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author:("Jie, chuna")
1.  Hedgehog signaling regulates FOXA2 in esophageal embryogenesis and Barrett’s metaplasia 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(9):3767-3780.
Metaplasia can result when injury reactivates latent developmental signaling pathways that determine cell phenotype. Barrett’s esophagus is a squamous-to-columnar epithelial metaplasia caused by reflux esophagitis. Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is active in columnar-lined, embryonic esophagus and inactive in squamous-lined, adult esophagus. We showed previously that Hh signaling is reactivated in Barrett’s metaplasia and overexpression of Sonic hedgehog (SHH) in mouse esophageal squamous epithelium leads to a columnar phenotype. Here, our objective was to identify Hh target genes involved in Barrett’s pathogenesis. By microarray analysis, we found that the transcription factor Foxa2 is more highly expressed in murine embryonic esophagus compared with postnatal esophagus. Conditional activation of Shh in mouse esophageal epithelium induced FOXA2, while FOXA2 expression was reduced in Shh knockout embryos, establishing Foxa2 as an esophageal Hh target gene. Evaluation of patient samples revealed FOXA2 expression in Barrett’s metaplasia, dysplasia, and adenocarcinoma but not in esophageal squamous epithelium or squamous cell carcinoma. In esophageal squamous cell lines, Hh signaling upregulated FOXA2, which induced expression of MUC2, an intestinal mucin found in Barrett’s esophagus, and the MUC2-processing protein AGR2. Together, these data indicate that Hh signaling induces expression of genes that determine an intestinal phenotype in esophageal squamous epithelial cells and may contribute to the development of Barrett’s metaplasia.
PMCID: PMC4151220  PMID: 25083987
2.  The Effect of Vorinostat on the Development of Resistance to Doxorubicin in Neuroblastoma 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40816.
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, especially vorinostat, are currently under investigation as potential adjuncts in the treatment of neuroblastoma. The effect of vorinostat co-treatment on the development of resistance to other chemotherapeutic agents is unknown. In the present study, we treated two human neuroblastoma cell lines [SK-N-SH and SK-N-Be(2)C] with progressively increasing doses of doxorubicin under two conditions: with and without vorinsotat co-therapy. The resultant doxorubicin-resistant (DoxR) and vorinostat-treated doxorubicin resistant (DoxR-v) cells were equally resistant to doxorubicin despite significantly lower P-glycoprotein expression in the DoxR-v cells. Whole genome analysis was performed using the Ilumina Human HT-12 v4 Expression Beadchip to identify genes with differential expression unique to the DoxR-v cells. We uncovered a number of genes whose differential expression in the DoxR-v cells might contribute to their resistant phenotype, including hypoxia inducible factor-2. Finally, we used Gene Ontology to categorize the biological functions of the differentially expressed genes unique to the DoxR-v cells and found that genes involved in cellular metabolism were especially affected.
PMCID: PMC3400660  PMID: 22829886
3.  Resolution of infection promotes a state of dormancy and long survival of CD4 memory T cells 
Immunology and cell biology  2011;89(8):870-881.
Memory T cells survive throughout the lifetime of an individual and are protective upon recall. It is not clear how memory T cells can live so long. Here, we demonstrate that at the resolution of a viral infection, low levels of antigen are captured by B cells and presented to specific CD4+ memory T cells to render a state of unresponsiveness. We demonstrate in two systems that this process occurs naturally during the fall of antigen and is associated with a global gene expression program initiated with the clearance of antigen. Our study suggests that in the absence of antigen, a state of dormancy associated with low energy utilization and proliferation can help memory CD4+ T cells to survive nearly throughout the lifetime of mice. The dormant CD4+ memory T cells become activated by stimulatory signals generated by a subsequent infection. We propose that quiescence might be a mechanism necessary to regulate long-term survival of CD4 memory T cells and to prevent cross-reactivity to self, hence autoimmunity.
PMCID: PMC3131418  PMID: 21358746
B cell antigen presentation; Memory T cells; Anergy; Memory T cells survival; Microarray; BCR-Mediated Antigen Capture; CD4 memory T cells; Gene Regulation; Low-Dose Antigen; Memory Survival
4.  Performance assessment of copy number microarray platforms using a spike-in experiment 
Bioinformatics  2011;27(8):1052-1060.
