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1.  Mule Regulates the Intestinal Stem Cell Niche via the Wnt Pathway and Targets EphB3 for Proteasomal and Lysosomal Degradation 
Cell stem cell  2016;19(2):205-216.
The E3 ubiquitin ligase Mule is often overexpressed in human colorectal cancers, but its role in gut tumorigenesis is unknown. Here, we show in vivo that Mule controls murine intestinal stem and progenitor cell proliferation by modulating Wnt signaling via c-Myc. Mule also regulates protein levels of the receptor tyrosine kinase EphB3 by targeting it for proteasomal and lysosomal degradation. In the intestine, EphB/ephrinB interactions position cells along the crypt-villus axis and compartmentalize incipient colorectal tumors. Our study thus unveils an important new avenue by which Mule acts as an intestinal tumor suppressor by regulation of the intestinal stem cell niche.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC5193118  PMID: 27184401
2.  iRhom2 Regulation of TACE Controls TNF-Mediated Protection Against Listeria and Responses to LPS 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2012;335(6065):229-232.
Innate immune responses are vital for pathogen defense but can result in septic shock when excessive. A key mediator of septic shock is tumor necrosis factor–α (TNFα), which is shed from the plasma membrane after cleavage by the TNFα convertase (TACE). We report that the rhomboid family member iRhom2 interacted with TACE and regulated TNFα shedding. iRhom2 was critical for TACE maturation and trafficking to the cell surface in hematopoietic cells. Gene-targeted iRhom2-deficient mice showed reduced serum TNFα in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and could survive a lethal LPS dose. Furthermore, iRhom2-deficient mice failed to control the replication of Listeria monocytogenes. Our study has identified iRhom2 as a regulator of innate immunity that may be an important target for modulating sepsis and pathogen defense.
PMCID: PMC4250273  PMID: 22246778
3.  XB130 Deficiency Affects Tracheal Epithelial Differentiation during Airway Repair 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e108952.
The repair and regeneration of airway epithelium is important for maintaining homeostasis of the respiratory system. XB130 is an adaptor protein involved in the regulation of cell proliferation, survival and migration. In the human trachea, XB130 is expressed on the apical site of ciliated epithelial cells. We hypothesize that XB130 may play a role in epithelial repair and regeneration after injury. Xb130 knockout (KO) mice were generated, and a mouse isogenic tracheal transplantation model was used. Adult Xb130 KO mice did not show any significant anatomical and physiological phenotypes in comparison with their wild type (WT) littermates. The tracheal epithelium in Xb130 KO mice, however, was significantly thicker than that in WT mice. Severe ischemic epithelial injury was observed immediately after the tracheal transplantation, which was followed by epithelial cell flattening, proliferation and differentiation. No significant differences were observed in terms of initial airway injury and apoptosis. However, at Day 10 after transplantation, the epithelial layer was significantly thicker in Xb130 KO mice, and associated with greater proliferative (Ki67+) and basal (CK5+) cells, as well as thickening of the connective tissue and fibroblast layer between the epithelium and tracheal cartilages. These results suggest that XB130 is involved in the regulation of airway epithelial differentiation, especially during airway repair after injury.
PMCID: PMC4182764  PMID: 25272040
4.  IDH1(R132H) mutation increases murine haematopoietic progenitors and alters epigenetics 
Nature  2012;488(7413):656-659.
Mutations in the IDH1 and IDH2 genes encoding isocitrate dehydrogenases are frequently found in human glioblastomas1 and cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukaemias (AML)2. These alterations are gain-of-function mutations in that they drive the synthesis of the ‘oncometabolite’ R-2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG)3. It remains unclear how IDH1 and IDH2 mutations modify myeloid cell development and promote leukaemogenesis. Here we report the characterization of conditional knock-in (KI) mice in which the most common IDH1 mutation, IDH1(R132H), is inserted into the endogenous murine Idh1 locus and is expressed in all haematopoietic cells (Vav-KI mice) or specifically in cells of the myeloid lineage (LysM-KI mice). These mutants show increased numbers of early haematopoietic progenitors and develop splenomegaly and anaemia with extramedullary haematopoiesis, suggesting a dysfunctional bone marrow niche. Furthermore, LysM-KI cells have hypermethylated histones and changes to DNA methylation similar to those observed in human IDH1- or IDH2-mutant AML. To our knowledge, our study is the first to describe the generation and characterization of conditional IDH1(R132H)-KI mice, and also the first report to demonstrate the induction of a leukaemic DNA methylation signature in a mouse model. Our report thus sheds light on the mechanistic links between IDH1 mutation and human AML.
