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author:("Hu, lime")
1.  miR-101 suppresses the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by targeting ZEB1 and ZEB2 in ovarian carcinoma 
Oncology Reports  2014;31(5):2021-2028.
Ovarian carcinoma is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy; the majority of patients succumb to the disease within 5 years of diagnosis. The poor survival rate is attributed to diagnosis at advanced stage, when the tumor has metastasized. The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a necessary step toward metastatic tumor progression. Through integrated computational analysis, we recently identified a master microRNA (miRNA) network that includes miR-101 and regulates EMT in ovarian carcinoma. In the present study, we characterized the functions of miR-101. Using reporter gene assays, we demonstrated that miR-101 suppressed the expression of the E-cadherin repressors ZEB1 and ZEB2 by directly targeting the 3′-untranslated region (3′UTR) of both ZEB1 and ZEB2. Introduction of miR-101 significantly inhibited EMT and cell migration and invasion. Introducing cDNAs of ZEB1 and ZEB2 without 3′UTR abrogated miR-101-induced EMT alteration, respectively. Our findings showed that miR-101 represents a redundant mechanism for the miR-200 family that regulates EMT through two major E-cadherin transcriptional repressors.
PMCID: PMC4020617  PMID: 24677166
ovarian carcinoma; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; miR-101; ZEB1; ZEB2
2.  Post-transcriptional regulatory network of epithelial-to-mesenchymal and mesenchymal-to-epithelial transitions 
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and its reverse process, mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET), play important roles in embryogenesis, stem cell biology, and cancer progression. EMT can be regulated by many signaling pathways and regulatory transcriptional networks. Furthermore, post-transcriptional regulatory networks regulate EMT; these networks include the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) families. Specifically, the miR-200 family, miR-101, miR-506, and several lncRNAs have been found to regulate EMT. Recent studies have illustrated that several lncRNAs are overexpressed in various cancers and that they can promote tumor metastasis by inducing EMT. MiRNA controls EMT by regulating EMT transcription factors or other EMT regulators, suggesting that lncRNAs and miRNA are novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of cancer. Further efforts have shown that non-coding-mediated EMT regulation is closely associated with epigenetic regulation through promoter methylation (e.g., miR-200 or miR-506) and protein regulation (e.g., SET8 via miR-502). The formation of gene fusions has also been found to promote EMT in prostate cancer. In this review, we discuss the post-transcriptional regulatory network that is involved in EMT and MET and how targeting EMT and MET may provide effective therapeutics for human disease.
PMCID: PMC3973872  PMID: 24598126
Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA); microRNA (miRNA); Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT); Mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET)
3.  Integrated analyses identify a master microRNA regulatory network for the mesenchymal subtype in serous ovarian cancer 
Cancer cell  2013;23(2):186-199.
Integrated genomic analyses revealed a miRNA-regulatory network, which further defined a robust integrated mesenchymal subtype associated with poor overall survival in 459 cases of serous ovarian cancer (OvCa) from The Cancer Genome Atlas and 560 cases from independent cohorts. Eight key miRNAs, including miR-506, miR-141 and miR-200a, were predicted to regulate 89% of the targets in this network. Follow-up functional experiments illustrate that miR-506 augmented E-cadherin expression, inhibited cell migration and invasion, and prevented TGFβ-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by targeting SNAI2, a transcriptional repressor of E-cadherin. In human OvCa, miR-506 expression was correlated with decreased SNAI2 and VIM, elevated E-cadherin, and beneficial prognosis. Nanoparticle delivery of miR-506 in orthotopic OvCa mouse models led to E-cadherin induction and reduced tumor growth.
PMCID: PMC3603369  PMID: 23410973
4.  NGAL Expression Is Elevated in Both Colorectal Adenoma–Carcinoma Sequence and Cancer Progression and Enhances Tumorigenesis in Xenograft Mouse Models 
There is growing evidence implicating that neutrophil gelatinase–associated lipocalin (NGAL) plays a role in the development and progression of cancers. However, the effect of NGAL in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) has not been clearly elucidated. In this study, we investigated the role of NGAL in the tumorigenesis and progression of CRC and evaluated the clinical value of NGAL expression.