Motivation: Changes in the copy number of chromosomal DNA segments [copy number variants (CNVs)] have been implicated in human variation, heritable diseases and cancers. Microarray-based platforms are the current established technology of choice for studies reporting these discoveries and constitute the benchmark against which emergent sequence-based approaches will be evaluated. Research that depends on CNV analysis is rapidly increasing, and systematic platform assessments that distinguish strengths and weaknesses are needed to guide informed choice.
Results: We evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of six platforms, provided by four leading vendors, using a spike-in experiment. NimbleGen and Agilent platforms outperformed Illumina and Affymetrix in accuracy and precision of copy number dosage estimates. However, Illumina and Affymetrix algorithms that leverage single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) information make up for this disadvantage and perform well at variant detection. Overall, the NimbleGen 2.1M platform outperformed others, but only with the use of an alternative data analysis pipeline to the one offered by the manufacturer.
Availability: The data is available from
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
PMCID: PMC3072561  PMID: 21478196
5.  A Survey of Methylated Candidate Tumor Suppressor Genes in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma 
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a rare malignancy with unique genetic, viral and environmental characteristic that distinguishes it from other head and neck carcinomas. The clinical management of NPC remains challenging largely due to the lack of early detection strategies for this tumor. In the present study we have sought to identify novel genes involved in the pathogenesis of NPC that might provide insight into this tumor's biology and could potentially be used as biomarkers. To identify these genes, we studied the epigenetics of NPC by characterizing a panel of methylation markers. Eighteen genes were evaluated by quantitative methylation-specific PCR in cell lines as well as in tissue samples including 50 NPC tumors and 28 benign nasopharyngeal biopsies. Significance was evaluated using Fisher's exact test and quantitative values were optimized using cut off values derived from receiver-operator characteristic curves. The methylation status of AIM1, APC, CALCA, DCC, DLEC, DLC1, ESR, FHIT, KIF1A, and PGP9.5 was significantly associated with NPC compared to controls. The sensitivity of the individual genes ranged from 26 to 66% and the specificity was above 92% for all genes except FHIT. The combination of PGP9.5, KIF1A, and DLEC had a sensitivity of 84% and a specificity of 92%. Ectopic expression of DCC and DLC1 lead to decrease in colony formation and invasion properties. Our results indicate that methylation of novel biomarkers in NPC could be used to enhance early detection approaches. Additionally, our functional studies reveal previously unknown tumor suppressor roles in NPC.
PMCID: PMC2955155  PMID: 20473931
6.  Molecular Comparison of GLT1+ and ALDH1L1+ Astrocytes In Vivo In Astroglial Reporter Mice 
Glia  2011;59(2):200-207.
Astrocyte heterogeneity remains largely unknown in the CNS due to lack of specific astroglial markers. In this study, molecular identity of in vivo astrocytes was characterized in BAC ALDH1L1 and BAC GLT1 eGFP promoter reporter transgenic mice. ALDH1L1 promoter is selectively activated in adult cortical and spinal cord astrocytes, indicated by the overlap of eGFP expression with ALDH1L1 and GFAP, but not with NeuN, APC, Olig2, IbaI, PDGFRα immunoreactivity in BAC ALDH1L1 eGFP reporter mice. Interestingly, ALDH1L1 expression levels (protein, mRNA, and promoter activity) in spinal cord were selectively decreased during postnatal maturation. In contrast, its expression was up-regulated in reactive astrocytes in both acute neural injury and chronic neurodegenerative (G93A mutant SOD1) conditions, similar to GFAP, but opposite of GLT1. ALDH1L1+ and GLT1+ cells isolated through fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) from BAC ALDH1L1 and BAC GLT1 eGFP mice share a highly similar gene expression profile, suggesting ALDH1L1 and GLT1 are co-expressed in the same population of astrocytes. This observation was further supported by overlap of the eGFP driven by the ALDH1L1 genomic promoter and the tdTomato driven by a 8.3kb EAAT2 promoter fragment in astrocytes of BAC ALDH1L1 eGFP X EAAT2-tdTomato mice. These studies support ALDH1L1 as a general CNS astroglial marker and investigated astrocyte heterogeneity in the CNS by comparing the molecular identity of the ALDH1L1+ and GLT1+ astrocytes from astroglial reporter mice. These astroglial reporter mice provide useful in vivo tools for the molecular analysis of astrocytes in physiological and pathological conditions.
