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In JoVE (1)
- Utilization of Plasmonic and Photonic Crystal Nanostructures for Enhanced Micro- and Nanoparticle Manipulation
Other Publications (31)
- Genome Research
- Developmental Cell
- Science (New York, N.Y.)
- Molecular Cell
- Science (New York, N.Y.)
- PLoS Medicine
- PLoS Medicine
- Developmental Biology
- Nature Genetics
- Stem Cells (Dayton, Ohio)
- Stem Cells (Dayton, Ohio)
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Nature Methods
- Cell Stem Cell
- PloS One
- Journal of Virology
- Cancer Research
- Nature Methods
- Gynecologic Oncology
- Methods (San Diego, Calif.)
- Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer
- Applied Immunohistochemistry & Molecular Morphology : AIMM / Official Publication of the Society for Applied Immunohistochemistry
- Optics Express
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Molecular Cancer Research : MCR
- The American Journal of Pathology
- Cancer Research
- Genome Research
- Cancer Prevention Research (Philadelphia, Pa.)
- Nucleic Acids Research
Articles by Muneesh Tewari in JoVE
Utilization of Plasmonic and Photonic Crystal Nanostructures for Enhanced Micro- and Nanoparticle Manipulation
Cameron S. Simmons1, Emily Christine Knouf2,3, Muneesh Tewari2,4,5, Lih Y. Lin1
1Electrical Engineering Department, University of Washington, 2Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 3Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington, 4Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 5Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Plasmonic tweezers and photonic crystal nanostructures are shown to produce useful enhancements in the efficiency and orientation control of optically trapping micro- and nano-particles.
Other articles by Muneesh Tewari on PubMed
Development of Human Protein Reference Database As an Initial Platform for Approaching Systems Biology in Humans
Genome Research. Oct, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14525934
Human Protein Reference Database (HPRD) is an object database that integrates a wealth of information relevant to the function of human proteins in health and disease. Data pertaining to thousands of protein-protein interactions, posttranslational modifications, enzyme/substrate relationships, disease associations, tissue expression, and subcellular localization were extracted from the literature for a nonredundant set of 2750 human proteins. Almost all the information was obtained manually by biologists who read and interpreted >300,000 published articles during the annotation process. This database, which has an intuitive query interface allowing easy access to all the features of proteins, was built by using open source technologies and will be freely available at http://www.hprd.org to the academic community. This unified bioinformatics platform will be useful in cataloging and mining the large number of proteomic interactions and alterations that will be discovered in the postgenomic era.
Developmental Cell. Oct, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14536054
Presented in a paper in the September issue of Molecular Cell, Aza-Blanc et al. used an RNA interference-based genetic screen to identify genes that modulate sensitivity to the apoptosis-inducing ligand TRAIL. The age of mammalian cell genetic screens has begun.
Science (New York, N.Y.). Jan, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 14704431
To initiate studies on how protein-protein interaction (or "interactome") networks relate to multicellular functions, we have mapped a large fraction of the Caenorhabditis elegans interactome network. Starting with a subset of metazoan-specific proteins, more than 4000 interactions were identified from high-throughput, yeast two-hybrid (HT=Y2H) screens. Independent coaffinity purification assays experimentally validated the overall quality of this Y2H data set. Together with already described Y2H interactions and interologs predicted in silico, the current version of the Worm Interactome (WI5) map contains approximately 5500 interactions. Topological and biological features of this interactome network, as well as its integration with phenome and transcriptome data sets, lead to numerous biological hypotheses.
Systematic Interactome Mapping and Genetic Perturbation Analysis of a C. Elegans TGF-beta Signaling Network
Molecular Cell. Feb, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 14992718
To initiate a system-level analysis of C. elegans DAF-7/TGF-beta signaling, we combined interactome mapping with single and double genetic perturbations. Yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screens starting with known DAF-7/TGF-beta pathway components defined a network of 71 interactions among 59 proteins. Coaffinity purification (co-AP) assays in mammalian cells confirmed the overall quality of this network. Systematic perturbations of the network using RNAi, both in wild-type and daf-7/TGF-beta pathway mutant animals, identified nine DAF-7/TGF-beta signaling modifiers, seven of which are conserved in humans. We show that one of these has functional homology to human SNO/SKI oncoproteins and that mutations at the corresponding genetic locus daf-5 confer defects in DAF-7/TGF-beta signaling. Our results reveal substantial molecular complexity in DAF-7/TGF-beta signal transduction. Integrating interactome maps with systematic genetic perturbations may be useful for developing a systems biology approach to this and other signaling modules.
