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We evaluated the drug release capability of optically transparent recombinant silk-elastinlike protein polymer, SELP-47K, films to sustainably deliver the common ocular antibiotic, ciprofloxacin. The ciprofloxacin release kinetics from drug-loaded SELP-47K films treated with ethanol or methanol vapor to induce different densities of physical crosslinking was investigated. Additionally, the drug-loaded protein films were embedded in a protein polymer coating to further prolong the release of the drug. Drug-loaded SELP-47K films released ciprofloxacin for up to 132 h with near first-order release kinetics. Polymer coating of drug-loaded films prolonged drug release for up to 220 h. The antimicrobial activity of ciprofloxacin released from the drug delivery matrices was not impaired by the film casting process or the ethanol or methanol treatments. The mechanism of drug release was elucidated by analyzing the physical properties of the film specimens, including equilibrium swelling, soluble fraction, surface roughness and hydrophobicity. Additionally, the conformation of the SELP-47K and its physical crosslinks in the films was analyzed by FTIR and Raman spectroscopy. A three-parameter physics based model accurately described the release rates observed for the various film and coating treatments and attributed the effects to the degree of physical crosslinking of the films and to an increasing affinity of the drug with the polymer network. Together, these results indicate that optically transparent silk-elastinlike protein films may be attractive material candidates for novel ophthalmic drug delivery devices.

Unimolecular parallel-stranded G-quadruplex structures are found to be prevalent in gene promoters. The nuclease hypersensitivity element III(1) (NHE III(1)) of the c-MYC promoter can form transcriptionally active and silenced forms, and the formation of DNA G-quadruplex structures has been shown to be critical for c-MYC transcriptional silencing. The solution structure of a 2:1 quindoline-G-quadruplex complex has been solved and shows unexpected features, including the drug-induced reorientation of the flanking sequences to form a new binding pocket. While both 3' and 5' complexes show overall similar features, there are identifiable differences that emphasize the importance of both stacking and electronic interactions. For the first time, we describe the importance of the shape of the ligand as well as the two flanking bases in determining drug binding specificity. These structures provide important insights for the structure-based rational design of drugs that bind to unimolecular parallel G-quadruplexes commonly found in promoter elements.

We studied the structures and stabilities of G-quadruplexes formed in Myc1234, the region containing the four consecutive 5' runs of guanines of c-MYC promoter NHE III(1,) which have recently been shown to form in a supercoiled plasmid system in aqueous solution. We determined the NMR solution structure of the 1:2:1 parallel-stranded loop isomer, one of the two major loop isomers formed in Myc1234 in K(+) solution. This major loop isomer, although sharing the same folding structure, appears to be markedly less stable than the major loop isomer formed in the single-stranded c-MYC NHE III(1) oligonucleotide, the Myc2345 G-quadruplex. Our NMR structures indicated that the different thermostabilities of the two 1:2:1 parallel c-MYC G-quadruplexes are likely caused by the different base conformations of the single nucleotide loops. The observation of the formation of the Myc1234 G-quadruplex in the supercoiled plasmid thus points to the potential role of supercoiling in the G-quadruplex formation in promoter sequences. We also performed a systematic thermodynamic analysis of modified c-MYC NHE III(1) sequences, which provided quantitative measure of the contributions of various loop sequences to the thermostabilities of parallel-stranded G-quadruplexes. This information is important for understanding the equilibrium of promoter G-quadruplex loop isomers and for their drug targeting.

Campylobacter jejuni is the leading cause of bacterial diarrheal illness worldwide. Many strains are now becoming multidrug resistant. Apple-based edible films containing carvacrol and cinnamaldehyde were evaluated for bactericidal activity against antibiotic resistant and susceptible C. jejuni strains on chicken. Retail chicken breast samples inoculated with D28a and H2a (resistant strains) and A24a (a sensitive strain) were wrapped in apple films containing cinnamaldehyde or carvacrol at 0.5%, 1.5%, and 3% concentrations, and then incubated at 4 or 23 °C for 72 h. Immediately after wrapping and at 72 h, samples were plated for enumeration of viable C. jejuni. The antimicrobial films exhibited dose- and temperature-dependent bactericidal activity against all strains. Films with ≥1.5% cinnamaldehyde reduced populations of all strains to below detection at 23 °C at 72 h. At 4 °C with cinnamaldehyde, reductions were variable for all strains, ranging from 0.2 to 2.5 logs and 1.8 to 6.0 logs at 1.5% and 3.0%, respectively. Films with 3% carvacrol reduced populations of A24a and H2a to below detection, and D28a by 2.4 logs at 23 °C and 72 h. A 0.5-log reduction was observed for both A24a and D28a, and 0.9 logs for H2a at 4 °C at 3% carvacrol. Reductions ranged from 1.1 to 1.9 logs and 0.4 to 1.2 logs with 1.5% and 0.5% carvacrol at 23 °C, respectively. The films with cinnamaldehyde were more effective than carvacrol films. Reductions at 23 °C were greater than those at 4 °C. Our results showed that antimicrobial apple films have the potential to reduce C. jejuni on chicken and therefore, the risk of campylobacteriosis. Possible mechanisms of antimicrobial effects are discussed. PRACTICAL APPLICATION:  Apple antimicrobial films could potentially be used in retail food packaging to reduce C. jejuni commonly present on food.

