Motawi, T. M. K., N. A. H. Sadik, D. Sabry, S. A. Fahim, and N. N. Shahin, "rs62139665 Polymorphism in the Promoter Region of EpCAM Is Associated With Hepatitis C Virus-Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk in Egyptians", Frontiers in Oncology, vol. 11, pp. 754104, 2022. AbstractWebsite

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a universal health problem that is particularly alarming in Egypt. The major risk factor for HCC is hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection which is a main burden in Egypt. The epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is a stem cell marker involved in the tumorigenesis and progression of many malignancies, including HCC. We investigated the association of -935 C/G single nucleotide polymorphism in EpCAM promoter region (rs62139665) with HCC risk, EpCAM expression and overall survival in Egyptians. A total of 266 patients (128 HCV and 138 HCC cases) and 117 age- and sex-matched controls participated in this study. Genotyping, performed using allelic discrimination and confirmed by sequencing, revealed a significant association between EpCAM rs62139665 and HCC susceptibility, with higher GG genotype and G allele distribution in HCC patients than in non-HCC subjects. Such association was not detected in HCV patients compared to controls. EpCAM gene expression levels, determined in blood by RT-qPCR, and its serum protein expression levels, determined by ELISA, were significantly higher in GG relative to GC+CC genotype carriers in HCV and HCC patients in a recessive model. ROC analysis of EpCAM protein levels revealed significant discriminatory power between HCC patients and non-HCC subjects, with improved diagnostic accuracy when combining α-fetoprotein and EpCAM compared to that of α-fetoprotein alone. Altogether, EpCAM rs62139665 polymorphism is significantly associated with HCC and with EpCAM gene and protein expression levels in the Egyptian population. Moreover, serum EpCAM levels may hold promise for HCC diagnosis and for improving the diagnostic accuracy of α-fetoprotein.

Hanafy, M. M., J. Z. Lindeque, S. A. EL-Maraghy, A. - H. Z. Abdel-Hamid, and N. N. Shahin, "Time-based investigation of urinary metabolic markers for Type 2 diabetes: Metabolomics approach for diabetes management.", BioFactors (Oxford, England), 2021. Abstract

Diabetes is considered one of the most important health emergencies worldwide and Egypt has 8.2 million diabetic patients according to the International Diabetes Federation report in 2017. The objective of this study was to monitor the time-course variation in the metabolic profile of diabetic rats to detect urinary metabolic biomarkers using the metabolomics approach. Type 2 diabetes was induced in male Wistar albino rats using a single intraperitoneal injection of 40 mg/kg of streptozotocin following oral administration of 10% fructose in drinking water for 3 weeks. Then, urine was collected for 24 h from rats at three time points (0, 2, and 4 weeks after confirmation of diabetes), and were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance (H -NMR), followed by multivariate data analysis. The results from H -NMR pointed out that d-glucose, taurine, l-carnitine, l-fucose, 1,5-anhydrosorbitol, and d-galactose levels showed consistent significant variation (p < 0.05) between the positive (diabetic) and negative (normal) controls during the whole experimental period. Also, with the disease progression, myoinositol, and l-phenylalanine levels were significantly altered (p < 0.05) after 2 weeks and this alteration was maintained till the end of the 4-week experimental period in the positive control group. From the results of the present study, it could be concluded that we cannot depend only on glucose levels for prognostic purposes since there are other metabolic disturbances in diabetes which need to be tracked for better disease prognosis.

Arab, H. H., M. M. Safar, and N. N. Shahin, "Targeting ROS-Dependent AKT/GSK-3β/NF-κB and DJ-1/Nrf2 Pathways by Dapagliflozin Attenuates Neuronal Injury and Motor Dysfunction in Rotenone-Induced Parkinson's Disease Rat Model.", ACS chemical neuroscience, vol. 12, issue 4, pp. 689-703, 2021. Abstract