PMCID: PMC4005896  PMID: 22763442
5.  BRCA1 interacts with Nrf2 to regulate antioxidant signaling and cell survival 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2013;210(8):1529-1544.
BRCA1 deficiency results in impaired Nrf2-mediated antioxidant responses followed by cell death, with estradiol rescuing the effect by inducing Nrf2 stabilization.
Oxidative stress plays an important role in cancer development and treatment. Recent data implicate the tumor suppressor BRCA1 in regulating oxidative stress, but the molecular mechanism and the impact in BRCA1-associated tumorigenesis remain unclear. Here, we show that BRCA1 regulates Nrf2-dependent antioxidant signaling by physically interacting with Nrf2 and promoting its stability and activation. BRCA1-deficient mouse primary mammary epithelial cells show low expression of Nrf2-regulated antioxidant enzymes and accumulate reactive oxygen species (ROS) that impair survival in vivo. Increased Nrf2 activation rescues survival and ROS levels in BRCA1-null cells. Interestingly, 53BP1 inactivation, which has been shown to alleviate several defects associated with BRCA1 loss, rescues survival of BRCA1-null cells without restoring ROS levels. We demonstrate that estrogen treatment partially restores Nrf2 levels in the absence of BRCA1. Our data suggest that Nrf2-regulated antioxidant response plays a crucial role in controlling survival downstream of BRCA1 loss. The ability of estrogen to induce Nrf2 posits an involvement of an estrogen-Nrf2 connection in BRCA1 tumor suppression. Lastly, BRCA1-mutated tumors retain a defective antioxidant response that increases the sensitivity to oxidative stress. In conclusion, the role of BRCA1 in regulating Nrf2 activity suggests important implications for both the etiology and treatment of BRCA1-related cancers.
PMCID: PMC3727320  PMID: 23857982
6.  Bat3 Protects T cell Responses by Repressing Tim-3-Mediated Exhaustion and Death 
Nature medicine  2012;18(9):1394-1400.
T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-containing-3 (Tim-3) is an inhibitory receptor expressed on exhausted T cells during HIV-1 and HCV infection. By contrast, Tim-3 expression and function are defective in multiple human autoimmune diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms governing Tim-3 function remain poorly understood. Here we show that HLA-B-associated transcript 3 (Bat3) binds to, and represses the function of Tim-3. Bat3-deficient T cells display elevated expression of exhaustion markers, and knocking down Bat3 in myelin antigen-specific CD4+ T cells dramatically inhibits the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis while promoting the expansion of a dysfunctional Tim-3hiIFNγlo CD4+ cell population. Furthermore, exhausted Tim-3+ T cells from murine tumors and HIV-1-infected individuals display substantially reduced Bat3 expression and targeted deletion of Bat3 induces an exhausted phenotype in T cells. These data indicate that Bat3 acts as a molecular safety catch that inhibits Tim-3-dependent cell death/exhaustion, suggesting that Bat3 may represent a viable therapeutic target in autoimmune disorders, chronic infections and cancers.
PMCID: PMC3491118  PMID: 22863785
7.  Fas Receptor Expression in Germinal-Center B Cells Is Essential for T and B Lymphocyte Homeostasis 
Immunity  2008;29(4):615-627.