Science (New York, N.Y.). May, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15790806
RNA interference (RNAi) of target genes is triggered by double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) processed by conserved nucleases and accessory factors. To identify the genetic components required for RNAi, we performed a genome-wide screen using an engineered RNAi sensor strain of Caenorhabditis elegans. The RNAi screen identified 90 genes. These included Piwi/PAZ proteins, DEAH helicases, RNA binding/processing factors, chromatin-associated factors, DNA recombination proteins, nuclear import/export factors, and 11 known components of the RNAi machinery. We demonstrate that some of these genes are also required for germline and somatic transgene silencing. Moreover, the physical interactions among these potential RNAi factors suggest links to other RNA-dependent gene regulatory pathways.
PLoS Medicine. May, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16681415
Developmental Biology. Jan, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17098225
The Caenorhabditis elegans daf-2/insulin-like signaling pathway is critical for regulating development, longevity, metabolism and stress resistance. We identified the 14-3-3 protein FTT-2 to be a new regulatory component of this pathway. We found that RNAi knock down of ftt-2 specifically enhanced the daf-2-mediated dauer formation phenotype. Furthermore, ftt-2 knock down caused the nuclear accumulation of DAF-16/FOXO, the forkhead transcription factor that is the major downstream effecter of daf-2/insulin-like signaling, and enhanced the transcriptional activities of DAF-16. In contrast to ftt-2, RNAi knock down of par-5/ftt-1, the only other gene predicted to encode a 14-3-3 protein in C. elegans, did not show any notable effect on dauer formation, DAF-16 localization, or DAF-16 downstream gene transcription, underscoring the functional specification of FTT-2 and PAR-5 despite their high sequence homology. Using co-immunoprecipitation, we revealed that FTT-2 formed a complex with GFP-fused DAF-16 in C. elegans. Our results indicate that FTT-2 binds to DAF-16 in C. elegans and regulates DAF-16 by sequestering it in the cytoplasm. A similar mechanism of regulation of FOXO by 14-3-3zeta has been reported in mammalian cells, highlighting the high degree of conservation of the daf-2/insulin-like signaling pathway.
Nature Genetics. Nov, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17922014
Many cancer-associated genes remain to be identified to clarify the underlying molecular mechanisms of cancer susceptibility and progression. Better understanding is also required of how mutations in cancer genes affect their products in the context of complex cellular networks. Here we have used a network modeling strategy to identify genes potentially associated with higher risk of breast cancer. Starting with four known genes encoding tumor suppressors of breast cancer, we combined gene expression profiling with functional genomic and proteomic (or 'omic') data from various species to generate a network containing 118 genes linked by 866 potential functional associations. This network shows higher connectivity than expected by chance, suggesting that its components function in biologically related pathways. One of the components of the network is HMMR, encoding a centrosome subunit, for which we demonstrate previously unknown functional associations with the breast cancer-associated gene BRCA1. Two case-control studies of incident breast cancer indicate that the HMMR locus is associated with higher risk of breast cancer in humans. Our network modeling strategy should be useful for the discovery of additional cancer-associated genes.
Stem Cells (Dayton, Ohio). Feb, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18065395
Canine embryonic stem (cES) cell lines were generated to establish a large-animal preclinical model for testing the safety and efficacy of embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived tissue replacement therapy. Putative cES cell lines were initiated from canine blastocysts harvested from natural matings. Times of harvest were estimated as 12-16 days after the presumed surge in circulating levels of luteinizing hormone. Four lines established from blastocysts harvested at days 13-14 postsurge satisfied most of the criteria for embryonic stem cells, whereas lines established after day 14 did not. One line, Fred Hutchinson dog (FHDO)-7, has been maintained through 34 passages and is presented here. FHDO-7 cells are alkaline phosphatase-positive and express both message and protein for the Oct4 transcription factor. They also express message for Nanog and telomerase but do not express message for Cdx2, which is associated with trophectoderm. Furthermore, they express a cluster of pluripotency-associated microRNAs (miRs) (miR-302b, miR-302c, and miR-367) characteristic of human and mouse ES cells. The FHDO-7 cells grow on feeder layers of modified mouse embryonic fibroblasts as flat colonies that resemble ES cells from mink, a close phylogenetic relative of dog. When cultured in nonadherent plates without feeders, the cells form embryoid bodies (EBs). Under various culture conditions, the EBs give rise to ectoderm-derived neuronal cells expressing gamma-enolase and beta 3-tubulin; mesoderm-derived cells producing collagen IIA1, cartilage, and bone; and endoderm-derived cells expressing alpha-fetoprotein or Clara cell-specific protein.