Dapagliflozin, a selective sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, has emerged as a promising neuroprotective agent in murine models of epilepsy and obesity-induced cognitive impairment through its marked antioxidant/antiapoptotic features. However, the impact of dapagliflozin on the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) is lacking. Hence, the present study aimed at exploring the potential neuroprotective effects of dapagliflozin against PD-associated neurodegenerative aberrations/motor dysfunction in rotenone-induced PD rat model. Rotenone (1.5 mg/kg) was subcutaneously administered every other day for 3 weeks. The expression of target signals was investigated using qPCR, Western blotting, ELISA, and immunohistochemistry. Dapagliflozin (1 (mg/kg)/day, by gavage for 3 weeks) attenuated PD motor dysfunction and improved motor coordination in the open-field and rotarod tests without triggering hypoglycemia. It also diminished the histopathologic alterations and α-synuclein expression and augmented tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine levels. Dapagliflozin markedly alleviated neuronal oxidative stress via lowering lipid peroxides with consequent restoration of the disturbed DJ-1/Nrf2 pathway. Moreover, dapagliflozin counteracted ROS-dependent neuronal apoptosis and upregulated GDNF and its downstream PI3K/AKT/GSK-3β (Ser9) pathway. Meanwhile, it suppressed neuroinflammation via curbing the activation of NF-κB pathway and TNF-α levels. Together, these pleiotropic neuroprotective effects highlight the promising role of dapagliflozin in the management of PD.

El-Fattah, A. A. A., N. A. H. Sadik, O. G. Shaker, A. M. Kamal, and N. N. Shahin, "Serum Long Non-Coding RNAs PVT1, HOTAIR, and NEAT1 as Potential Biomarkers in Egyptian Women with Breast Cancer.", Biomolecules, vol. 11, issue 2, 2021. Abstract

Long non-coding RNAs play an important role in tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis in several types of cancer. However, the clinical significance of using lncRNAs as biomarkers for breast cancer diagnosis and prognosis is still poorly investigated. In this study, we analyzed the serum expression levels of lncRNAs PVT1, HOTAIR, NEAT1, and MALAT1, and their associated proteins, PAI-1, and OPN, in breast cancer patients compared to fibroadenoma patients and healthy subjects. Using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), we compared the serum expression levels of the four circulating lncRNAs in patients with breast cancer ( = 50), fibroadenoma ( = 25), and healthy controls ( = 25). The serum levels of PAI-1 and OPN were measured using ELISA. Receiveroperating-characteristic (ROC) analysis and multivariate logistic regression were used to evaluate the diagnostic value of the selected parameters. The serum levels of HOTAIR, PAI-1, and OPN were significantly higher in breast cancer patients compared to controls and fibroadenoma patients. The serum level of PVT1 was significantly higher in breast cancer patients than in the controls, while that of NEAT1 was significantly lower in breast cancer patients compared to controls and fibroadenoma patients. Both ROC and multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that PAI-1 has the greatest power in discriminating breast cancer from the control, whereas HOTAIR, PAI-1, and OPN have the greatest power in discriminating breast cancer from fibroadenoma patients. In conclusion, our data suggest that the serum levels of PVT1, HOTAIR, NEAT1, PAI-1, and OPN could serve as promising diagnostic biomarkers for breast cancer.

Motawi, T. K., N. N. Shahin, K. Awad, A. S. Maghraby, D. N. Abd-Elshafy, and M. M. Bahgat, "Glycolytic and immunological alterations in human U937 monocytes in response to H1N1 infection.", IUBMB life, vol. 72, issue 11, pp. 2481-2498, 2020. Abstract

We monitored changes that took place in glycolytic enzymes, the pyruvate end product of glycolysis, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), and toll-like receptors (TLRs) both at the transcriptional and translational levels upon direct interaction between PR8-H1N1 and the human monocytes U937 in vitro system. U937 were first treated with H1N1 infectious viral particles or phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) or left untreated and later infected with the H1N1 virus. Levels of phosphofructokinase 1 (PFK1) and pyruvate were biochemically quantified. In addition, levels of TNFα, TLR3, and TLR7 were measured by ELISA. The transcriptional profiles of PFKs, inflammatory cytokines, TLR3 and TLR7 were relatively quantified by qRT-PCR. The results generally revealed significant changes in both the transcriptional and translational profiles of the studied biochemical and immunological parameters upon influenza infection in a time-dependent manner. In conclusion, H1N1 infection triggers transcriptional and translational changes in immortalized human monocytes, which might serve as markers for infection subject for further validation for their specificities.