Experimental Design
We examined NGAL expression in 526 colorectal tissue samples, including 53 sets of matched specimens (histologically normal mucosa, adenomas, and carcinomas) using immunohistochemical analysis. In CRCs, correlations between NGAL expression and clinicopathologic parameters were analyzed, and survival analysis was conducted. The role of NGAL was further tested using mouse xenograft models.
NGAL expression was elevated during the colorectal adenoma–carcinoma sequence both among the 526 cases (rs = 0.66, P < 0.001) and in the 53 sets of matched specimens (rs = 0.60, P < 0.001). In CRCs, NGAL expression was associated with cancer stage (P = 0.041) and tumor recurrence in stage II patients (P = 0.037). Survival analysis revealed that NGAL expression was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (HR = 1.84, P = 0.004) and for disease-free survival of stage II patients (HR = 5.88, P = 0.021). In mouse models, the xenografts in cecum and spleen were heavier and more numerous in the group injected with NGAL-overexpressing CRC cells (P < 0.05).
NGAL overexpression may promote the tumorigenesis and progression of CRC. Detecting NGAL expression in tumor tissues may be useful for evaluating prognosis of patients with CRC.
PMCID: PMC3575684  PMID: 21622717
5.  The tumorigenic FGFR3-TACC3 gene fusion escapes miR-99a regulation in glioblastoma  
Fusion genes are chromosomal aberrations that are found in many cancers and can be used as prognostic markers and drug targets in clinical practice. Fusions can lead to production of oncogenic fusion proteins or to enhanced expression of oncogenes. Several recent studies have reported that some fusion genes can escape microRNA regulation via 3′–untranslated region (3′-UTR) deletion. We performed whole transcriptome sequencing to identify fusion genes in glioma and discovered FGFR3-TACC3 fusions in 4 of 48 glioblastoma samples from patients both of mixed European and of Asian descent, but not in any of 43 low-grade glioma samples tested. The fusion, caused by tandem duplication on 4p16.3, led to the loss of the 3′-UTR of FGFR3, blocking gene regulation of miR-99a and enhancing expression of the fusion gene. The fusion gene was mutually exclusive with EGFR, PDGFR, or MET amplification. Using cultured glioblastoma cells and a mouse xenograft model, we found that fusion protein expression promoted cell proliferation and tumor progression, while WT FGFR3 protein was not tumorigenic, even under forced overexpression. These results demonstrated that the FGFR3-TACC3 gene fusion is expressed in human cancer and generates an oncogenic protein that promotes tumorigenesis in glioblastoma.
PMCID: PMC3561838  PMID: 23298836
6.  Mitosis Phase Enrichment with Identification of Mitotic Centromere-Associated Kinesin As a Therapeutic Target in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31259.
The recently described transcriptomic switch to a mitosis program in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) suggests that mitotic proteins may be rationally targeted at this lethal stage of the disease. In this study, we showed upregulation of the mitosis-phase at the protein level in our cohort of 51 clinical CRPC cases and found centrosomal aberrations to also occur preferentially in CRPC compared with untreated, high Gleason–grade hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (P<0.0001). Expression profiling of chemotherapy-resistant CRPC samples (n = 25) was performed, and the results were compared with data from primary chemotherapy-naïve CRPC (n = 10) and hormone-sensitive prostate cancer cases (n = 108). Our results showed enrichment of mitosis-phase genes and pathways, with progression to both castration-resistant and chemotherapy-resistant disease. The mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK) was identified as a novel mitosis-phase target in prostate cancer that was overexpressed in multiple CRPC gene-expression datasets. We found concordant gene expression of MCAK between our parent and murine CRPC xenograft pairs and increased MCAK protein expression with clinical progression of prostate cancer to a castration-resistant disease stage. Knockdown of MCAK arrested the growth of prostate cancer cells suggesting its utility as a potential therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC3281954  PMID: 22363599
7.  The subcellular localization of IGFBP5 affects its cell growth and migration functions in breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:103.