Salmonella enterica is one of the most common bacterial pathogens implicated in foodborne outbreaks involving fresh produce in the last decade. In an effort to discover natural antimicrobials for use on fresh produce, the objective of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of different antimicrobial plant extract-concentrate formulations on four types of organic leafy greens inoculated with S. enterica serovar Newport. The leafy greens tested included organic romaine and iceberg lettuce, and organic adult and baby spinach. Each leaf sample was washed, dip inoculated with Salmonella Newport (10(6) CFU/ml), and dried. Apple and olive extract formulations were prepared at 1, 3, and 5% concentrations, and hibiscus concentrates were prepared at 10, 20, and 30%. Inoculated leaves were immersed in the treatment solution for 2 min and individually incubated at 4°C. After incubation, samples were taken on days 0, 1, and 3 for enumeration of survivors. Our results showed that the antimicrobial activity was both concentration and time dependent. Olive extract exhibited the greatest antimicrobial activity, resulting in 2- to 3-log CFU/g reductions for each concentration and type of leafy green by day 3. Apple extract showed 1- to 2-log CFU/g reductions by day 3 on various leafy greens. Hibiscus concentrate showed an overall reduction of 1 log CFU/g for all leafy greens. The maximum reduction by hydrogen peroxide (3%) was about 1 log CFU/g. The antimicrobial activity was also tested on the background microflora of organic leafy greens, and reductions ranged from 0 to 2.8 log. This study demonstrates the potential of natural plant extract formulations to inactivate Salmonella Newport on organic leafy greens.

BACKGROUND:
The glycolytic nature of malignant tumors contributes to high levels of extracellular acidity in the tumor microenvironment. Tumor acidity is a driving force in invasion and metastases. Recently, it has been shown that buffering of extracellular acidity through systemic administration of oral bicarbonate can inhibit the spread of metastases in a mouse model for metastatic breast cancer. While these findings are compelling, recent assessments into the use of oral bicarbonate as a cancer intervention reveal limitations.

METHODS:
We posited that safety and efficacy of bicarbonate could be enhanced by dichloroacetate (DCA), a drug that selectively targets tumor cells and reduces extracellular acidity through inhibition of glycolysis. Using our mouse model for metastatic breast cancer (MDA-MB-231), we designed an interventional survival study where tumor bearing mice received bicarbonate, DCA, or DCA-bicarbonate (DB) therapies chronically.

RESULTS:
Dichloroacetate alone or in combination with bicarbonate did not increase systemic alkalosis in mice. Survival was longest in mice administered bicarbonate-based therapies. Primary tumor re-occurrence after surgeries is associated with survival rates. Although DB therapy did not significantly enhance oral bicarbonate, we did observe reduced pulmonary lesion diameters in this cohort. The DCA monotherapy was not effective in reducing tumor size or metastases or improving survival time. We provide in vitro evidence to suggest this outcome may be a function of hypoxia in the tumor microenvironment.

CONCLUSIONS:
DB combination therapy did not appear to enhance the effect of chronic oral bicarbonate. The anti-tumor effect of DCA may be dependent on the cancer model. Our studies suggest DCA efficacy is unpredictable as a cancer therapy and further studies are necessary to determine the role of this agent in the tumor microenvironment.