PMCID: PMC3199134  PMID: 21046559
astroglia; BAC; ALDH1L1; GLT1; GFAP; oligodendroglia; ALS
7.  Ectopic Expression of Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 as a New Mechanism for Tumor Immune Evasion 
Cancer research  2007;67(4):1832-1841.
Immune escape is an important reason why the immune system cannot control tumor growth, but how escape variants emerge during immunotherapy remains poorly understood. Here, we identify a new mechanism of tumor immune escape using an in vivo selection strategy. We generated a highly immune-resistant cancer cell line (P3) by subjecting a susceptible cancer cell line (P0/TC-1) to multiple rounds of in vivo immune selection. Microarray analysis of P0 and P3 revealed that vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) is up-regulated in the P3-resistant variant. Retroviral transfer of VCAM-1 into P0 significantly increased its resistance against a vaccine-induced immune response. Analysis of tumors showed a dramatic decrease in the number of tumor-infiltrating cluster of differentiation 8+ (CD8+) T cells in the tumors expressing VCAM-1. In vitro transwell migration assays showed that VCAM-1 can promote the migration of CD8+ T cells through its interaction with the α4β1 integrin. Site-directed mutagenesis of VCAM-1 at amino acid residues required for interaction with α4β1 integrin completely abolished the immune resistance conferred by VCAM-1 in vivo. Surface staining showed that most renal cell carcinomas (RCC) express VCAM-1, whereas an RCC that responded to vaccination was VCAM-1 negative. These data provide evidence that tumor expression of VCAM-1 represents a new mechanism of immune evasion and has important implications for the development of immunotherapy for human RCC.
PMCID: PMC3172051  PMID: 17308126
8.  Critical Transition in Tissue Homeostasis Accompanies Murine Lung Senescence 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20712.
Respiratory dysfunction is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in aged populations. The susceptibility to pulmonary insults is attributed to “low pulmonary reserve”, ostensibly reflecting a combination of age-related musculoskeletal, immunologic and intrinsic pulmonary dysfunction.
Methods/Principal Findings
Using a murine model of the aging lung, senescent DBA/2 mice, we correlated a longitudinal survey of airspace size and injury measures with a transcriptome from the aging lung at 2, 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 months of age. Morphometric analysis demonstrated a nonlinear pattern of airspace caliber enlargement with a critical transition occurring between 8 and 12 months of age marked by an initial increase in oxidative stress, cell death and elastase activation which is soon followed by inflammatory cell infiltration, immune complex deposition and the onset of airspace enlargement. The temporally correlative transcriptome showed exuberant induction of immunoglobulin genes coincident with airspace enlargement. Immunohistochemistry, ELISA analysis and flow cytometry demonstrated increased immunoglobulin deposition in the lung associated with a contemporaneous increase in activated B-cells expressing high levels of TLR4 (toll receptor 4) and CD86 and macrophages during midlife. These midlife changes culminate in progressive airspace enlargement during late life stages.
Our findings establish that a tissue-specific aging program is evident during a presenescent interval which involves early oxidative stress, cell death and elastase activation, followed by B lymphocyte and macrophage expansion/activation. This sequence heralds the progression to overt airspace enlargement in the aged lung. These signature events, during middle age, indicate that early stages of the aging immune system may have important correlates in the maintenance of tissue morphology. We further show that time-course analyses of aging models, when informed by structural surveys, can reveal nonintuitive signatures of organ-specific aging pathology.