Motawi, T. M. K., Z. M. Abdel-Nasser, and N. N. Shahin, "Ameliorative Effect of Necrosulfonamide in a Rat Model of Alzheimer's Disease: Targeting Mixed Lineage Kinase Domain-like Protein-Mediated Necroptosis.", ACS chemical neuroscience, vol. 11, issue 20, pp. 3386-3397, 2020. Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressively debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that has no effective remedy, so far, with available therapeutic modalities being only symptomatic and of modest efficacy. Necroptosis is a form of controlled cell death with a recently emerging link to the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. This study investigated the role of necroptosis in the pathogenesis of AD and evaluated the potential beneficial effect of the necroptosis inhibitor, necrosulfonamide (NSA), in a rat model of AD. AD was induced by oral administration of AlCl (17 mg/kg/day) for 6 consecutive weeks. Administration of NSA (1.65 mg/kg/day) intraperitoneally for 6 weeks significantly amended AlCl-induced spatial learning and memory deficits, as demonstrated by enhanced rat performance in Morris water and Y-mazes. NSA alleviated the abnormally high hippocampal expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1), β-amyloid, glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), phosphorylated tau protein, and acetylcholinesterase with concordant replenishment of acetylcholine. The amendments of AD perturbations achieved by NSA correlated with its inhibitory effect on the phosphorylation of the key necroptotic executioner, mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL). Histopathological alterations supported the biochemical findings. In conclusion, NSA treatment represents a promising anti-Alzheimer's approach, mitigating AD neuropathologies via targeting MLKL-dependent necroptosis.

Safar, M. M., N. N. Shahin, A. F. Mohamed, and N. F. Abdelkader, "Suppression of BACE1 and amyloidogenic/RAGE axis by sitagliptin ameliorates PTZ kindling-induced cognitive deficits in rats.", Chemico-biological interactions, vol. 328, pp. 109144, 2020. Abstract

The debilitating nature of cognitive impairment in epilepsy and the potential of some traditional antiepileptics to further deteriorate cognitive function are areas of growing concern. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) deficiency has been linked to reduced seizure threshold as well as cognitive dysfunction. Here, we tested whether sitagliptin (SITA), by virtue of its neuroprotective properties, could alleviate both epilepsy and associated cognitive dysfunction in a rat model of kindling epilepsy. Chemical kindling was induced by subconvulsive doses of pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) (30 mg/kg; i.p). SITA (50 mg/kg; p.o) was administered 1 h before PTZ injections. SITA conceivably attenuated PTZ hippocampal histological insult, preserved neuronal integrity and amended neurotransmitter perturbations in rat hippocampi paralleled with enhanced hippocampal GLP-1 levels as well as the downstream cAMP content and protein kinase A (PKA) activity. Moreover, SITA improved cognitive functioning of rats in the Morris water maze which was coupled with hampered hippocampal p(Ser)-tau and β-amyloid proteins. SITA replenished p(Ser)-glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β). It also opposed the boosted matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels associated with PTZ administration along with mitigation of both β-secretase-1 (BACE1) immunoreactivity and receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) protein level in rat hippocampi. In conclusion, SITA subdues epileptic and cognitive upshots of PTZ kindling in rats, which might correspond to the modulation of BACE1, amyloidogenic/RAGE axis as well as GSK-3β/MMP-9/BDNF signaling cascade. SITA effects are probably mediated via boosting GLP-1 and subsequently enhancing GLP-1/GLP-1R signaling.

Abo-Elfadl, M. T., A. M. Gamal-Eldeen, M. F. Ismail, and N. N. Shahin, "Silencing of the cytokine receptor TNFRSF13B: A new therapeutic target for triple-negative breast cancer.", Cytokine, vol. 125, pp. 154790, 2020. Abstract

BACKGROUND: TNFRSF13B, TACI, is a member of the TNF receptor superfamily; it plays a key role in cancer cell proliferation and progression.

METHOD: Influence of silencing of human cytokine receptors on cell viability was screened by Luminescent Cell Viability Assay, after transfection of the siRNA library to find the maximum cell death superhits in both triple-negative MDA-MB-231 and double-positive MCF7 breast cells. The mode of cell death was investigated by dual DNA fluorescence staining. The expression of mRNAs of TACI, BAFF, BAFF-R, and APRIL was explored by qPCR. Immunocytofluorescence analysis was used to evaluate changes in TACI, Bcl-2, TNFR2, cyclin-D2, and PCNA. NF-kB p65, cell cycle, and necrosis/apoptosis (late and early) were analyzed by flow cytometry.

