Neurodegeneration and Visual Function. Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy Fang, F., Zhuang, P., Feng, X., Liu, P., Liu, D., Huang, H., Li, L., Chen, W., Liu, L., Sun, Y., Jiang, H., Ye, J., Hu, Y. 1800

    Abstract

    The lack of neuroprotective treatments for retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and optic nerve (ON) is a central challenge for glaucoma management. Emerging evidence suggests that redox factor NAD+ decline is a hallmark of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Supplementation with NAD+ precursors and overexpression of NMNAT1, the key enzyme in the NAD+ biosynthetic process, have significant neuroprotective effects. We first profile the translatomes of RGCs in naive mice and mice with silicone oil-induced ocular hypertension (SOHU)/glaucoma by RiboTag mRNA sequencing. Intriguingly, only NMNAT2, but not NMNAT1 or NMNAT3, is significantly decreased in SOHU glaucomatous RGCs, which we confirm by in situ hybridization. We next demonstrate that AAV2 intravitreal injection-mediated overexpression of long half-life NMNAT2 mutant driven by RGC-specific mouse gamma-synuclein (mSncg) promoter restores decreased NAD+ levels in glaucomatous RGCs and ONs. Moreover, this RGC-specific gene therapy strategy delivers significant neuroprotection of both RGC soma and axon and preservation of visual function in the traumatic ON crush model and the SOHU glaucoma model. Collectively, our studies suggest that the weakening of NMNAT2 expression in glaucomatous RGCs contributes to a deleterious NAD+ decline and that modulating RGC intrinsic NMNAT2 levels by AAV2-mSncg vector is a promising gene therapy for glaucomatous neurodegeneration.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ymthe.2022.01.035

    View details for PubMedID 35114390

  • Developing metabolic intervention strategies to reprogram neuroblastoma epigenome and overcome tumor resistance to differentiation therapy Jiang, H., Li, Y., Yip, M., Gruber, J., Li, A., Ye, J. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2020