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A new Assistant Research Fellow, Dr. Masashi Yamada, has joined our center on November 7, 2018.

A new Assistant Research Fellow, Dr. Masashi Yamada, has joined our center on November 7, 2018.



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2018 Travel Grant Award Winners

2018 Travel Grant Award Winners



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Outstanding Presentation Award Winners

Outstanding Presentation Award Winners

http://140.109.182.153/~2018poster/poster_award_mec.html


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Outstanding Poster Award Winners

Outstanding Poster Award Winners



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Faculty Positions in  Synthetic Biology and Medicinal Chemistry of Medicinal Compounds

Faculty Positions in Synthetic Biology and Medicinal Chemistry of Medicinal Compounds



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Screening method for aggressive prostate cancer and the relevant therapeutics for the same subtype

Screening method for aggressive prostate cancer and the relevant therapeutics for the same subtype

In their latest study, Ph.D. student Sheue-Fen Tzeng, postdoctoral researcher Dr. Chin-Hsien Tsai, and research fellow Dr. Pei-Wen Hsiao at the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center (ABRC) of Academia Sinica have found that the galectin-4 binding to surface O-glycans renders prostate cancer (PCa) cells more aggressive by activating multiple Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Also, PCa progression accompanies the increase in galectin-4, surface O-glycan toward sialylated core 1 O-glycans, and production of sugar nucleotide substrates. Using non-invasive assays for PCa patient by the significantly higher than background levels of sugar nucleotide substrates for O-glycosylation, sialylated and unsialylated core 1 O-glycans-conjugated proteins, and galectin-4 protein in serum and urine identified the aggressive PCa.

Castration resistance and metastasis are both characteristics of PCa progression. Our study indicated that higher levels of galectin-4, surface sialylated and unsialylated core 1 O-glycans, and the sugar nucleotide donors for the involved glycosyltransferases are expressed in castration-resistant and metastatic PCa in correlation with poor overall survival in patients. Therefore, our research invents method to identify a subtype of high-risk PCa comprising approximately 16% of all patients received surgical care. PCa patients of this subtype should be actively treated with targeted therapies tailored to the cognate tumors. Conversely, patients with PCa negative for these biomarkers predicted as indolent tumor do not need aggressive treatments. As galectin-4 initiated RTKs signaling will activate MYC via ERK and drive MYC-dependent biosynthesis of more galectin-4 ligands, this way amplifies the RTKs signaling. MYC reprograms abnormal O-glycosylation pathway leading to modification of RTKs with α2,3-sialyl T antigen, encoding for the galectin-4 binding. The lectin-carbohydrate interaction activates RTKs and initiates downstream signaling cascades to promote PCa progression. High-level expression of galectin-4 and C1GALT1 predicts worse survival rate than either single marker diagnosis. Malignant transformation is connected with changes of glycosylation that modifies membrane proteins at cell surface including RTKs, which is now revealed as promoting the invasive and metastatic behaviors of PCa cells.

PCa patients with high PSA and high levels of UDP-GlcNAc, UDP-GalNAc, UDP-Gal, CMP-sialic acid, proteins conjugated with sialylated and unsialylated core 1 O-glycans, and galectin-4 are predicted to progress fast on androgen-deprivation therapy and develop metastases. Biochemical assays can be applied to determine the levels of galectin-4 protein, proteins conjugated with sialylated and unsialylated core 1 O-glycans, and nucleotide sugars, such as UDP-GlcNAc, UDP-GalNAc, UDP-Gal and CMP-sialic acid in urine and serum. One can use ion-pair reverse-phase HPLC, LC-MS/MS, and antibodies or sialylated core 1 O-glycan that specifically recognize galectin-4 to detect the subjects of these nominated biomarkers. Furthermore, patients diagnosed with these features are suggested to be treated with inhibitors that downregulate MYC or SOX9 expression in the PCa.

These findings were published in the FASEB Journal on Jun 15 in 2018 and Cancer Research on October 1 in 2016.
The full research article entitled “O-Glycosylation–mediated signaling circuit drives metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer” available online through The FASEB Journal website at https://www.fasebj.org/doi/pdf/10.1096/fj.201800687.
Another related research: “Metastatic Progression of Prostate Cancer Is Mediated by Autonomous Binding of Galectin-4-O-Glycan to Cancer Cells” is also available on the Cancer Research website at http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/76/19/5756.long

The lead author of “O-Glycosylation–mediated signaling circuit drives metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer” is PhD Student Sheue-Fen Tzeng and Dr. Chin-Hsien Tsai. Co-authors include Dr. Pei-Wen Hsiao and his research team, Dr. Mong-Hsun Tsai (Joint Appointment Professor, Institute of Biotechnology, National Taiwan University and Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center, Academia Sinica), Dr. Tai-Lung Cha (Department of Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center).

Media Contact:

Dr. Pei-Wen Hsiao, Research Fellow, Agricultural Biotechnology Research, Academia Sinica (Tel) 02-2787-2079,pwhsiao@gate.sinica.edu.tw

Dr. Chin-Hsien Tsai, Postdoctoral Fellow, Academia Sinica
(Tel) 02-2787-2077,tch@gate.sinica.edu.tw

Ph.D. Sheue-Fen Tzeng, Ph. D. Student, Graduate Institute of Life Sciences, National Defense Medical Center
(Tel) 02-2787-2077,rtecs119@gate.sinica.edu.tw


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Distinguished Research Fellow Dr. Tzyy Jen Chiou awarded the 62nd Ministry of Education Academic Award

Distinguished Research Fellow Dr. Tzyy Jen Chiou awarded the 62nd Ministry of Education Academic Award

Dr. Tzyy Jen Chiou, a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center (ABRC) has been awarded the 62nd Ministry of Education Academic Award.

The Academic Award was set up by the Ministry of Education in order to encourage academic research and enhance academic standards. The Academic Award is given to people who have actively engaged in academic research in Taiwan, have made important contributions or achieved outstanding accomplishments, and whose work is recognized by the academic community. The academic award is a high level academic honor. ABRC’s Dr. Chiou underwent a rigorous selection process and stood out from among many outstanding scholars to win this honor. This year’s award ceremony will be held in December. President Ing-wen Tsai will personally present the accolade. The award winners will receive honorary certificates and prize money.

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The 11th Shang-Fa Yang Memorial Lecture will be held on October 29- October 30, 2018.

The 11th Shang-Fa Yang Memorial Lecture will be held on October 29- October 30, 2018.



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Frontiers in BioAgricultural Research: The 20th Anniversary of the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center, Academia Sinica

Frontiers in BioAgricultural Research: The 20th Anniversary of the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center, Academia Sinica



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The ABRC 19th Annual Poster Competition 2018

The ABRC 19th Annual Poster Competition 2018



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