MicroRNA Discovery and Profiling in Human Embryonic Stem Cells by Deep Sequencing of Small RNA Libraries
Stem Cells (Dayton, Ohio). Oct, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18583537
We used massively parallel pyrosequencing to discover and characterize microRNAs (miRNAs) expressed in human embryonic stem cells (hESC). Sequencing of small RNA cDNA libraries derived from undifferentiated hESC and from isogenic differentiating cultures yielded a total of 425,505 high-quality sequence reads. A custom data analysis pipeline delineated expression profiles for 191 previously annotated miRNAs, 13 novel miRNAs, and 56 candidate miRNAs. Further characterization of a subset of the novel miRNAs in Dicer-knockdown hESC demonstrated Dicer-dependent expression, providing additional validation of our results. A set of 14 miRNAs (9 known and 5 novel) was noted to be expressed in undifferentiated hESC and then strongly downregulated with differentiation. Functional annotation analysis of predicted targets of these miRNAs and comparison with a null model using non-hESC-expressed miRNAs identified statistically enriched functional categories, including chromatin remodeling and lineage-specific differentiation annotations. Finally, integration of our data with genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation data on OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG binding sites implicates these transcription factors in the regulation of nine of the novel/candidate miRNAs identified here. Comparison of our results with those of recent deep sequencing studies in mouse and human ESC shows that most of the novel/candidate miRNAs found here were not identified in the other studies. The data indicate that hESC express a larger complement of miRNAs than previously appreciated, and they provide a resource for additional studies of miRNA regulation of hESC physiology. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jul, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18663219
Improved approaches for the detection of common epithelial malignancies are urgently needed to reduce the worldwide morbidity and mortality caused by cancer. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small ( approximately 22 nt) regulatory RNAs that are frequently dysregulated in cancer and have shown promise as tissue-based markers for cancer classification and prognostication. We show here that miRNAs are present in human plasma in a remarkably stable form that is protected from endogenous RNase activity. miRNAs originating from human prostate cancer xenografts enter the circulation, are readily measured in plasma, and can robustly distinguish xenografted mice from controls. This concept extends to cancer in humans, where serum levels of miR-141 (a miRNA expressed in prostate cancer) can distinguish patients with prostate cancer from healthy controls. Our results establish the measurement of tumor-derived miRNAs in serum or plasma as an important approach for the blood-based detection of human cancer.
Nature Methods. Jan, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19123269
To provide accurate biological hypotheses and elucidate global properties of cellular networks, systematic identification of protein-protein interactions must meet high quality standards.We present an expanded C. elegans protein-protein interaction network, or 'interactome' map, derived from testing a matrix of approximately 10,000 x approximately 10,000 proteins using a highly specific, high-throughput yeast two-hybrid system. Through a new empirical quality control framework, we show that the resulting data set (Worm Interactome 2007, or WI-2007) was similar in quality to low-throughput data curated from the literature. We filtered previous interaction data sets and integrated them with WI-2007 to generate a high-confidence consolidated map (Worm Interactome version 8, or WI8). This work allowed us to estimate the size of the worm interactome at approximately 116,000 interactions. Comparison with other types of functional genomic data shows the complementarity of distinct experimental approaches in predicting different functional relationships between genes or proteins
Histone Deacetylase Inhibition Elicits an Evolutionarily Conserved Self-renewal Program in Embryonic Stem Cells
Cell Stem Cell. Apr, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19341625
Recent evidence indicates that mouse and human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are fixed at different developmental stages, with the former positioned earlier. We show that a narrow concentration of the naturally occurring short-chain fatty acid, sodium butyrate, supports the extensive self-renewal of mouse and human ESCs, while promoting their convergence toward an intermediate stem cell state. In response to butyrate, human ESCs regress to an earlier developmental stage characterized by a gene expression profile resembling that of mouse ESCs, preventing precocious Xist expression while retaining the ability to form complex teratomas in vivo. Other histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) also support human ESC self-renewal. Our results indicate that HDACi can promote ESC self-renewal across species, and demonstrate that ESCs can toggle between alternative states in response to environmental factors.