The genus Neisseria contains at least eight commensal and two pathogenic species. According to the Neisseria phylogenetic tree, commensals are basal to the pathogens. N. elongata, which is at the opposite end of the tree from N. gonorrhoeae, has been observed to be fimbriated, and these fimbriae are correlated with genetic competence in this organism. We tested the hypothesis that the fimbriae of N. elongata are Type IV pili (Tfp), and that Tfp functions in genetic competence. We provide evidence that the N. elongata fimbriae are indeed Tfp. Tfp, as well as the DNA Uptake Sequence (DUS), greatly enhance N. elongata DNA transformation. Tfp allows N. elongata to make intimate contact with N. gonorrhoeae and to mediate the transfer of antibiotic resistance markers between these two species. We conclude that Tfp functional for genetic competence is a trait of a commensal member of the Neisseria genus. Our findings provide a mechanism for the horizontal gene transfer that has been observed among Neisseria species.

BACKGROUND:
Covered biliary metal stents have been developed to prevent tumor ingrowth. Previous comparative studies are limited and often include few patients.

OBJECTIVE:
To compare differences in stent patency, patient survival, and complication rates between covered and uncovered nitinol stents in patients with malignant biliary obstruction.

DESIGN:
Randomized, multicenter trial conducted between January 2006 and October 2008.

SETTING:
Ten sites serving a total catchment area of approximately 2.8 million inhabitants.

PATIENTS:
A total of 400 patients with unresectable distal malignant biliary obstruction.

INTERVENTIONS:
ERCP with insertion of covered or uncovered metal stent. Follow-up conducted monthly for symptoms indicating stent obstruction.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS:
Time to stent failure, survival time, and complication rate.

RESULTS:
The patient survival times were 116 days (interquartile range 242 days) and 174 days (interquartile range 284 days) in the covered and uncovered stent groups, respectively (P = .320). The first quartile stent patency time was 154 days in the covered stent group and 199 days in the uncovered stent group (P = .326). There was no difference in the incidence of pancreatitis or cholecystitis between the 2 groups. Stent migration occurred in 6 patients (3%) in the covered group and in no patients in the uncovered group (P = .030).

LIMITATIONS:
Randomization was not blinded.

CONCLUSIONS:
There were no significant differences in stent patency time, patient survival time, or complication rates between covered and uncovered nitinol metal stents in the palliative treatment of malignant distal biliary obstruction. However, covered stents migrated significantly more often compared with uncovered stents, and tumor ingrowth was more frequent in uncovered stents.

Asthma exacerbations are associated with subsequent deficits in lung function. Here, we tested the hypothesis that a specific pattern of inflammatory responses during acute exacerbations may be associated with chronic airway obstruction. Gene coexpression networks were characterized in induced sputum obtained during an acute exacerbation, from asthmatic children with or without chronic airflow limitation. The data showed that activation of Th1-like/cytotoxic and interferon signaling pathways during acute exacerbations was decreased in asthmatic children with deficits in baseline lung function. These associations were independent of the identification of picornaviruses in nasal secretions or the use of medications at the time of the exacerbation. Th2-related pathways were also detected in the responses, but variations in these pathways were not related to chronic airways obstruction. Our findings show that decreased activation of Th1-like/cytotoxic and interferon pathways is a hallmark of acute exacerbation responses in asthmatic children with evidence of chronic airways obstruction.

We have previously characterized a 21-kDa protein encoded by UL138 (pUL138) as a viral factor inherent to low-passage strains of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) that is required for latent infection in vitro. pUL138 is encoded on 3.6-, 2.7-, and 1.4-kb 3' coterminal transcripts that are produced during productive and latent infections. pUL138 is encoded at the 3' end of each transcript and is preceded by an extensive 5' sequence (approximately 0.5 to 2.5 kb) containing several putative open reading frames (ORFs). We determined that three putative ORFs upstream of UL138 (UL133, UL135, and UL136) encode proteins. The UL138 transcripts are polycistronic, such that each transcript expresses pUL138 in addition to the most-5' ORF. The upstream coding sequences (CDS) present a significant challenge for the translation of pUL138 in mammalian cells. We hypothesized that sequences 5' of UL138 mediate translation initiation of pUL138 by alternative strategies. Accordingly, a 663-nucloetide (nt) sequence overlapping the UL136 CDS supported expression of a downstream cistron in a bicistronic reporter system. We did not detect cryptic promoter activity or RNA splicing events that could account for downstream cistron expression. These data are consistent with the sequence element functioning as an internal ribosome entry site (IRES). Interestingly, pUL138 expression from the 3.6- and 2.7-kb transcripts was induced by serum stress, which concomitantly inhibited normal cap-dependent translation. Our work suggests that an alternative and stress-inducible strategy of translation initiation ensures expression of pUL138 under a variety of cellular contexts. The UL138 polycistronic transcripts serve to coordinate the expression of multiple proteins, including a viral determinant of HCMV latency.