PMCID: PMC3119663  PMID: 21713037
9.  Tumor Recognition and Self-Recognition Induce Distinct Transcriptional Profiles in Antigen-Specific CD4 T Cells1 
Tumors express a wide variety of both mutated and nonmutated Ags. Whether these tumor Ags are broadly recognized as self or foreign by the immune system is currently unclear. Using an autochthonous prostate cancer model in which hemagglutinin (HA) is specifically expressed in the tumor (ProHA × TRAMP mice), as well as an analogous model wherein HA is expressed in normal tissues as a model self-Ag (C3HAhigh), we examined the transcriptional profile of CD4 T cells undergoing Ag-specific division. Consistent with our previous data, transfer of Ag-specific CD4 T cells into C3HAhigh resulted in a functionally inactivated CD4 T cell profile. Conversely, adoptive transfer of an identical CD4 T cell population into ProHA × TRAMP mice resulted in the induction of a regulatory phenotype of the T cell (Treg) both at the transcriptional and functional level. Interestingly, this Treg skewing was a property of even early-stage tumors, suggesting Treg induction as an important tolerance mechanism during tumor development.
PMCID: PMC3082355  PMID: 19342643
10.  Transcriptional Profile of Brain Injury in Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest and Cardiopulmonary Bypass 
The Annals of thoracic surgery  2010;89(6):1965-1971.
Little is known about the molecular mechanisms of neurologic complications after hypothermic circulatory arrest (HCA) with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Canine genome sequencing allows profiling of genomic changes after HCA and CPB alone. We hypothesize that gene regulation will increase with increased severity of injury.
Dogs underwent 2-hour HCA at 18°C (n = 10), 1-hour HCA (n = 8), or 2-hour CPB at 32°C alone (n = 8). In each group, half were sacrificed at 8 hours and half at 24 hours after treatment. After neurologic scoring, brains were harvested for genomic analysis. Hippocampal RNA isolates were analyzed using canine oligonucleotide expression arrays containing 42,028 probes.
Consistent with prior work, dogs that underwent 2-hour HCA experienced severe neurologic injury. One hour of HCA caused intermediate clinical damage. Cardiopulmonary bypass alone yielded normal clinical scores. Cardiopulmonary bypass, 1-hour HCA, and 2-hour HCA groups historically demonstrated increasing degrees of histopathologic damage (previously published). Exploratory analysis revealed differences in significantly regulated genes (false discovery rate < 10%, absolute fold change ≥ 1.2), with increases in differential gene expression with injury severity. At 8 hours and 24 hours after insult, 2-hour HCA dogs had 502 and 1,057 genes regulated, respectively; 1-hour HCA dogs had 179 and 56 genes regulated; and CPB alone dogs had 5 and 0 genes regulated.
Our genomic profile of canine brains after HCA and CPB revealed 1-hour and 2-hour HCA induced markedly increased gene regulation, in contrast to the minimal effect of CPB alone. This adds to the body of neurologic literature supporting the safety of CPB alone and the minimal effect of CPB on a normal brain, while illuminating genomic results of both.
PMCID: PMC3031914  PMID: 20494057
11.  ATF3 plays a protective role against toxicity by N-terminal fragment of mutant huntingtin in stable PC12 cell line 
Brain research  2009;1286:221-229.
Huntington's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine expansion near the N-terminus of huntingtin. The mechanisms of polyglutamine neurotoxicity, and cellular responses are not fully understood. We have studied gene expression profiles by cDNA array using an inducible PC12 cell model expressing an N-terminal huntingtin fragment with expanded polyglutamine (Htt-N63-148Q). Mutant huntingtin Htt-N63 induced cell death and increased the mRNA and protein levels of activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3). Mutant Htt-N63 also significantly enhanced ATF3 transcriptional activity by a promoter-based reporter assay. Overexpression of ATF3 protects against mutant Htt-N63 toxicity and knocking down ATF3 expression reduced Htt-N63 toxicity in a stable PC12 cell line. These results indicated that ATF3 plays a critical role in toxicity induced by mutant Htt-N63 and may lead to a useful therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC2765721  PMID: 19559011
Activating transcription factor 3; Mutant huntingtin; Polyglutamine; Huntington's disease; Cell death
Cancer research  2009;69(16):6607-6614.