Repertoire of MicroRNAs in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer As Determined by Next Generation Sequencing of Small RNA CDNA Libraries
PloS One. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19390579
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs that are implicated in cancer pathogenesis and have recently shown promise as blood-based biomarkers for cancer detection. Epithelial ovarian cancer is a deadly disease for which improved outcomes could be achieved by successful early detection and enhanced understanding of molecular pathogenesis that leads to improved therapies. A critical step toward these goals is to establish a comprehensive view of miRNAs expressed in epithelial ovarian cancer tissues as well as in normal ovarian surface epithelial cells.
Multiple Integrated Copies and High-level Production of the Human Retrovirus XMRV (xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-related Virus) from 22Rv1 Prostate Carcinoma Cells
Journal of Virology. Jul, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19403664
The human retrovirus XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) is associated with prostate cancer, most frequently in humans with a defect in the antiviral defense protein RNase L, suggesting a role for XMRV in prostate carcinogenesis. However, XMRV has not been found in prostate carcinoma cells. Here we show that 22Rv1 prostate carcinoma cells produce high-titer virus that is nearly identical in properties and sequence to XMRV isolated by others and consist primarily of a single clone of cells with at least 10 integrated copies of XMRV, warranting further study of a possible role for XMRV integration in carcinogenesis.
Cancer Research. Jul, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19549893
Polymorphisms at 8q24 are robustly associated with prostate cancer risk. The risk variants are located in nonprotein coding regions and their mechanism has not been fully elucidated. To further dissect the function of this locus, we tested two hypotheses: (a) unannotated microRNAs (miRNA) are transcribed in the region, and (b) this region is a cis-acting enhancer. Using next generation sequencing, 8q24 risk regions were interrogated for known and novel miRNAs in histologically normal radical prostatectomy tissue. We also evaluated the association between the risk variants and transcript levels of multiple genes, focusing on the proto-oncogene, MYC. RNA expression was measured in histologically normal and tumor tissue from 280 prostatectomy specimens (from 234 European American and 46 African American patients), and paired germline DNA from each individual was genotyped for six 8q24 risk single nucleotide polymorphisms. No evidence was found for significant miRNA transcription within 8q24 prostate cancer risk loci. Likewise, no convincing association between RNA expression and risk allele status was detected in either histologically normal or tumor tissue. To our knowledge, this is one of the first and largest studies to directly assess miRNA in this region and to systematically measure MYC expression levels in prostate tissue in relation to inherited risk variants. These data will help to direct the future study of this risk locus.
Nature Methods. Jul, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19564845
Regulation of MiR-200 Family MicroRNAs and ZEB Transcription Factors in Ovarian Cancer: Evidence Supporting a Mesothelial-to-epithelial Transition
Gynecologic Oncology. Jan, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 19854497
Our objective was to characterize the expression and function of the miR-200 family of microRNAs (miRNA) in ovarian carcinogenesis.
Analysis of Circulating MicroRNA Biomarkers in Plasma and Serum Using Quantitative Reverse Transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR)
Methods (San Diego, Calif.). Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20146939
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small (approximately 22 nt) RNAs that play important roles in gene regulatory networks by binding to and repressing the activity of specific target mRNAs. Recent studies have indicated that miRNAs circulate in a stable, cell-free form in the bloodstream and that the abundance of specific miRNAs in plasma or serum can serve as biomarkers of cancer and other diseases. Measurement of circulating miRNAs as biomarkers is associated with some special challenges, including those related to pre-analytic variation and data normalization. We describe here our procedure for qRT-PCR analysis of circulating miRNAs as biomarkers, and discuss relevant issues of sample preparation, experimental design and data analysis.
MiR-221 and MiR-222 Alterations in Sporadic Ovarian Carcinoma: Relationship to CDKN1B, CDKNIC and Overall Survival
Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer. Jul, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20461750
MicroRNAs are often aberrantly expressed in human neoplasms and are postulated to play a role in neoplastic initiation and progression. miR-221 and miR-222 negatively regulate expression of CDKN1B (p27) and CDKN1C (p57), two cell cycle regulators expressed in ovarian surface epithelium and down-regulated in ovarian carcinomas. We characterized miR-221 and miR-222 expression in 49 sporadic high grade ovarian carcinomas and determined whether somatic mutation or epigenetic alterations explained the differences in expression of these miRNAs. We correlated these findings with protein expression of CDKN1B and CDKN1C as assessed by immunohistochemistry. Expression of miR-221 and miR-222 were closely correlated with each other (P = 0.0001). Interestingly, a lower ratio of miR-221 to miR-222 expression was significantly correlated with worse overall survival (P = 0.01) and remained a significant predictor of overall survival in multivariate analysis using the covariate adequacy of surgical cytoreduction (P = 0.03). Higher miR-222 and miR-221 expression were significantly associated with decreased CDKN1C expression (P = 0.009 and 0.01). In contrast, CDKN1B expression was not associated with miR-221 or miR-222 expression. Neither somatic mutations nor methylation of the studied region explained the alterations in miR-221 and miR-222 expression in most carcinomas.
