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1.  Analyses of tumor suppressor genes in germ-line mouse models of cancer 
Cold Spring Harbor protocols  2014;2014(8):807-812.
Tumor suppressor genes are critical regulators of growth and functioning of cells, whose loss of function contributes to tumorigenesis. Accordingly, analyses of the consequences of their loss of function in genetically engineered mouse models have provided important insights into mechanisms of human cancer, as well as resources for preclinical analyses and biomarker discovery. Nowadays, most investigations of genetically engineered mouse models of tumor suppressor function use conditional or inducible alleles, which enable analyses in specific cancer (tissue) types and overcome the consequences of embryonic lethality of germline loss of function of essential tumor suppressor genes. However, historically, analyses of genetically-engineered mouse models based on germ-line loss of function of tumor suppressor genes were very important as these early studies established the principal that loss of function could be studied in mouse cancer models and also enabled analyses of these essential genes in an organismal context. Although the cancer phenotypes of these early germline models did not always recapitulate the expected phenotypes in human cancer, these models provided the essential foundation for the more sophisticated conditional and inducible models that are currently in use (see Chapters XXX) Here, we describe these “first generation” germline models of loss of function models, focusing on the important lessons learned from their analyses, which helped in the design and analyses of “next generation” genetically-engineered mouse models.
PMCID: PMC4383238  PMID: 25086022
2.  ARF regulates the stability of p16 protein via REGγ-dependent proteasome degradation 
Molecular cancer research : MCR  2013;11(8):828-833.
The cell cycle regulatory gene INK4A-ARF (CDKN2A) has two alternative transcripts that produce entirely different proteins, namely p14ARF and p16, which have complementary functions as regulators of p53 and pRB tumor suppressor pathways, respectively. The unusual organization of INK4A-ARF has long led to speculation of a need for coordinated regulation of p14ARF and p16. We now show that p14ARF (ARF) regulates the stability of p16 protein in human cancer cell lines, as well as in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). In particular, ARF promotes rapid degradation of p16 protein, which is mediated by the proteasome and, more specifically, by interaction of ARF with one of its subunits, REGγ. Furthermore, this ARF-dependent destabilization of p16 can be abrogated by knock-down of REGγ or by pharmacological blockade of its nuclear export. Thus our findings have uncovered a novel crosstalk of two key tumor suppressors mediated by a REGγ-dependent mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3748223  PMID: 23817020
p14ARF; p19Arf; p16; REGγ; proteasome; nuclear export
3.  B-Raf activation cooperates with PTEN loss to drive c-Myc expression in advanced prostate cancer 
Cancer research  2012;72(18):4765-4776.
Both the PI3K→Akt→mTOR and MAPK signaling pathways are often deregulated in prostate tumors with poor prognosis. Here we describe a new genetically-engineered mouse model of prostate cancer in which PI3K-Akt-mTOR signaling is activated by inducible disruption of PTEN, and ERK1/2 MAP kinase signaling is activated by inducible expression of a BRAFV600E oncogene. These tissue-specific compound mutant mice develop lethal prostate tumors that are inherently resistant to castration. These tumors bypass cellular senescence and disseminate to lymph nodes, bone marrow and lungs where they form overt metastases in ~30% of the cases. Activation of PI3K→Akt→mTOR and MAPK signaling pathways in these prostate tumors cooperate to upregulate c-Myc. Accordingly, therapeutic treatments with Rapamycin and PD0325901 to target these pathways, respectively, attenuate c-Myc levels and reduce tumor and metastatic burden. Together, our findings suggest a generalized therapeutic approach to target c-Myc activation in prostate cancer by combinatorial targeting of the PI3K→Akt→mTOR and ERK1/2 MAPK signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC3445712  PMID: 22836754
Akt/mTOR signaling; MAP kinase signaling; genetically engineered mouse models; Braf; Myc
4.  The Msx1 Homeoprotein Recruits Polycomb to the Nuclear Periphery during Development 
Developmental cell  2011;21(3):575-588.
Control of gene expression during development requires the concerted action of sequence-specific transcriptional regulators and epigenetic modifiers, which are spatially coordinated within the nucleus through mechanisms that are poorly understood. Here we show that transcriptional repression by the Msx1 homeoprotein in myoblast cells requires the recruitment of Polycomb to target genes located at the nuclear periphery. Target genes repressed by Msx1 display an Msx1-dependent enrichment of Polycomb-directed trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3 (H3K27me3). Association of Msx1 with the Polycomb complex is required for repression and regulation of myoblast differentiation. Furthermore, Msx1 promotes a dynamic spatial redistribution of the H3K27me3 repressive mark to the nuclear periphery in myoblast cells and the developing limb in vivo. Our findings illustrate a hitherto unappreciated spatial coordination of transcription factors with the Polycomb complex for appropriate regulation of gene expression programs during development.
PMCID: PMC3673563  PMID: 21852201
5.  Transcriptional repression by the Msx1 homeoprotein is associated with global redistribution of the H3K27me3 repressive mark to the nuclear periphery 
Nucleus  2012;3(2):155-161.
The spatial and temporal regulation of gene expression during development requires the concerted actions of sequence-specific transcriptional regulators and epigenetic chromatin modifiers, which are thought to function within precise nuclear compartments. However, coordination of these activities within the dynamic context of the nuclear environment is still largely unresolved. Here we discuss the implications of our recent work showing that transcriptional repression by the Msx1 homeoprotein is associated with global redistribution of the H3K27me3 repressive mark to the nuclear periphery during development.