Fas is highly expressed in activated and germinal center (GC) B cells but can potentially be inactivated by misguided somatic hypermutation. We employed conditional Fas-deficient mice to investigate the physiological functions of Fas in various B cell subsets. B cell-specific Fas-deficient mice developed fatal lymphoproliferation due to activation of B cells and T cells. Ablation of Fas specifically in GC B cells reproduced the phenotype, indicating that the lymphoproliferation initiates in the GC environment. B cell-specific Fas-deficient mice also showed an accumulation of IgG1+ memory B cells expressing high amounts of CD80 and the expansion of CD28-expressing CD4+ Th cells. Blocking T cell-B cell interaction and GC formation completely prevented the fatal lymphoproliferation. Thus, Fas-mediated selection of GC B cells and the resulting memory B cell compartment is essential for maintaining the homeostasis of both T and B lymphocytes.
PMCID: PMC3470429  PMID: 18835195
8.  The E3 ubiquitin ligase Mule acts through the ATM–p53 axis to maintain B lymphocyte homeostasis 
Genetic manipulation reveals that Mule is vital for B cell development, proliferation, and homeostasis as a result of its ability to regulate p53 and ATM.
Cellular homeostasis is controlled by pathways that balance cell death with survival. Mcl-1 ubiquitin ligase E3 (Mule) is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets the proapoptotic molecule p53 for polyubiquitination and degradation. To elucidate the role of Mule in B lymphocyte homeostasis, B cell–specific Mule knockout (BMKO) mice were generated using the Cre–LoxP recombination system. Analysis of BMKO mice showed that Mule was essential for B cell development, proliferation, homeostasis, and humoral immune responses. p53 transactivation was increased by two- to fourfold in Mule-deficient B cells at steady state. Genetic ablation of p53 in BMKO mice restored B cell development, proliferation, and homeostasis. p53 protein was increased in resting Mule-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and embryonic stem (ES) cells. Loss of Mule in both MEFs and B cells at steady state resulted in increased levels of phospho–ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and the ATM substrate p53. Under genotoxic stress, BMKO B cells were resistant to apoptosis, and control MEFs exhibited evidence of a physical interaction between Mule and phospho-ATM. Phospho-ATM, phospho-p53, and Brca1 levels were reduced in Mule-deficient B cells and MEFs subjected to genotoxic stress. Thus, Mule regulates the ATM–p53 axis to maintain B cell homeostasis under both steady-state and stress conditions.
PMCID: PMC3260869  PMID: 22213803
9.  Histone Demethylase JMJD2B Functions as a Co-Factor of Estrogen Receptor in Breast Cancer Proliferation and Mammary Gland Development 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e17830.
Estrogen is a key regulator of normal function of female reproductive system and plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of breast cancer. Here, we demonstrate that JMJD2B (also known as KDM4B) constitutes a key component of the estrogen signaling pathway. JMJD2B is expressed in a high proportion of human breast tumors, and that expression levels significantly correlate with estrogen receptor (ER) positivity. In addition, 17-beta-estradiol (E2) induces JMJD2B expression in an ERα dependent manner. JMJD2B interacts with ERα and components of the SWI/SNF-B chromatin remodeling complex. JMJD2B is recruited to ERα target sites, demethylates H3K9me3 and facilitates transcription of ER responsive genes including MYB, MYC and CCND1. As a consequence, knockdown of JMJD2B severely impairs estrogen-induced cell proliferation and the tumor formation capacity of breast cancer cells. Furthermore, Jmjd2b-deletion in mammary epithelial cells exhibits delayed mammary gland development in female mice. Taken together, these findings suggest an essential role for JMJD2B in the estrogen signaling, and identify JMJD2B as a potential therapeutic target in breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3060874  PMID: 21445275
10.  Generation and Characterization of the Anp32e-Deficient Mouse 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(10):e13597.
Accumulated literature suggests that the acidic nuclear phosphoprotein 32 kilodalton (Anp32) proteins control multiple cellular activities through different molecular mechanisms. Like other Anp32 family members, Anp32e (a.k.a. Cpd1, PhapIII) has been conserved throughout vertebrate evolution, suggesting that it has an important function in organismal survival.