Interferon-producing killer dendritic cells (IKDC) represent a recently discovered cell type in the immune system that possesses a number of functions contributing to innate and adaptive immunity, including production of type 1 and 2 IFNs, IL-12, natural killing, and ultimately antigen presentation to naïve T-cells. Here, we compared in vitro and in vivo responses of mouse IKDC, conventional dendritic cells and natural killer cells to murine cytomegalovirus infection and found distinct functions among these cell subsets. Upon recognition of infected fibroblasts, IKDC, as well as NK, produced high level of IFN-γ, but unlike NK, IKDC simultaneously produced IL-12p40 and upregulated MHC class II and costimulatory molecules. Using MHC-II molecule expression as a phenotypic marker to distinguish activated IKDC from activated NK, we further demonstrated that highly purified MHC-II+ IKDC but not NK, cross-present MHC class I-restricted antigens derived from MCMV-infected targets to CD8+ T-cells in vitro and in vivo. Our findings emphasize the unique nature of IKDC as a killer antigen presenting cell directly linking innate and adaptive immunity.
PMCID: PMC2761009  PMID: 19679552
IKDC and cross-presentation; Dendritic cell; Antigen presentation; Natural killer
13.  Gene Expression Profiling Reveals Early Cellular Responses to Intracellular Magnetic Labeling with Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles 
With MRI (stem) cell tracking having entered the clinic, studies on the cellular genomic response toward labeling are warranted. Gene expression profiling was applied to C17.2 neural stem cells following superparamagnetic iron oxide/PLL (poly-L-lysine) labeling over the course of 1 week. Relative to unlabeled cells, less than 1% of genes (49 total) exhibited greater than 2-fold difference in expression in response to superparamagnetic iron oxide/PLL labeling. In particular, transferrin receptor 1 (Tfrc) and heme oxygenase 1 (Hmox1) expression was downregulated early, whereas genes involved in lysosomal function (Sulf1) and detoxification (Clu, Cp, Gstm2, Mgst1) were upregulated at later time points. Relative to cells treated with PLL only, cells labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide/PLL complexes exhibited differential expression of 1399 genes. Though these differentially expressed genes exhibited altered expression over time, the overall extent was limited. Gene ontology analysis of differentially expressed genes showed that genes encoding zinc-binding proteins are enriched after superparamagnetic iron oxide/PLL labeling relative to PLL only treatment, whereas members of the apoptosis/ programmed cell death pathway did not display increased expression. Overexpression of the differentially expressed genes Rnf138 and Abcc4 were confirmed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. These results demonstrate that, although early reactions responsible for iron homeostasis are induced, overall neural stem cell gene expression remains largely unaltered following superparamagnetic iron oxide/PLL labeling.
PMCID: PMC2858578  PMID: 20373404
superparamagnetic iron oxide; MR contrast agent; magnetic resonance imaging; iron metabolism; cell tracking; cell therapy; microarray
14.  Distinct and Shared Transcriptomes Are Regulated by Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor Isoforms in Mast Cells1 
The Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (Mitf) is an essential basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factor for mast cell development. Mice deficient in Mitf harbor a severe mast cell deficiency, and Mitf-mutant mast cells cultured ex vivo display a number of functional defects. Therefore, an understanding of the genetic program regulated by Mitf may provide important insights into mast cell differentiation. Multiple, distinct isoforms of Mitf have been identified in a variety of cell types; we found that Mitf-a, Mitf-e, and Mitf-mc were the major isoforms expressed in mast cells. To determine the physiologic function of Mitf in mast cells, we restored expression of these isoforms in primary mast cells from Mitf−/−mice. We found that these isoforms restored granular morphology and integrin-mediated migration. By microarray analysis, proteases, signaling molecules, cell surface receptor, and transporters comprised the largest groups of genes up-regulated by all isoforms. Furthermore, we found that isoforms also regulated distinct genes sets, suggesting separable biological activities. This work defines the transcriptome regulated by Mitf in mast cells and supports its role as master regulator of mast cell differentiation. Expression of multiple isoforms of this transcription factor may provide for redundancy of biological activities while also allowing diversity of function.
PMCID: PMC2605087  PMID: 17182576
15.  Fas-Mediated Apoptosis Regulates the Composition of Peripheral αβ T Cell Repertoire by Constitutively Purging Out Double Negative T Cells 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(10):e3465.
