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1.  The Corepressor CTBP2 Is a Coactivator of Retinoic Acid Receptor/Retinoid X Receptor in Retinoic Acid Signaling 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2013;33(16):3343-3353.
Retinoids play key roles in development, differentiation, and homeostasis through regulation of specific target genes by the retinoic acid receptor/retinoid X receptor (RAR/RXR) nuclear receptor complex. Corepressors and coactivators contribute to its transcriptional control by creating the appropriate chromatin environment, but the precise composition of these nuclear receptor complexes remains to be elucidated. Using an RNA interference-based genetic screen in mouse F9 cells, we identified the transcriptional corepressor CTBP2 (C-terminal binding protein 2) as a coactivator critically required for retinoic acid (RA)-induced transcription. CTBP2 suppression by RNA interference confers resistance to RA-induced differentiation in diverse murine and human cells. Mechanistically, we find that CTBP2 associates with RAR/RXR at RA target gene promoters and is essential for their transactivation in response to RA. We show that CTBP2 is indispensable to create a chromatin environment conducive for RAR/RXR-mediated transcription by recruiting the histone acetyltransferase p300. Our data reveal an unexpected function of the corepressor CTBP2 as a coactivator for RAR/RXR in RA signaling.
PMCID: PMC3753894  PMID: 23775127
2.  MED12 Controls the Response to Multiple Cancer Drugs through Regulation of TGF-β Receptor Signaling 
Cell  2012;151(5):937-950.
Inhibitors of the ALK and EGF receptor tyrosine kinases provoke dramatic but short-lived responses in lung cancers harboring EML4-ALK translocations or activating mutations of EGFR, respectively. We used a large-scale RNAi screen to identify MED12, a component of the transcriptional MEDIATOR complex that is mutated in cancers, as a determinant of response to ALK and EGFR inhibitors. MED12 is in part cytoplasmic where it negatively regulates TGF-βR2 through physical interaction. MED12 suppression therefore results in activation of TGF-βR signaling, which is both necessary and sufficient for drug resistance. TGF-β signaling causes MEK/ERK activation, and consequently MED12 suppression also confers resistance to MEK and BRAF inhibitors in other cancers. MED12 loss induces an EMT-like phenotype, which is associated with chemotherapy resistance in colon cancer patients and to gefitinib in lung cancer. Inhibition of TGF-βR signaling restores drug responsiveness in MED12KD cells, suggesting a strategy to treat drug-resistant tumors that have lost MED12.
PMCID: PMC3672971  PMID: 23178117
3.  Multi-Tasking Role of the Mechanosensing Protein Ankrd2 in the Signaling Network of Striated Muscle 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e25519.
Ankrd2 (also known as Arpp) together with Ankrd1/CARP and DARP are members of the MARP mechanosensing proteins that form a complex with titin (N2A)/calpain 3 protease/myopalladin. In muscle, Ankrd2 is located in the I-band of the sarcomere and moves to the nucleus of adjacent myofibers on muscle injury. In myoblasts it is predominantly in the nucleus and on differentiation shifts from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. In agreement with its role as a sensor it interacts both with sarcomeric proteins and transcription factors.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Expression profiling of endogenous Ankrd2 silenced in human myotubes was undertaken to elucidate its role as an intermediary in cell signaling pathways. Silencing Ankrd2 expression altered the expression of genes involved in both intercellular communication (cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, endocytosis, focal adhesion, tight junction, gap junction and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton) and intracellular communication (calcium, insulin, MAPK, p53, TGF-β and Wnt signaling). The significance of Ankrd2 in cell signaling was strengthened by the fact that we were able to show for the first time that Nkx2.5 and p53 are upstream effectors of the Ankrd2 gene and that Ankrd1/CARP, another MARP member, can modulate the transcriptional ability of MyoD on the Ankrd2 promoter. Another novel finding was the interaction between Ankrd2 and proteins with PDZ and SH3 domains, further supporting its role in signaling. It is noteworthy that we demonstrated that transcription factors PAX6, LHX2, NFIL3 and MECP2, were able to bind both the Ankrd2 protein and its promoter indicating the presence of a regulatory feedback loop mechanism.
In conclusion we demonstrate that Ankrd2 is a potent regulator in muscle cells affecting a multitude of pathways and processes.
PMCID: PMC3189947  PMID: 22016770
4.  Gene Expression Profiles from Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded Breast Cancer Tissue Are Largely Comparable to Fresh Frozen Matched Tissue 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e17163.
Background and Methods
Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) samples represent a valuable resource for cancer research. However, the discovery and development of new cancer biomarkers often requires fresh frozen (FF) samples. Recently, the Whole Genome (WG) DASL (cDNA-mediated Annealing, Selection, extension and Ligation) assay was specifically developed to profile FFPE tissue. However, a thorough comparison of data generated from FFPE RNA and Fresh Frozen (FF) RNA using this platform is lacking. To this end we profiled, in duplicate, 20 FFPE tissues and 20 matched FF tissues and evaluated the concordance of the DASL results from FFPE and matched FF material.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We show that after proper normalization, all FFPE and FF pairs exhibit a high level of similarity (Pearson correlation >0.7), significantly larger than the similarity between non-paired samples. Interestingly, the probes showing the highest correlation had a higher percentage G/C content and were enriched for cell cycle genes. Predictions of gene expression signatures developed on frozen material (Intrinsic subtype, Genomic Grade Index, 70 gene signature) showed a high level of concordance between FFPE and FF matched pairs. Interestingly, predictions based on a 60 gene DASL list (best match with the 70 gene signature) showed very high concordance with the MammaPrint® results.
Conclusions and Significance
We demonstrate that data generated from FFPE material with the DASL assay, if properly processed, are comparable to data extracted from the FF counterpart. Specifically, gene expression profiles for a known set of prognostic genes for a specific disease are highly comparable between two conditions. This opens up the possibility of using both FFPE and FF material in gene expressions analyses, leading to a vast increase in the potential resources available for cancer research.
PMCID: PMC3037966  PMID: 21347257
5.  Muscle Research and Gene Ontology: New standards for improved data integration 
The Gene Ontology Project provides structured controlled vocabularies for molecular biology that can be used for the functional annotation of genes and gene products. In a collaboration between the Gene Ontology (GO) Consortium and the muscle biology community, we have made large-scale additions to the GO biological process and cellular component ontologies. The main focus of this ontology development work concerns skeletal muscle, with specific consideration given to the processes of muscle contraction, plasticity, development, and regeneration, and to the sarcomere and membrane-delimited compartments. Our aims were to update the existing structure to reflect current knowledge, and to resolve, in an accommodating manner, the ambiguity in the language used by the community.
The updated muscle terminologies have been incorporated into the GO. There are now 159 new terms covering critical research areas, and 57 existing terms have been improved and reorganized to follow their usage in muscle literature.
The revised GO structure should improve the interpretation of data from high-throughput (e.g. microarray and proteomic) experiments in the area of muscle science and muscle disease. We actively encourage community feedback on, and gene product annotation with these new terms. Please visit the Muscle Community Annotation Wiki .
PMCID: PMC2657163  PMID: 19178689

Results 1-5 (5)