No abstract given.

Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, FHC, is a clinically heterogeneous, autosomal-dominant disease of the cardiac sarcomere leading to extensive remodeling at both the whole heart and molecular levels. The remodeling patterns are mutation-specific, a finding that extends to the level of single amino acid substitutions at the same peptide residue. Here we utilize two well-characterized transgenic FHC mouse models carrying independent amino acid substitutions in the TM-binding region of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) at residue 92. R92Q and R92L cTnT domains have mutation-specific average peptide conformation and dynamics sufficient to alter thin filament flexibility and cross-bridge formation and R92 mutant myocytes demonstrate mutation-specific temporal molecular remodeling of Ca(2+) kinetics and impaired cardiac contractility and relaxation. To determine if a greater economy of contraction at the crossbridge level would rescue the mechanical defects caused by the R92 cTnT mutations, we replaced the endogenous murine alpha-myosin heavy chain (MyHC) with the beta-MyHC isoform. While beta-MyHC replacement rescued the systolic dysfunction in R92Q mice, it failed to rescue the defects in diastolic function common to FHC-associated R92 mutations. Surprisingly, a significant component of the whole heart and molecular contractile improvement in the R92Q mice was due to improvements in Ca(2+) homeostasis including SR uptake, [Ca2+](i) amplitude and phospholamban phosphorylation. Our data demonstrate that while genetically altering the myosin composition of the heart bearing a thin filament FHC mutation is sufficient to improve contractility, diastolic performance is refractory despite improved Ca(2+) kinetics. These data reveal a previously unrecognized role for MyHC isoforms with respect to Ca(2+) homeostasis in the setting of cardiomyopathic remodeling and demonstrate the overall dominance of the thin filament mutation in determining the degree of diastolic impairment at the myofilament level.

The activity of beta-catenin, commonly dysregulated in human colon cancers, is inhibited by the vitamin D receptor (VDR), and this mechanism is postulated to explain the putative anti-cancer activity of vitamin D metabolites in the colon. We investigated the effect of a common FokI restriction site polymorphism (F/f) in the human VDR gene as well as the effect of anti-tumorigenic 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25D) and pro-tumorigenic lithocholic acid (LCA) VDR ligands on beta-catenin transcriptional activity. Furthermore, the influence of a major regulatory protein of beta-catenin, the APC tumor suppressor gene, on VDR-dependent inhibition of beta-catenin activity was examined. We report herein that beta-catenin-mediated transcription is most effectively suppressed by the VDR FokI variant F/M4 when 1,25D is limiting. Using Caco-2 colorectal cancer (CRC) cells, it was observed that VDR ligands, 1,25D and LCA, both suppress beta-catenin transcriptional activity, though 1,25D exhibited significantly greater inhibition. Moreover, 1,25D, but not LCA, suppressed endogenous expression of the beta-catenin target gene DKK-4 independent of VDR DNA-binding activity. These results support beta-catenin sequestration away from endogenous gene targets by 1,25D-VDR. This activity is most efficiently mediated by the FokI gene variant F/M4, a VDR allele previously associated with protection against CRC. Interestingly, we found the inhibition of beta-catenin activity by 1,25D-VDR was significantly enhanced by wild-type APC. These results reveal a previously unrecognized role for 1,25D-VDR in APC/beta-catenin cross talk. Collectively, these findings strengthen evidence favoring a direct effect on the Wnt-signaling molecule beta-catenin as one anti-cancer target of 1,25D-VDR action in the colorectum.

Ornithine decarboxylase has a relatively long history as a target for cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy. Plym Forshell et al. report new evidence (beginning on p. 140 in this issue of the journal) indicating that spermidine synthase, a fellow enzyme of ornithine decarboxylase in polyamine metabolism, is transactivated in part by the MYC gene and is a potential target for chemoprevention of B-cell lymphomas.