Principal Findings
Here, we demonstrate that the Anp32e gene can be deleted in mice without any apparent effect on their wellbeing. No defects in thymocyte apoptosis in response to various stresses, fibroblast growth, gross behaviour, physical ability, or pathogenesis were defined. Furthermore, combined deletion of Anp32a and Anp32e also resulted in a viable and apparently healthy mouse.
These results provide evidence that significant functional redundancy exists among Anp32 family members.
PMCID: PMC2964292  PMID: 21049064
11.  CARD6 Is Interferon Inducible but Not Involved in Nucleotide-Binding Oligomerization Domain Protein Signaling Leading to NF-κB Activation▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;28(5):1541-1552.
We have previously reported the cloning and characterization of CARD6, a caspase recruitment domain (CARD)-containing protein that is structurally related to the interferon (IFN)-inducible GTPases. CARD6 associates with microtubules and with receptor-interacting protein 2 (RIP2). RIP2 mediates NF-κB activation induced by the intracellular nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD) receptors that sense bacterial peptidoglycan. Here we report that the expression of CARD6 and RIP2 in bone marrow-derived macrophages is rapidly induced by beta IFN and gamma IFN. This IFN-induced upregulation of CARD6 is suppressed by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), in contrast to LPS's enhancement of IFN-induced RIP2 upregulation. We generated CARD6-deficient (CARD6−/−) mice and carried out extensive analyses of signaling pathways mediating innate and adaptive immune responses, including the NOD pathways, but did not detect any abnormalities. Moreover, CARD6−/− mice were just as susceptible as wild-type mice to infection by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Listeria monocytogenes, Candida albicans, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, or mouse adenovirus type 1. Thus, although structural and in vitro analyses strongly suggest an important role for CARD6 in immune defense, the physiological function of CARD6 remains obscure.
PMCID: PMC2258768  PMID: 18160713
12.  Murine Pif1 Interacts with Telomerase and Is Dispensable for Telomere Function In Vivo▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;27(3):1017-1026.
Pif1 is a 5′-to-3′ DNA helicase critical to DNA replication and telomere length maintenance in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. ScPif1 is a negative regulator of telomeric repeat synthesis by telomerase, and recombinant ScPif1 promotes the dissociation of the telomerase RNA template from telomeric DNA in vitro. In order to dissect the role of mPif1 in mammals, we cloned and disrupted the mPif1 gene. In wild-type animals, mPif1 expression was detected only in embryonic and hematopoietic lineages. mPif1−/− mice were viable at expected frequencies, displayed no visible abnormalities, and showed no reproducible alteration in telomere length in two different null backgrounds, even after several generations. Spectral karyotyping of mPif1−/− fibroblasts and splenocytes revealed no significant change in chromosomal rearrangements. Furthermore, induction of apoptosis or DNA damage revealed no differences in cell viability compared to what was found for wild-type fibroblasts and splenocytes. Despite a novel association of mPif1 with telomerase, mPif1 did not affect the elongation activity of telomerase in vitro. Thus, in contrast to what occurs with ScPif1, murine telomere homeostasis or genetic stability does not depend on mPif1, perhaps due to fundamental differences in the regulation of telomerase and/or telomere length between mice and yeast or due to genetic redundancy with other DNA helicases.
PMCID: PMC1800700  PMID: 17130244
13.  Generation and Characterization of B7-H4/B7S1/B7x-Deficient Mice 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(17):6403-6411.