PMCID: PMC3383571  PMID: 22555601
EZH2; H3K27me3; Msx1; PRC2; differentiation; epigenetic chromatin modifiers; homeoprotein; nuclear periphery; transcriptional repression
6.  The Msx1 Homeoprotein Recruits G9a Methyltransferase to Repressed Target Genes in Myoblast Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37647.
Although the significance of lysine modifications of core histones for regulating gene expression is widely appreciated, the mechanisms by which these modifications are incorporated at specific regulatory elements during cellular differentiation remains largely unknown. In our previous studies, we have shown that in developing myoblasts the Msx1 homeoprotein represses gene expression by influencing the modification status of chromatin at its target genes. We now show that genomic binding by Msx1 promotes enrichment of the H3K9me2 mark on repressed target genes via recruitment of G9a histone methyltransferase, the enzyme responsible for catalyzing this histone mark. Interaction of Msx1 with G9a is mediated via the homeodomain and is required for transcriptional repression and regulation of cellular differentiation, as well as enrichment of the H3K9me2 mark in proximity to Msx1 binding sites on repressed target genes in myoblast cells as well as the developing limb. We propose that regulation of chromatin status by Msx1 recruitment of G9a and other histone modifying enzymes to regulatory regions of target genes represents an important means of regulating the gene expression during development.
PMCID: PMC3358287  PMID: 22629437
7.  The Genomes of Oryza sativa: A History of Duplications 
Yu, Jun | Wang, Jun | Lin, Wei | Li, Songgang | Li, Heng | Zhou, Jun | Ni, Peixiang | Dong, Wei | Hu, Songnian | Zeng, Changqing | Zhang, Jianguo | Zhang, Yong | Li, Ruiqiang | Xu, Zuyuan | Li, Shengting | Li, Xianran | Zheng, Hongkun | Cong, Lijuan | Lin, Liang | Yin, Jianning | Geng, Jianing | Li, Guangyuan | Shi, Jianping | Liu, Juan | Lv, Hong | Li, Jun | Wang, Jing | Deng, Yajun | Ran, Longhua | Shi, Xiaoli | Wang, Xiyin | Wu, Qingfa | Li, Changfeng | Ren, Xiaoyu | Wang, Jingqiang | Wang, Xiaoling | Li, Dawei | Liu, Dongyuan | Zhang, Xiaowei | Ji, Zhendong | Zhao, Wenming | Sun, Yongqiao | Zhang, Zhenpeng | Bao, Jingyue | Han, Yujun | Dong, Lingli | Ji, Jia | Chen, Peng | Wu, Shuming | Liu, Jinsong | Xiao, Ying | Bu, Dongbo | Tan, Jianlong | Yang, Li | Ye, Chen | Zhang, Jingfen | Xu, Jingyi | Zhou, Yan | Yu, Yingpu | Zhang, Bing | Zhuang, Shulin | Wei, Haibin | Liu, Bin | Lei, Meng | Yu, Hong | Li, Yuanzhe | Xu, Hao | Wei, Shulin | He, Ximiao | Fang, Lijun | Zhang, Zengjin | Zhang, Yunze | Huang, Xiangang | Su, Zhixi | Tong, Wei | Li, Jinhong | Tong, Zongzhong | Li, Shuangli | Ye, Jia | Wang, Lishun | Fang, Lin | Lei, Tingting | Chen, Chen | Chen, Huan | Xu, Zhao | Li, Haihong | Huang, Haiyan | Zhang, Feng | Xu, Huayong | Li, Na | Zhao, Caifeng | Li, Shuting | Dong, Lijun | Huang, Yanqing | Li, Long | Xi, Yan | Qi, Qiuhui | Li, Wenjie | Zhang, Bo | Hu, Wei | Zhang, Yanling | Tian, Xiangjun | Jiao, Yongzhi | Liang, Xiaohu | Jin, Jiao | Gao, Lei | Zheng, Weimou | Hao, Bailin | Liu, Siqi | Wang, Wen | Yuan, Longping | Cao, Mengliang | McDermott, Jason | Samudrala, Ram | Wang, Jian | Wong, Gane Ka-Shu | Yang, Huanming
PLoS Biology  2005;3(2):e38.
We report improved whole-genome shotgun sequences for the genomes of indica and japonica rice, both with multimegabase contiguity, or almost 1,000-fold improvement over the drafts of 2002. Tested against a nonredundant collection of 19,079 full-length cDNAs, 97.7% of the genes are aligned, without fragmentation, to the mapped super-scaffolds of one or the other genome. We introduce a gene identification procedure for plants that does not rely on similarity to known genes to remove erroneous predictions resulting from transposable elements. Using the available EST data to adjust for residual errors in the predictions, the estimated gene count is at least 38,000–40,000. Only 2%–3% of the genes are unique to any one subspecies, comparable to the amount of sequence that might still be missing. Despite this lack of variation in gene content, there is enormous variation in the intergenic regions. At least a quarter of the two sequences could not be aligned, and where they could be aligned, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rates varied from as little as 3.0 SNP/kb in the coding regions to 27.6 SNP/kb in the transposable elements. A more inclusive new approach for analyzing duplication history is introduced here. It reveals an ancient whole-genome duplication, a recent segmental duplication on Chromosomes 11 and 12, and massive ongoing individual gene duplications. We find 18 distinct pairs of duplicated segments that cover 65.7% of the genome; 17 of these pairs date back to a common time before the divergence of the grasses. More important, ongoing individual gene duplications provide a never-ending source of raw material for gene genesis and are major contributors to the differences between members of the grass family.
Comparative genome sequencing of indica and japonica rice reveals that duplication of genes and genomic regions has played a major part in the evolution of grass genomes
PMCID: PMC546038  PMID: 15685292

Results 1-7 (7)