Insulin-like growth factor binding protein 5 (IGFBP5) has been shown to be associated with breast cancer metastasis in clinical marker studies. However, a major difficulty in understanding how IGFBP5 functions in this capacity is the paradoxical observation that ectopic overexpression of IGFBP5 in breast cancer cell lines results in suppressed cellular proliferation. In cancer tissues, IGFBP5 resides mainly in the cytoplasm; however, in transfected cells, IGFBP5 is mainly located in the nucleus. We hypothesized that subcellular localization of IGFBP5 affects its functions in host cells.
To test this hypothesis, we generated wild-type and mutant IGFBP5 expression constructs. The mutation occurs within the nuclear localization sequence (NLS) of the protein and is generated by site-directed mutagenesis using the wild-type IGFBP5 expression construct as a template. Next, we transfected each expression construct into MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells to establish stable clones overexpressing either wild-type or mutant IGFBP5.
Functional analysis revealed that cells overexpressing wild-type IGFBP5 had significantly lower cell growth rate and motility than the vector-transfected cells, whereas cells overexpressing mutant IGFBP5 demonstrated a significantly higher ability to proliferate and migrate. To illustrate the subcellular localization of the proteins, we generated wild-type and mutant IGFBP5-pDsRed fluorescence fusion constructs. Fluorescence microscopy imaging revealed that mutation of the NLS in IGFBP5 switched the accumulation of IGFBP5 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm of the protein.
Together, these findings imply that the mutant form of IGFBP5 increases proliferation and motility of breast cancer cells and that mutation of the NLS in IGFBP5 results in localization of IGFBP5 in the cytoplasm, suggesting that subcellular localization of IGFBP5 affects its cell growth and migration functions in the breast cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC2670316  PMID: 19341485
8.  Using cell fate attractors to uncover transcriptional regulation of HL60 neutrophil differentiation 
BMC Systems Biology  2009;3:20.
The process of cellular differentiation is governed by complex dynamical biomolecular networks consisting of a multitude of genes and their products acting in concert to determine a particular cell fate. Thus, a systems level view is necessary for understanding how a cell coordinates this process and for developing effective therapeutic strategies to treat diseases, such as cancer, in which differentiation plays a significant role. Theoretical considerations and recent experimental evidence support the view that cell fates are high dimensional attractor states of the underlying molecular networks. The temporal behavior of the network states progressing toward different cell fate attractors has the potential to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms governing differentiation.
Using the HL60 multipotent promyelocytic leukemia cell line, we performed experiments that ultimately led to two different cell fate attractors by two treatments of varying dosage and duration of the differentiation agent all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA). The dosage and duration combinations of the two treatments were chosen by means of flow cytometric measurements of CD11b, a well-known early differentiation marker, such that they generated two intermediate populations that were poised at the apparently same stage of differentiation. However, the population of one treatment proceeded toward the terminally differentiated neutrophil attractor while that of the other treatment reverted back toward the undifferentiated promyelocytic attractor. We monitored the gene expression changes in the two populations after their respective treatments over a period of five days and identified a set of genes that diverged in their expression, a subset of which promotes neutrophil differentiation while the other represses cell cycle progression. By employing promoter based transcription factor binding site analysis, we found enrichment in the set of divergent genes, of transcription factors functionally linked to tumor progression, cell cycle, and development.
Since many of the transcription factors identified by this approach are also known to be implicated in hematopoietic differentiation and leukemia, this study points to the utility of incorporating a dynamical systems level view into a computational analysis framework for elucidating transcriptional mechanisms regulating differentiation.