Members of the B7 family of cosignaling molecules regulate T-cell proliferation and effector functions by engaging cognate receptors on T cells. In vitro and in vivo blockade experiments indicated that B7-H4 (also known as B7S1 or B7x) inhibits proliferation, cytokine production, and cytotoxicity of T cells. B7-H4 binds to an unknown receptor(s) that is expressed on activated T cells. However, whether B7-H4 plays nonredundant immune regulatory roles in vivo has not been tested. We generated B7-H4-deficient mice to investigate the roles of B7-H4 during various immune reactions. Consistent with its inhibitory function in vitro, B7-H4-deficient mice mounted mildly augmented T-helper 1 (Th1) responses and displayed slightly lowered parasite burdens upon Leishmania major infection compared to the wild-type mice. However, the lack of B7-H4 did not affect hypersensitive inflammatory responses in the airway or skin that are induced by either Th1 or Th2 cells. Likewise, B7-H4-deficient mice developed normal cytotoxic T-lymphocyte reactions against viral infection. Thus, B7-H4 plays a negative regulatory role in vivo but the impact of B7-H4 deficiency is minimal. These results suggest that B7-H4 is one of multiple negative cosignaling molecules that collectively provide a fine-tuning mechanism for T-cell-mediated immune responses.
PMCID: PMC1592821  PMID: 16914726
14.  Sgk3 links growth factor signaling to maintenance of progenitor cells in the hair follicle 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2005;170(4):559-570.
Tyrosine kinase growth factor receptor signaling influences proliferation, survival, and apoptosis. Hair follicles undergo cycles of proliferation and apoptotic regression, offering an excellent paradigm to study how this transition is governed. Several factors are known to affect the hair cycle, but it remains a mystery whether Akt kinases that are downstream of growth factor signaling impact this equilibrium. We now show that an Akt relative, Sgk (serum and glucocorticoid responsive kinase) 3, plays a critical role in this process. Hair follicles of mice lacking Sgk3 fail to mature normally. Proliferation is reduced, apoptosis is increased, and follicles prematurely regress. Maintenance of the pool of transiently amplifying matrix cells is impaired. Intriguingly, loss of Sgk3 resembles the gain of function of epidermal growth factor signaling. Using cultured primary keratinocytes, we find that Sgk3 functions by negatively regulating phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase signaling. Our results reveal a novel and important function for Sgk3 in controlling life and death in the hair follicle.
PMCID: PMC1283094  PMID: 16103225
15.  Cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein is required for T cell survival and cycling 
Fas-associated death domain (FADD) and caspase-8 are key signal transducers for death receptor–induced apoptosis, whereas cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (cFLIP) antagonizes this process. Interestingly, FADD and caspase-8 also play a role in T cell development and T cell receptor (TCR)–mediated proliferative responses. To investigate the underlying mechanism, we generated cFLIP-deficient T cells by reconstituting Rag−/− blastocysts with cFLIP-deficient embryonic stem cells. These Rag chimeric mutant mice (rcFLIP−/−) had severely reduced numbers of T cells in the thymus, lymph nodes, and spleen, although mature T lymphocytes did develop. Similar to FADD- or caspase-8–deficient cells, rcFLIP−/− T cells were impaired in proliferation in response to TCR stimulation. Further investigation revealed that cFLIP is required for T cell survival, as well as T cell cycling in response to TCR stimulation. Interestingly, some signaling pathways from the TCR complex appeared competent, as CD3 plus CD28 cross-linking was capable of activating the ERK pathway in rcFLIP−/− T cells. We demonstrate an essential role for cFLIP in T cell function.
PMCID: PMC2213079  PMID: 16043518
16.  Sgk3 links growth factor signaling to maintenance of progenitor cells in the hair follicle 
The Journal of cell biology  2005;170(4):559-570.
Tyrosine kinase growth factor receptor signaling influences proliferation, survival, and apoptosis. Hair follicles undergo cycles of proliferation and apoptotic regression, offering an excellent paradigm to study how this transition is governed. Several factors are known to affect the hair cycle, but it remains a mystery whether Akt kinases that are downstream of growth factor signaling impact this equilibrium. We now show that an Akt relative, Sgk (serum and glucocorticoid responsive kinase) 3, plays a critical role in this process. Hair follicles of mice lacking Sgk3 fail to mature normally. Proliferation is reduced, apoptosis is increased, and follicles prematurely regress. Maintenance of the pool of transiently amplifying matrix cells is impaired. Intriguingly, loss of Sgk3 resembles the gain of function of epidermal growth factor signaling. Using cultured primary keratinocytes, we find that Sgk3 functions by negatively regulating phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase signaling. Our results reveal a novel and important function for Sgk3 in controlling life and death in the hair follicle.