RESULTS: TACI is the most potent cytotoxic superhit resulted from high-throughput screening of the siRNA library, in both types of cells. Our findings indicated that silencing receptor TACI in both types of breast cancer cells led to significant cell death, after different intervals from siRNA transfection. Cell death mediators (TNFR2, Bcl-2, and NF-κB) were significantly decreased after TACI silencing. The key factors for cell division (Cyclin-D2 and PCNA) were significantly increased in silenced cells of both types but the cell cycle was arrested before the completion of mitosis. Expression of BAFF, BAFF-R and APRIL mRNA in TACI-silenced cells showed significant upregulation in MDA-MB-231 cells, while only BAFF-R and APRIL showed significant downregulation in MCF7 cells.

CONCLUSION: TACI silencing can be a new and promising therapeutic target for mesenchymal-stem like triple-negative breast cancer subtype.

Shahin, N. N., G. T. Abd-Elwahab, A. A. Tawfiq, and H. M. Abdelgawad, "Potential role of aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling in childhood obesity.", Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular and cell biology of lipids, vol. 1865, issue 8, pp. 158714, 2020. Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is a growing concern that junk food has contributed to the childhood obesity epidemic. Recently, experimental studies suggested that the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) gene is strongly linked to western diet-induced obesity.

AIM: This study investigated the potential role of AHR signaling in childhood obesity and the possible associations of the AHR-aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor (AHRR)-cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) axis with fatty acid homeostasis and the appetite-related hormones, leptin and ghrelin.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The study included 80 children; 54 obese and 26 non-obese of matched age and sex. Demographic data, anthropometric measurements, and lipid profile were assessed. Expression of AHR signaling genes was analyzed in blood cells by qRT-PCR. Serum insulin, leptin and ghrelin levels were measured using ELISA.

RESULTS: The statistical power of this study, calculated using G*Power version 3.1.9.2, was 90% (α = 0.05). AHR and CYP1B1 gene expression levels were upregulated in the obese group compared to controls, whereas AHRR, stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) were downregulated. Serum leptin correlated positively, while serum ghrelin correlated negatively with both AHR and CYP1B1. Stratification of obese children by age revealed more activated AHR signaling in younger than in older children. Receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) analysis revealed that AHR, AHRR and CYP1B1 could discriminate between obese and normal weight children. Multivariate analysis showed that AHRR, CYP1B1 and ghrelin could be significant independent predictors of obesity.

CONCLUSION: This study provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms contributing to childhood obesity by revealing alterations in the AHR-AHRR-CYP1B1 axis, which could serve as a promising therapeutic target for childhood obesity.

Motawi, T. K., N. N. Shahin, A. S. Maghraby, M. Kirschfink, D. N. Abd-Elshafy, K. Awad, and M. M. Bahgat, "H1N1 Infection Reduces Glucose Level in Human U937 Monocytes Culture.", Viral immunology, vol. 33, issue 5, pp. 384-390, 2020. Abstract

Infection with influenza A (H1N1) virus contributes significantly to the global burden of acute respiratory diseases. Glucose uptake and metabolic changes are reported in different cell types after infections with different virus types, including influenza A virus. Alteration of glucose metabolism specifically in immune cells has major health consequences. The aim of this study was to monitor glucose concentration in unstimulated and stimulated U937 human monocytes with infectious or heat inactivated H1N1 or or in nonpathogenically stimulated monocytes with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate. Stimulated or unstimulated U937 human monocytes were subjected to H1N1 infection for different time points and the glucose profile in the growth medium was measured post infection. Results showed that regardless to whether the initial stimuli on U937 cells were of pathogen or nonpathogen origins, challenge infection by H1N1 causes a significant reduction of glucose levels 36 h post infection. In conclusion, H1N1 infection has a direct effect on the glucose uptake of U937 cells . This effect can be related to either H1N1 infection or cell differentiation status that might occur due to the exerted stimuli.