The ornithine decarboxylase-1 (ODC1) polymorphism at position +316 affects binding by transcriptional activators and repressors and modulates the risk of metachronous colorectal adenomas, particularly in association with aspirin use. We investigated the effects of ODC1 after treatment with difluoromethylornithine (eflornithine)/sulindac or placebo. Two hundred twenty-eight colorectal adenoma patients in a randomized phase III trial were genotyped for ODC1. We used Wilcoxon rank sums tests on non-normally distributed continuous variables across two genotype groups, χ(2) or Fisher exact test to assess the association between baseline categorical variables and genotype group, and log binomial regression for the primary (adenoma recurrence) and secondary outcomes (tissue polyamine response, cardiovascular toxicity, gastrointestinal toxicity, and ototoxicity). All statistical tests were two-sided. In binomial regression models with variables age, sex, race, aspirin use, treatment, and ODC1 genotype, treatment was the only statistically significant factor associated with differences in adenoma recurrence or tissue polyamine response. A statistically significant interaction was detected between ODC1 genotype and treatment with respect to adenoma recurrence (placebo group: GG, 50%, AA/GA: 34%; treatment group: GG, 11%, AA/GA, 21%; P(interaction) = .038). Excess ototoxicity was observed among ODC1 AA patients receiving treatment, but the interaction of genotype and treatment on ototoxicity was not statistically significant (P = .45).

BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Combination of polyamine and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2)-synthesis inhibitors reduced the risk of colorectal adenoma (CRA) by 70% in patients who received polypectomies. We studied effects of the combination of difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) and sulindac on biomarkers and investigated factors that modify their efficacy.

METHODS:
We analyzed rectal mucosal levels of polyamines (spermidine, spermine, and putrescine) and PGE2, treatment regimens, and risk of CRA in 267 participants of a phase IIb/III chemoprevention trial of DFMO/sulindac.

RESULTS:
In the group that received DFMO/sulindac, spermidine-to-spermine ratio (Spd:Spm) in rectal mucosa decreased between baseline and 12- and 36-month follow-up examinations (0.30, 0.23, and 0.24, respectively; P < .001 for both comparisons to baseline). Putrescine levels decreased between baseline and 12 months (0.46 vs 0.15 nmol/mg protein; P < .001) but rebounded between 12 and 36 months (0.15 vs 0.36 nmol/mg protein; P = .001). PGE2 levels did not change, although aspirin use was significantly associated with lower baseline levels of PGE2. No significant associations were observed between changes in biomarker levels and efficacy. However, drug efficacy was greatest in subjects with low Spd:Spm and high PGE2 at baseline; none of these subjects, versus 39% of those given placebo, developed CRA (P < .001). Efficacy was lowest in subjects with high Spd:Spm and low PGE2 at baseline; 28% developed CRA, compared with 36% of patients given placebo (P = .563).

CONCLUSIONS:
A combination of DFMO and sulindac significantly suppressed production of rectal mucosal polyamines but not PGE2. No relationship was found between changes in biomarker levels and response. However, baseline biomarker levels modified the effect of DFMO/sulindac for CRA prevention.

The polyamines spermidine and spermine, and their precursor putrescine, are required for cell growth and cellular functions. The high levels of tissue polyamines are implicated in carcinogenesis. The major sources of exogenous polyamines are diet and intestinal luminal bacteria in gastrointestinal (GI) tissues. Both endocytic and solute carrier-dependent mechanisms have been described for polyamine uptake. Knocking down of caveolin-1 protein increased polyamine uptake in colon cancer-derived HCT116 cells. Dietary supplied putrescine was accumulated in GI tissues and liver in caveolin-1 knockout mice more than wild-type mice. Knocking out of nitric oxide synthase (NOS2), which has been implicated in the release of exogenous polyamines from internalized vesicles, abolished the accumulation of dietary putrescine in GI tissues. Under conditions of reduced endogenous tissue putrescine contents, caused by treatment with the polyamine synthesis inhibitor difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), small intestinal and colonic mucosal polyamine contents increased with dietary putrescine levels, even in mice lacking NOS2. Knocking down the solute carrier transporter SLC3A2 in HCT116-derived Hkh2 cells reduced the accumulation of exogenous putrescine and total polyamine contents in DFMO treated cells, relative to non-DFMO-treated cells. These data demonstrate that exogenous putrescine is transported into GI tissues by caveolin-1- and NOS2-dependent mechanisms, but that the solute carrier transporter SLC3A2 can function bidirectionally to import putrescine under conditions of low tissue polyamines.

