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1.  Role of Wnt5a-Ror2 Signaling in Morphogenesis of the Metanephric Mesenchyme during Ureteric Budding 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;34(16):3096-3105.
Development of the metanephric kidney begins with the induction of a single ureteric bud (UB) on the caudal Wolffian duct (WD) in response to GDNF (glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor) produced by the adjacent metanephric mesenchyme (MM). Mutual interaction between the UB and MM maintains expression of GDNF in the MM, thereby supporting further outgrowth and branching morphogenesis of the UB, while the MM also grows and aggregates around the branched tips of the UB. Ror2, a member of the Ror family of receptor tyrosine kinases, has been shown to act as a receptor for Wnt5a to mediate noncanonical Wnt signaling. We show that Ror2 is predominantly expressed in the MM during UB induction and that Ror2- and Wnt5a-deficient mice exhibit duplicated ureters and kidneys due to ectopic UB induction. During initial UB formation, these mutant embryos show dysregulated positioning of the MM, resulting in spatiotemporally aberrant interaction between the MM and WD, which provides the WD with inappropriate GDNF signaling. Furthermore, the numbers of proliferating cells in the mutant MM are markedly reduced compared to the wild-type MM. These results indicate an important role of Wnt5a-Ror2 signaling in morphogenesis of the MM to ensure proper epithelial tubular formation of the UB required for kidney development.
PMCID: PMC4135601  PMID: 24891614
2.  MET gene amplification or EGFR mutation activate MET in lung cancers untreated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors 
We analyzed MET protein and copy number in NSCLC with or without EGFR mutations untreated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). MET copy number was examined in 28 NSCLC and 4 human bronchial epithelial cell lines (HBEC) and 100 primary tumors using quantitative real-time PCR. Positive results were confirmed by array comparative genomic hybridization and fluorescence in-situ hybridization. Total and phospho-MET protein expression was determined in 24 NSCLC and 2 HBEC cell lines using Western blot. EGFR mutations were examined for exon 19 deletions, T790M, and L858R. Knockdown of EGFR with siRNA was performed to examine the relation between EGFR and MET activation. High-level MET amplification was observed in 3 of 28 NSCLC cell lines and in 2 of 100 primary lung tumors that had not been treated with EGFR-TKIs. MET protein was highly expressed and phosphorylated in all the 3 cell lines with high MET amplification. In contrast, 6 NSCLC cell lines showed phospho-MET among 21 NSCLC cell lines without MET amplification (p = 0.042). Furthermore, those 6 cell lines harboring phospho-MET expression without MET amplification were all EGFR mutant (p = 0.0039). siRNA-mediated knockdown of EGFR abolished phospho-MET expression in examined 3 EGFR mutant cell lines of which MET gene copy number was not amplified. By contrast, phospho-MET expression in 2 cell lines with amplified MET gene was not down-regulated by knockdown of EGFR. Our results indicated that MET amplification was present in untreated NSCLC and EGFR mutation or MET amplification activated MET protein in NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC2767331  PMID: 19117057
MET; amplification; EGFR; gefitinib; lung cancer
3.  Sequential Molecular Changes during Multistage Pathogenesis of Small Peripheral Adenocarcinomas of the Lung 
We investigated EGFR and KRAS alterations among atypical adenomatous hyperplasia and small lung adenocarcinomas with bronchioloalveolar features to understand their role during multistage pathogenesis.
Sixty lesions measuring 2 cm or less were studied, including 38 noninvasive lesions (4 atypical adenomatous hyperplasias, 19 Noguchi type A and 15 type B) and 22 invasive lesions (type C) based on the World Health Organization classification and Noguchi’s criteria. EGFR and KRAS mutations were examined using PCR-based assays. EGFR copy number was evaluated using fluorescence in situ hybridization.
EGFR and KRAS mutations were found in 26 (43.3%) and 5 (8.3%) lesions, respectively. Increased EGFR copy number status was identified in 10 lesions (16.7%), both mutant and wild type. EGFR or KRAS mutations were present in 39.5% and 7.9% (respectively) of noninvasive lesions and 50% or 9.1% (respectively) of invasive lesions. EGFR copy number was increased in 7.9% and 31.8% of noninvasive and invasive lesions (P = 0.029). Multivariate analysis revealed that increased EGFR copy number was the only significant factor to associate with invasive lesions (P = 0.035).
EGFR and KRAS mutations occur early during the multistage pathogenesis of peripheral lung adenocarcinomas. By contrast, increased EGFR copy number is a late event during tumor development and plays a role in the progression of lung adenocarcinoma independent of the initiating molecular events.
PMCID: PMC2758162  PMID: 18379350
Multistage pathogenesis; EGFR; KRAS; Mutation; Amplification
4.  Adipocytes from Munc18c-null mice show increased sensitivity to insulin-stimulated GLUT4 externalization 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2005;115(2):291-301.
Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in adipocytes is mediated by translocation of vesicles containing the glucose transporter GLUT4 from intracellular storage sites to the cell periphery and the subsequent fusion of these vesicles with the plasma membrane, resulting in the externalization of GLUT4. Fusion of the GLUT4-containing vesicles with the plasma membrane is mediated by a soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex consisting of vesicle-associated membrane protein 2 (VAMP2), 23-kDa synaptosomal-associated protein (SNAP23), and syntaxin4. We have now generated mouse embryos deficient in the syntaxin4 binding protein Munc18c and show that the insulin-induced appearance of GLUT4 at the cell surface is enhanced in adipocytes derived from these Munc18c−/− mice compared with that in Munc18c+/+ cells. Wortmannin, an inhibitor of PI3K, inhibited insulin-stimulated GLUT4 externalization, without affecting GLUT4 translocation to the cell periphery, in Munc18c+/+ adipocytes, but it did not affect GLUT4 externalization in Munc18c−/− cells. Phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate, which induced GLUT4 translocation to the cell periphery without externalization in Munc18c+/+ cells, elicited GLUT4 externalization in Munc18c−/− cells. These findings demonstrate that Munc18c inhibits insulin-stimulated externalization of GLUT4 in a wortmannin-sensitive manner, and they suggest that disruption of the interaction between syntaxin4 and Munc18c in adipocytes might result in enhancement of insulin-stimulated GLUT4 externalization.
PMCID: PMC546422  PMID: 15690082
5.  Critical Role of Caenorhabditis elegans Homologs of Cds1 (Chk2)-Related Kinases in Meiotic Recombination 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2001;21(4):1329-1335.
Although chromosomal segregation at meiosis I is the critical process for genetic reassortment and inheritance, little is known about molecules involved in this process in metazoa. Here we show by utilizing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-mediated genetic interference that novel protein kinases (Ce-CDS-1 and Ce-CDS-2) related to Cds1 (Chk2) play an essential role in meiotic recombination in Caenorhabditis elegans. Injection of dsRNA into adult animals resulted in the inhibition of meiotic crossing over and induced the loss of chiasmata at diakinesis in oocytes of F1 animals. However, electron microscopic analysis revealed that synaptonemal complex formation in pachytene nuclei of the same progeny of injected animals appeared to be normal. Thus, Ce-CDS-1 and Ce-CDS-2 are the first example of Cds1-related kinases that are required for meiotic recombination in multicellular organisms.
PMCID: PMC99585  PMID: 11158318

Results 1-5 (5)