PMCID: PMC1283094  PMID: 16103225
DP, dermal papilla; ERK, extracellular regulated kinase; ES, embryonic stem; IGF, insulin-like growth factor; IRS, inner root sheath; KO, knockout; MEK, MAPK/ERK kinase; ORS, outer root sheath; P, postnatal day; PGK, phosphoglycerate kinase; Phox, phagocyte oxidase; PI3K, phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase; Pten, phosphatase and tensin homologue on chromosome 10; RIPA, radioimmunoprecipitation assay; Sgk, serum and glucocorticoid responsive kinase; Tcf, T-cell factor; TOPgal, Tcf optimal promoter driving β-galactosidase; WT, wild type
17.  Survivin Loss in Thymocytes Triggers p53-mediated Growth Arrest and p53-independent Cell Death 
Because survivin-null embryos die at an early embryonic stage, the role of survivin in thymocyte development is unknown. We have investigated the role by deleting the survivin gene only in the T lineage and show here that loss of survivin blocks the transition from CD4− CD8− double negative (DN) thymocytes to CD4+ CD8+ double positive cells. Although the pre–T cell receptor signaling pathway is intact in survivin-deficient thymocytes, the cells cannot respond to its signals. In response to proliferative stimuli, cycling survivin-deficient DN cells exhibit cell cycle arrest, a spindle formation defect, and increased cell death. Strikingly, loss of survivin activates the tumor suppressor p53. However, the developmental defects caused by survivin deficiency cannot be rescued by p53 inactivation or introduction of Bcl-2. These lines of evidence indicate that developing thymocytes depend on the cytoprotective function of survivin and that this function is tightly coupled to cell proliferation but independent of p53 and Bcl-2. Thus, survivin plays a critical role in early thymocyte development.
PMCID: PMC2211792  PMID: 14757745
pre–T cell; cell death; development; thymus; mitosis
18.  Vault Poly(ADP-Ribose) Polymerase Is Associated with Mammalian Telomerase and Is Dispensable for Telomerase Function and Vault Structure In Vivo 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(12):5314-5323.
Vault poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (VPARP) was originally identified as a minor protein component of the vault ribonucleoprotein particle, which may be involved in molecular assembly or subcellular transport. In addition to the association of VPARP with the cytoplasmic vault particle, subpopulations of VPARP localize to the nucleus and the mitotic spindle, indicating that VPARP may have other cellular functions. We found that VPARP was associated with telomerase activity and interacted with exogenously expressed telomerase-associated protein 1 (TEP1) in human cells. To study the possible role of VPARP in telomerase and vault complexes in vivo, mVparp-deficient mice were generated. Mice deficient in mVparp were viable and fertile for up to five generations, with no apparent changes in telomerase activity or telomere length. Vaults purified from mVparp-deficient mouse liver appeared intact, and no defect in association with other vault components was observed. Mice deficient in mTep1, whose disruption alone does not affect telomere function but does affect the stability of vault RNA, showed no additional telomerase or telomere-related phenotypes when the mTep1 deficiency was combined with an mVparp deficiency. These data suggest that murine mTep1 and mVparp, alone or in combination, are dispensable for normal development, telomerase catalysis, telomere length maintenance, and vault structure in vivo.
PMCID: PMC419898  PMID: 15169895
19.  Role of SODD in Regulation of Tumor Necrosis Factor Responses 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(11):4026-4033.
Signaling from tumor necrosis factor receptor type 1 (TNFR1) can elicit potent inflammatory and cytotoxic responses that need to be properly regulated. It was suggested that the silencer of death domains (SODD) protein constitutively associates intracellularly with TNFR1 and inhibits the recruitment of cytoplasmic signaling proteins to TNFR1 to prevent spontaneous aggregation of the cytoplasmic death domains of TNFR1 molecules that are juxtaposed in the absence of ligand stimulation. In this study, we demonstrate that mice lacking SODD produce larger amounts of cytokines in response to in vivo TNF challenge. SODD-deficient macrophages and embryonic fibroblasts also show altered responses to TNF. TNF-induced activation of NF-κB is accelerated in SODD-deficient cells, but TNF-induced c-Jun N-terminal kinase activity is slightly repressed. Interestingly, the apoptotic arm of TNF signaling is not hyperresponsive in the SODD-deficient cells. Together, these results suggest that SODD is critical for the regulation of TNF signaling.