BACKGROUND:
The microRNA-200 family participates in the maintenance of an epithelial phenotype and loss of its expression can result in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Furthermore, the loss of expression of miR-200 family members is linked to an aggressive cancer phenotype. Regulation of the miR-200 family expression in normal and cancer cells is not fully understood.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:
Epigenetic mechanisms participate in the control of miR-200c and miR-141 expression in both normal and cancer cells. A CpG island near the predicted mir-200c/mir-141 transcription start site shows a striking correlation between miR-200c and miR-141 expression and DNA methylation in both normal and cancer cells, as determined by MassARRAY technology. The CpG island is unmethylated in human miR-200/miR-141 expressing epithelial cells and in miR-200c/miR-141 positive tumor cells. The CpG island is heavily methylated in human miR-200c/miR-141 negative fibroblasts and miR-200c/miR-141 negative tumor cells. Mouse cells show a similar inverse correlation between DNA methylation and miR-200c expression. Enrichment of permissive histone modifications, H3 acetylation and H3K4 trimethylation, is seen in normal miR-200c/miR-141-positive epithelial cells, as determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to real-time PCR. In contrast, repressive H3K9 dimethylation marks are present in normal miR-200c/miR-141-negative fibroblasts and miR-200c/miR-141 negative cancer cells and the permissive histone modifications are absent. The epigenetic modifier drug, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, reactivates miR-200c/miR-141 expression showing that epigenetic mechanisms play a functional role in their transcriptional control.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:
We report that DNA methylation plays a role in the normal cell type-specific expression of miR-200c and miR-141 and this role appears evolutionarily conserved, since similar results were obtained in mouse. Aberrant DNA methylation of the miR-200c/141 CpG island is closely linked to their inappropriate silencing in cancer cells. Since the miR-200c cluster plays a significant role in EMT, our results suggest an important role for DNA methylation in the control of phenotypic conversions in normal cells.

Arsenic is a known human bladder carcinogen; however, the mechanisms underlying arsenical-induced bladder carcinogenesis are not understood. Previous research has demonstrated that exposure of a nontumorigenic human urothelial cell line, UROtsa, to 50 nM monomethylarsonous acid (MMA(III)) for 52 weeks resulted in malignant transformation. To focus research on the early mechanistic events leading to MMA(III)-induced malignancy, the goal of this research was to resolve the critical period in which continuous MMA(III) exposure (50 nM) induces the irreversible malignant transformation of UROtsa cells. An increased growth rate of UROtsa cells results after 12 weeks of MMA(III) exposure. Anchorage-independent growth occurred after 12 weeks with a continued increase in colony formation when 12-week exposed cells were cultured for an additional 12 or 24 weeks without MMA(III) exposure. UROtsa cells as early as 12 weeks MMA(III) exposure were tumorigenic in severe combined immunodeficiency mice with tumorigenicity increasing when 12-week exposed cells were cultured for an additional 12 or 24 weeks in the absence of MMA(III) exposure. To assess potential underlying mechanisms associated with the early changes that occur during MMA(III)-induced malignancy, DNA methylation was assessed in known target gene promoter regions. Although DNA methylation remains relatively unchanged after 12 weeks of exposure, aberrant DNA methylation begins to emerge after an additional 12 weeks in culture and continues to increase through 24 weeks in culture without MMA(III) exposure, coincident with the progression of a tumorigenic phenotype. Overall, these data demonstrate that 50 nM MMA(III) is capable of causing irreversible malignant transformation in UROtsa cells after 12 weeks of exposure. Having resolved an earlier timeline in which MMA(III)-induced malignant transformation occurs in UROtsa cells will allow for mechanistic studies focused on the critical biological changes taking place within these cells prior to 12 weeks of exposure, providing further evidence about potential mechanisms of MMA(III)-induced carcinogenesis.

BACKGROUND:
Many women use multivitamins in the belief that these supplements will prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, whether the use of multivitamins affects the risk of breast cancer is unclear.

OBJECTIVE:
We prospectively examined the association between multivitamin use and the incidence of invasive breast cancer in the Swedish Mammography Cohort.

DESIGN:
In 1997, 35,329 cancer-free women completed a self-administered questionnaire that solicited information on multivitamin use as well as other breast cancer risk factors. Relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs were calculated by using Cox proportional hazard models and adjusted for breast cancer risk factors.

RESULTS:
During a mean follow-up of 9.5 y, 974 women were diagnosed with incident breast cancer. Multivitamin use was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of breast cancer. The multivariable RR of women who reported the use of multivitamins was 1.19 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.37). The association did not differ significantly by hormone receptor status of the breast tumor.

CONCLUSIONS:
These results suggest that multivitamin use is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This observed association is of concern and merits further investigation.

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