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1.  Association of BMI1 with Polycomb Bodies Is Dynamic and Requires PRC2/EZH2 and the Maintenance DNA Methyltransferase DNMT1§  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(24):11047-11058.
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are epigenetic chromatin modifiers involved in heritable gene repression. Two main PcG complexes have been characterized. Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is thought to be involved in the initiation of gene silencing, whereas Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) is implicated in the stable maintenance of gene repression. Here, we investigate the kinetic properties of the binding of one of the PRC1 core components, BMI1, with PcG bodies. PcG bodies are unique nuclear structures located on regions of pericentric heterochromatin, found to be the site of accumulation of PcG complexes in different cell lines. We report the presence of at least two kinetically different pools of BMI1, a highly dynamic and a less dynamic fraction, which may reflect BMI1 pools with different binding capacities to these stable heterochromatin domains. Interestingly, PRC2 members EED and EZH2 appear to be essential for BMI1 recruitment to the PcG bodies. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the maintenance DNA methyltransferase DNMT1 is necessary for proper PcG body assembly independent of DNMT-associated histone deacetylase activity. Together, these results provide new insights in the mechanism for regulation of chromatin silencing by PcG proteins and suggest a highly regulated recruitment of PRC1 to chromatin.
doi:10.1128/MCB.25.24.11047-11058.2005
PMCID: PMC1316945  PMID: 16314526
2.  HER2 (neu) Signaling Increases the Rate of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1α (HIF-1α) Synthesis: Novel Mechanism for HIF-1-Mediated Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2001;21(12):3995-4004.
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is a transcriptional activator composed of HIF-1α and HIF-1β subunits. Several dozen HIF-1 targets are known, including the gene encoding vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Under hypoxic conditions, HIF-1α expression increases as a result of decreased ubiquitination and degradation. The tumor suppressors VHL (von Hippel-Lindau protein) and p53 target HIF-1α for ubiquitination such that their inactivation in tumor cells increases the half-life of HIF-1α. Increased phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and AKT or decreased PTEN activity in prostate cancer cells also increases HIF-1α expression by an undefined mechanism. In breast cancer, increased activity of the HER2 (also known as neu) receptor tyrosine kinase is associated with increased tumor grade, chemotherapy resistance, and decreased patient survival. HER2 has also been implicated as an inducer of VEGF expression. Here we demonstrate that HER2 signaling induced by overexpression in mouse 3T3 cells or heregulin stimulation of human MCF-7 breast cancer cells results in increased HIF-1α protein and VEGF mRNA expression that is dependent upon activity of PI3K, AKT (also known as protein kinase B), and the downstream kinase FRAP (FKBP-rapamycin-associated protein). In contrast to other inducers of HIF-1 expression, heregulin stimulation does not affect the half-life of HIF-1α but instead stimulates HIF-1α synthesis in a rapamycin-dependent manner. The 5′-untranslated region of HIF-1α mRNA directs heregulin-inducible expression of a heterologous protein. These data provide a molecular basis for VEGF induction and tumor angiogenesis by heregulin-HER2 signaling and establish a novel mechanism for the regulation of HIF-1α expression.
doi:10.1128/MCB.21.12.3995-4004.2001
PMCID: PMC87062  PMID: 11359907

Results 1-2 (2)