PMCID: PMC155221  PMID: 12748303
20.  Chk2 Is a Tumor Suppressor That Regulates Apoptosis in both an Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM)-Dependent and an ATM-Independent Manner 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(18):6521-6532.
In response to ionizing radiation (IR), the tumor suppressor p53 is stabilized and promotes either cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. Chk2 activated by IR contributes to this stabilization, possibly by direct phosphorylation. Like p53, Chk2 is mutated in patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Since the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene is required for IR-induced activation of Chk2, it has been assumed that ATM and Chk2 act in a linear pathway leading to p53 activation. To clarify the role of Chk2 in tumorigenesis, we generated gene-targeted Chk2-deficient mice. Unlike ATM−/− and p53−/− mice, Chk2−/− mice do not spontaneously develop tumors, although Chk2 does suppress 7,12-dimethylbenzanthracene-induced skin tumors. Tissues from Chk2−/− mice, including those from the thymus, central nervous system, fibroblasts, epidermis, and hair follicles, show significant defects in IR-induced apoptosis or impaired G1/S arrest. Quantitative comparison of the G1/S checkpoint, apoptosis, and expression of p53 proteins in Chk2−/− versus ATM−/− thymocytes suggested that Chk2 can regulate p53-dependent apoptosis in an ATM-independent manner. IR-induced apoptosis was restored in Chk2−/− thymocytes by reintroduction of the wild-type Chk2 gene but not by a Chk2 gene in which the sites phosphorylated by ATM and ataxia telangiectasia and rad3+ related (ATR) were mutated to alanine. ATR may thus selectively contribute to p53-mediated apoptosis. These data indicate that distinct pathways regulate the activation of p53 leading to cell cycle arrest or apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC135625  PMID: 12192050
21.  Generation and Characterization of Smac/DIABLO-Deficient Mice 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(10):3509-3517.
The mitochondrial proapoptotic protein Smac/DIABLO has recently been shown to potentiate apoptosis by counteracting the antiapoptotic function of the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs). In response to apoptotic stimuli, Smac is released into the cytosol and promotes caspase activation by binding to IAPs, thereby blocking their function. These observations have suggested that Smac is a new regulator of apoptosis. To better understand the physiological function of Smac in normal cells, we generated Smac-deficient (Smac−/−) mice by using homologous recombination in embryonic stem (ES) cells. Smac−/− mice were viable, grew, and matured normally and did not show any histological abnormalities. Although the cleavage in vitro of procaspase-3 was inhibited in lysates of Smac−/− cells, all types of cultured Smac−/− cells tested responded normally to all apoptotic stimuli applied. There were also no detectable differences in Fas-mediated apoptosis in the liver in vivo. Our data strongly suggest the existence of a redundant molecule or molecules capable of compensating for a loss of Smac function.