The Fas pathway is a major regulator of T cell homeostasis, however, the T cell population that is controlled by the Fas pathway in vivo is poorly defined. Although CD4 and CD8 single positive (SP) T cells are the two major T cell subsets in the periphery of wild type mice, the repertoire of mice bearing loss-of-function mutation in either Fas (lpr mice) or Fas ligand (gld mice) is predominated by CD4−CD8− double negative αβ T cells that also express B220 and generally referred to as B220+DN T cells. Despite extensive analysis, the basis of B220+DN T cell lymphoproliferation remains poorly understood. In this study we re-examined the issue of why T cell lymphoproliferation caused by gld mutation is predominated by B220+DN T cells.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We combined the following approaches to study this question: Gene transcript profiling, BrdU labeling, and apoptosis assays. Our results show that B220+DN T cells are proliferating and dying at exceptionally high rates than SP T cells in the steady state. The high proliferation rate is restricted to B220+DN T cells found in the gut epithelium whereas the high apoptosis rate occurred both in the gut epithelium and periphery. However, only in the periphery, apoptosis of B220+DN T cell is Fas-dependent. When the Fas pathway is genetically impaired, apoptosis of peripheral B220+DN T cells was reduced to a baseline level similar to that of SP T cells. Under these conditions of normalized apoptosis, B220+DN T cells progressively accumulate in the periphery, eventually resulting in B220+DN T cell lymphoproliferation.
The Fas pathway plays a critical role in regulating the tissue distribution of DN T cells through targeting and elimination of DN T cells from the periphery in the steady state. The results provide new insight into pathogenesis of DN T cell lymphoproliferation.
PMCID: PMC2565807  PMID: 18941614
16.  Chronic CD4+ T-Cell Activation and Depletion in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infection: Type I Interferon-Mediated Disruption of T-Cell Dynamics▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;82(4):1870-1883.
The mechanism of CD4+ T-cell depletion during chronic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection remains unknown. Many studies suggest a significant role for chronic CD4+ T-cell activation. We assumed that the pathogenic process of excessive CD4+ T-cell activation would be reflected in the transcriptional profiles of activated CD4+ T cells. Here we demonstrate that the transcriptional programs of in vivo-activated CD4+ T cells from untreated HIV-positive (HIV+) individuals are clearly different from those of activated CD4+ T cells from HIV-negative (HIV−) individuals. We observed a dramatic up-regulation of cell cycle-associated and interferon-stimulated transcripts in activated CD4+ T cells of untreated HIV+ individuals. Furthermore, we find an enrichment of proliferative and type I interferon-responsive transcription factor binding sites in the promoters of genes that are differentially expressed in activated CD4+ T cells of untreated HIV+ individuals compared to those of HIV− individuals. We confirm these findings by examination of in vivo-activated CD4+ T cells. Taken together, these results suggest that activated CD4+ T cells from untreated HIV+ individuals are in a hyperproliferative state that is modulated by type I interferons. From these results, we propose a new model for CD4+ T-cell depletion during chronic HIV-1 infection.
PMCID: PMC2258719  PMID: 18077723
17.  Mouse ES cell–derived cardiac precursor cells are multipotent and facilitate identification of novel cardiac genes 
Although the differentiation of ES cells to cardiomyocytes has been firmly established, the extent to which corresponding cardiac precursor cells can contribute to other cardiac populations remains unclear. To determine the molecular and cellular characteristics of cardiac-fated populations derived from mouse ES (mES) cells, we isolated cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) from differentiating mES cell cultures by using a reporter cell line that expresses GFP under the control of a cardiac-specific enhancer element of Nkx2-5, a transcription factor expressed early in cardiac development. This ES cell–derived CPC population initially expressed genetic markers of both stem cells and mesoderm, while differentiated CPCs displayed markers of 3 distinct cell lineages (cardiomyocytes, vascular smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells) — Flk1 (also known as Kdr), c-Kit, and Nkx2-5, but not Brachyury — and subsequently expressed Isl1. Clonally derived CPCs also demonstrated this multipotent phenotype. By transcription profiling of CPCs, we found that mES cell–derived CPCs displayed a transcriptional signature that paralleled in vivo cardiac development. Additionally, these studies suggested the involvement of genes that we believe were previously unknown to play a role in cardiac development. Taken together, our data demonstrate that ES cell–derived CPCs comprise a multipotent precursor population capable of populating multiple cardiac lineages and suggest that ES cell differentiation is a valid model for studying development of multiple cardiac-fated tissues.