PMCID: PMC2652435  PMID: 19222862
9.  Multifunctional roles of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 5 in breast cancer 
The insulin-like growth factor axis, which has been shown to protect cells from apoptosis, plays an essential role in normal cell physiology and in cancer development. The family of insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) has been shown to have a diverse spectrum of functions in cell growth, death, motility, and tissue remodeling. Among the six IGFBP family members, IGFBP-5 has recently been shown to play an important role in the biology of breast cancer, especially in breast cancer metastasis; however, the exact mechanisms of action remain obscure and sometimes paradoxical. An in-depth understanding of IGFBP-5 would shed light on its potential role as a target for breast cancer therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC2575530  PMID: 18710598
10.  Mitochondrial respiration defects in cancer cells cause activation of Akt survival pathway through a redox-mediated mechanism 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;175(6):913-923.
Cancer cells exhibit increased glycolysis for ATP production due, in part, to respiration injury (the Warburg effect). Because ATP generation through glycolysis is less efficient than through mitochondrial respiration, how cancer cells with this metabolic disadvantage can survive the competition with other cells and eventually develop drug resistance is a long-standing paradox. We report that mitochondrial respiration defects lead to activation of the Akt survival pathway through a novel mechanism mediated by NADH. Respiration-deficient cells (ρ-) harboring mitochondrial DNA deletion exhibit dependency on glycolysis, increased NADH, and activation of Akt, leading to drug resistance and survival advantage in hypoxia. Similarly, chemical inhibition of mitochondrial respiration and hypoxia also activates Akt. The increase in NADH caused by respiratory deficiency inactivates PTEN through a redox modification mechanism, leading to Akt activation. These findings provide a novel mechanistic insight into the Warburg effect and explain how metabolic alteration in cancer cells may gain a survival advantage and withstand therapeutic agents.
PMCID: PMC2064701  PMID: 17158952
11.  Improving signal intensities for genes with low-expression on oligonucleotide microarrays 
BMC Genomics  2004;5:35.
DNA microarrays using long oligonucleotide probes are widely used to evaluate gene expression in biological samples. These oligonucleotides are pre-synthesized and sequence-optimized to represent specific genes with minimal cross-hybridization to homologous genes. Probe length and concentration are critical factors for signal sensitivity, particularly when genes with various expression levels are being tested. We evaluated the effects of oligonucleotide probe length and concentration on signal intensity measurements of the expression levels of genes in a target sample.
Selected genes of various expression levels in a single cell line were hybridized to oligonucleotide arrays of four lengths and four concentrations of probes to determine how these critical parameters affected the intensity of the signal representing their expression. We found that oligonucleotides of longer length significantly increased the signals of genes with low-expression in the target. High-expressing gene signals were also boosted but to a lesser degree. Increasing the probe concentration, however, did not linearly increase the signal intensity for either low- or high-expressing genes.
We conclude that the longer the oligonuclotide probe the better the signal intensities of low expressing genes on oligonucleotide arrays.
PMCID: PMC436055  PMID: 15196312
12.  Obtaining reliable information from minute amounts of RNA using cDNA microarrays 
BMC Genomics  2002;3:16.
High density cDNA microarray technology provides a powerful tool to survey the activity of thousands of genes in normal and diseased cells, which helps us both to understand the molecular basis of the disease and to identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention. The promise of this technology has been hampered by the large amount of biological material required for the experiments (more than 50 μg of total RNA per array). We have modified an amplification procedure that requires only 1 μg of total RNA. Analyses of the results showed that most genes that were detected as expressed or differentially expressed using the regular protocol were also detected using the amplification protocol. In addition, many genes that were undetected or weakly detected using the regular protocol were clearly detected using the amplification protocol. We have carried out a series of confirmation studies by northern blotting, western blotting, and immunohistochemistry assays.
Our results showed that most of the new information revealed by the amplification protocol represents real gene activity in the cells.
We have confirmed a powerful and consistent cDNA microarray procedure that can be used to study minute amounts of biological tissue.
PMCID: PMC117130  PMID: 12086591

Results 1-12 (12)