PMCID: PMC133802  PMID: 11971981
22.  The Stress Kinase Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinase (Mkk)7 Is a Negative Regulator of Antigen Receptor and Growth Factor Receptor–Induced Proliferation in Hematopoietic Cells 
The dual specificity kinases mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase (MKK)7 and MKK4 are the only molecules known to directly activate the stress kinases stress-activated protein kinases (SAPKs)/c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) in response to environmental or mitogenic stimuli. To examine the physiological role of MKK7 in hematopoietic cells, we used a gene targeting strategy to mutate MKK7 in murine T and B cells and non-lymphoid mast cells. Loss of MKK7 in thymocytes and mature B cells results in hyperproliferation in response to growth factor and antigen receptor stimulation and increased thymic cellularity. Mutation of mkk7 in mast cells resulted in hyperproliferation in response to the cytokines interleukin (IL)-3 and stem cell factor (SCF). SAPK/JNK activation was completely abolished in the absence of MKK7, even though expression of MKK4 was strongly upregulated in mkk7−/− mast cell lines, and phosphorylation of MKK4 occurred normally in response to multiple stress stimuli. Loss of MKK7 did not affect activation of extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 or p38 MAPK. mkk7−/− mast cells display reduced expression of JunB and the cell cycle inhibitor p16INK4a and upregulation of cyclinD1. Reexpression of p16INK4a in mkk7−/− mast cells abrogates the hyperproliferative response. Apoptotic responses to a variety of stimuli were not affected. Thus, MKK7 is an essential and specific regulator of stress-induced SAPK/JNK activation in mast cells and MKK7 negatively regulates growth factor and antigen receptor–driven proliferation in hematopoietic cells. These results indicate that the MKK7-regulated stress signaling pathway can function as negative regulator of cell growth in multiple hematopoietic lineages.
PMCID: PMC2195963  PMID: 11560992
MKK7; SAPK/JNK; proliferation; stress response; hematopoietic cells
24.  Spontaneous air space enlargement in the lungs of mice lacking tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-3 (TIMP-3) 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2001;108(6):817-829.
Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases regulate ECM degradation by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). We have developed a mouse line deficient for tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-3 (TIMP-3), the only TIMP known to reside within the ECM. Homozygous Timp-3–null animals develop spontaneous air space enlargement in the lung that is evident at 2 weeks after birth and progresses with age of the animal. As early as 13 months of age animals become moribund. Lung function, measured by carbon monoxide uptake, is impaired in aged null animals. Lungs from aged null animals have reduced abundance of collagen, enhanced degradation of collagen in the peribronchiolar space, and disorganization of collagen fibrils in the alveolar interstitium, but no increase in inflammatory cell infiltration or evidence of fibrosis in comparison with controls. Using in situ zymography, we show that lungs from aged null animals have heightened MMP activity over wild-type and heterozygotic animals. Finally, TIMP-3–null fibroblast cultures demonstrate enhanced destruction of ECM molecules in vitro. We propose that the deletion of TIMP-3 results in a shift of the TIMP/MMP balance in the lung to favor ECM degradation, culminating in incapacitating illness and a shorter life span.
PMCID: PMC200926  PMID: 11560951
25.  Telomerase-Associated Protein TEP1 Is Not Essential for Telomerase Activity or Telomere Length Maintenance In Vivo 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(21):8178-8184.
TEP1 is a mammalian telomerase-associated protein with similarity to the Tetrahymena telomerase protein p80. Like p80, TEP1 is associated with telomerase activity and the telomerase reverse transcriptase, and it specifically interacts with the telomerase RNA. To determine the role of mTep1 in telomerase function in vivo, we generated mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and mice lacking mTep1. The mTep1-deficient (mTep1−/−) mice were viable and were bred for seven successive generations with no obvious phenotypic abnormalities. All murine tissues from mTep1−/− mice possessed a level of telomerase activity comparable to that in wild-type mice. In addition, analysis of several tissues that normally lack telomerase activity revealed no reactivation of telomerase activity in mTep1−/− mice. Telomere length, even in later generations of mTep1−/− mice, was equivalent to that in wild-type animals. ES cells deficient in mTep1 also showed no detectable alteration in telomerase activity or telomere length with increased passage in culture. Thus, mTep1 appears to be completely dispensable for telomerase function in vivo. Recently, TEP1 has been identified within a second ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex, the vault particle. TEP1 can also specifically bind to a small RNA, vRNA, which is associated with the vault particle and is unrelated in sequence to mammalian telomerase RNA. These results reveal that TEP1 is an RNA binding protein that is not restricted to the telomerase complex and that TEP1 plays a redundant role in the assembly or localization of the telomerase RNP in vivo.
PMCID: PMC86427  PMID: 11027287

Results 1-25 (26)