PMCID: PMC2214848  PMID: 18246200
18.  Mechanisms of Indomethacin-Induced Alterations in the Choline Phospholipid Metabolism of Breast Cancer Cells1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2006;8(9):758-771.
Human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) exhibit an increase in phosphocholine (PC) and total choline-containing compounds, as well as a switch from high glycerophosphocholine (GPC)/low PC to low GPC/high PC, with progression to malignant phenotype. The treatment of human breast cancer cells with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent, indomethacin, reverted the high PC/low GPC pattern to a low PC/high GPC pattern indicative of a less malignant phenotype, supported by decreased invasion. Here, we have characterized mechanisms underlying indomethacin-induced alterations in choline membrane metabolism in malignant breast cancer cells and nonmalignant HMECs labeled with [1,2-13C]choline using 1H and 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Microarray gene expression analysis was performed to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes. In breast cancer cells, indomethacin treatment activated phospholipases that, combined with an increased choline phospholipid biosynthesis, led to increased GPC and decreased PC levels. However, in nonmalignant HMECs, activation of the anabolic pathway alone was detected following indomethacin treatment. Following indomethacin treatment in breast cancer cells, several candidate genes, such as interleukin 8, NGFB, CSF2, RHOB, EDN1, and JUNB, were differentially expressed, which may have contributed to changes in choline metabolism through secondary effects or signaling cascades leading to changes in enzyme activity.
PMCID: PMC1584299  PMID: 16984733
Breast cancer; choline compounds; anti-inflammatory agent; phospholipids; magnetic resonance spectroscopy
19.  TGF-β–dependent pathogenesis of mitral valve prolapse in a mouse model of Marfan syndrome 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;114(11):1586-1592.
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a common human phenotype, yet little is known about the pathogenesis of this condition. MVP can occur in the context of genetic syndromes, including Marfan syndrome (MFS), an autosomal-dominant connective tissue disorder caused by mutations in fibrillin-1. Fibrillin-1 contributes to the regulated activation of the cytokine TGF-β, and enhanced signaling is a consequence of fibrillin-1 deficiency. We thus hypothesized that increased TGF-β signaling may contribute to the multisystem pathogenesis of MFS, including the development of myxomatous changes of the atrioventricular valves. Mitral valves from fibrillin-1–deficient mice exhibited postnatally acquired alterations in architecture that correlated both temporally and spatially with increased cell proliferation, decreased apoptosis, and excess TGF-β activation and signaling. In addition, TGF-β antagonism in vivo rescued the valve phenotype, suggesting a cause and effect relationship. Expression analyses identified increased expression of numerous TGF-β–related genes that regulate cell proliferation and survival and plausibly contribute to myxomatous valve disease. These studies validate a novel, genetically engineered murine model of myxomatous changes of the mitral valve and provide critical insight into the pathogenetic mechanism of such changes in MFS and perhaps more common nonsyndromic variants of mitral valve disease.
PMCID: PMC529498  PMID: 15546004
20.  S-Phase Checkpoint Genes Safeguard High-Fidelity Sister Chromatid CohesionD⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2004;15(4):1724-1735.
Cohesion establishment and maintenance are carried out by proteins that modify the activity of Cohesin, an essential complex that holds sister chromatids together. Constituents of the replication fork, such as the DNA polymerase α-binding protein Ctf4, contribute to cohesion in ways that are poorly understood. To identify additional cohesion components, we analyzed a ctf4Δ synthetic lethal screen performed on microarrays. We focused on a subset of ctf4Δ-interacting genes with genetic instability of their own. Our analyses revealed that 17 previously studied genes are also necessary for the maintenance of robust association of sisters in metaphase. Among these were subunits of the MRX complex, which forms a molecular structure similar to Cohesin. Further investigation indicated that the MRX complex did not contribute to metaphase cohesion independent of Cohesin, although an additional role may be contributed by XRS2. In general, results from the screen indicated a sister chromatid cohesion role for a specific subset of genes that function in DNA replication and repair. This subset is particularly enriched for genes that support the S-phase checkpoint. We suggest that these genes promote and protect a chromatin environment conducive to robust cohesion.
PMCID: PMC379270  PMID: 14742710

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