Gut. Jun, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20551450
Applied Immunohistochemistry & Molecular Morphology : AIMM / Official Publication of the Society for Applied Immunohistochemistry. Dec, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20661131
The primary objective of this study is to show the activation and analyze the regulation of the MEK- S6 kinase pathway in high-grade ovarian cancer. Phospho-ERK (pERK), a direct substrate of MEK and 2 phosphorylation sites on the ribosomal protein, S6, Ser235/236, and Ser240/244, which are both targeted by the MEK and PI3-kinase/AKT pathways, were analyzed in 13 cell lines, 28 primary cancers and 8 cases of cancer cells from ascites. In primary cancers, ERK and S6 phosphorylation was measured by immunohistochemistry (IHC). pERK, pS6, pAKT, and p4EBP1 were also measured by Western blotting (WB). The regulation of S6 phosphorylation by the MEK and PI3-kinase pathways was determined in ovarian cancer cell lines. We observed frequent pERK expression in primary ovarian cancers (100% by WB, 75% by IHC) but not in ovarian cancer cells from ascites (25% of cases by WB). The activation of the AKT pathway, measured by pAKT expression occurred in 7 cases of primary ovarian cancer by WB, but in none of the ascites samples. In ovarian cancer cell lines, the MEK pathway had a greater effect on S6 phosphorylation in cells without hyperactive AKT signaling. Our data suggest that MEK is a potential drug target in high-grade ovarian cancer, however, cancer cells with hyperactive AKT and cancer cells in ascites may be less responsive to MEK inhibition. The phosphorylation of S6 as a specific biomarker for either MEK or PI3-kinase pathway activation should be used with caution.
Optics Express. Jul, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20720985
We propose and demonstrate a purely optical approach to trap and align particles using the interaction of polarized light with periodic nanostructures to generate enhanced trapping force. With a weakly focused laser beam, we observed efficient trapping and transportation of polystyrene beads with sizes ranging from 10 mum down to 190 nm as well as cancer cell nuclei. In addition, alignment of non-spherical dielectric particles to a 1-D periodic nanostructure was achieved with low laser intensity without attachment to birefringent crystals. Bacterial cells were trapped and aligned with incident optical intensity as low as 17 microW/microm(2).
Argonaute2 Complexes Carry a Population of Circulating MicroRNAs Independent of Vesicles in Human Plasma
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Mar, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21383194
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) circulate in the bloodstream in a highly stable, extracellular form and are being developed as blood-based biomarkers for cancer and other diseases. However, the mechanism underlying their remarkable stability in the RNase-rich environment of blood is not well understood. The current model in the literature posits that circulating miRNAs are protected by encapsulation in membrane-bound vesicles such as exosomes, but this has not been systematically studied. We used differential centrifugation and size-exclusion chromatography as orthogonal approaches to characterize circulating miRNA complexes in human plasma and serum. We found, surprisingly, that the majority of circulating miRNAs cofractionated with protein complexes rather than with vesicles. miRNAs were also sensitive to protease treatment of plasma, indicating that protein complexes protect circulating miRNAs from plasma RNases. Further characterization revealed that Argonaute2 (Ago2), the key effector protein of miRNA-mediated silencing, was present in human plasma and eluted with plasma miRNAs in size-exclusion chromatography. Furthermore, immunoprecipitation of Ago2 from plasma readily recovered non-vesicle-associated plasma miRNAs. The majority of miRNAs studied copurified with the Ago2 ribonucleoprotein complex, but a minority of specific miRNAs associated predominantly with vesicles. Our results reveal two populations of circulating miRNAs and suggest that circulating Ago2 complexes are a mechanism responsible for the stability of plasma miRNAs. Our study has important implications for the development of biomarker approaches based on capture and analysis of circulating miRNAs. In addition, identification of extracellular Ago2-miRNA complexes in plasma raises the possibility that cells release a functional miRNA-induced silencing complex into the circulation.
Molecular Cancer Research : MCR. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21693595
Precise regulation of DNA damage response is crucial for cellular survival after DNA damage, and its abrogation often results in genomic instability in cancer. Phosphorylated histone H2AX (γH2AX) forms nuclear foci at sites of DNA damage and facilitates DNA damage response and repair. MicroRNAs (miRNA) are short, nonprotein-encoding RNA molecules, which posttranscriptionally regulate gene expression by repressing translation of and/or degrading mRNA. How miRNAs modulate DNA damage response is largely unknown. In this study, we developed a cell-based screening assay using ionizing radiation (IR)-induced γH2AX foci formation in a human osteosarcoma cell line, U2OS, as the readout. By screening a library of human miRNA mimics, we identified several miRNAs that inhibited γH2AX foci formation. Among them, miR-138 directly targeted the histone H2AX 3'-untranslated region, reduced histone H2AX expression, and induced chromosomal instability after DNA damage. Overexpression of miR-138 inhibited homologous recombination and enhanced cellular sensitivity to multiple DNA-damaging agents (cisplatin, camptothecin, and IR). Reintroduction of histone H2AX in miR-138 overexpressing cells attenuated miR-138-mediated sensitization to cisplatin and camptothecin. Our study suggests that miR-138 is an important regulator of genomic stability and a potential therapeutic agent to improve the efficacy of radiotherapy and chemotherapy with DNA-damaging agents.
The American Journal of Pathology. Jul, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21703419
Expression of E-cadherin is used to monitor the epithelial phenotype, and its loss is suggestive of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT triggers tumor metastasis. Exit from EMT is marked by increased E-cadherin expression and is considered necessary for tumor growth at sites of metastasis; however, the mechanisms associated with exit from EMT are poorly understood. Herein are analyzed 185 prostate cancer metastases, with significantly higher E-cadherin expression in bone than in lymph node and soft tissue metastases. To determine the molecular mechanisms of regulation of E-cadherin expression, three stable isogenic cell lines from DU145 were derived that differ in structure, migration, and colony formation on soft agar and Matrigel. When injected into mouse tibia, the epithelial subline grows most aggressively, whereas the mesenchymal subline does not grow. In cultured cells, ZEB1 and Src family kinases decrease E-cadherin expression. In contrast, in tibial xenografts, E-cadherin RNA levels increase eight- to 10-fold despite persistent ZEB1 expression, and in all ZEB1-positive metastases (10 of 120), ZEB1 and E-cadherin proteins were co-expressed. These data suggest that transcriptional regulation of E-cadherin differs in cultured cells versus xenografts, which more faithfully reflect E-cadherin regulation in cancers in human beings. Furthermore, the aggressive nature of xenografts positive for E-cadherin and the frequency of metastases positive for E-cadherin suggest that high E-cadherin expression in metastatic prostate cancer is associated with aggressive tumor growth.
Cancer Research. Jul, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21712410
Low oxygen levels have been shown to promote self-renewal in many stem cells. In tumors, hypoxia is associated with aggressive disease course and poor clinical outcomes. Furthermore, many aggressive tumors have been shown to display gene expression signatures characteristic of human embryonic stem cells (hESC). We now tested whether hypoxia might be responsible for the hESC signature observed in aggressive tumors. We show that hypoxia, through hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), can induce an hESC-like transcriptional program, including the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) inducers, OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, KLF4, cMYC, and microRNA-302 in 11 cancer cell lines (from prostate, brain, kidney, cervix, lung, colon, liver, and breast tumors). Furthermore, nondegradable forms of HIFα, combined with the traditional iPSC inducers, are highly efficient in generating A549 iPSC-like colonies that have high tumorigenic capacity. To test potential correlation between iPSC inducers and HIF expression in primary tumors, we analyzed primary prostate tumors and found a significant correlation between NANOG-, OCT4-, and HIF1α-positive regions. Furthermore, NANOG and OCT4 expressions positively correlated with increased prostate tumor Gleason score. In primary glioma-derived CD133 negative cells, hypoxia was able to induce neurospheres and hESC markers. Together, these findings suggest that HIF targets may act as key inducers of a dynamic state of stemness in pathologic conditions.
Post-transcriptional Generation of MiRNA Variants by Multiple Nucleotidyl Transferases Contributes to MiRNA Transcriptome Complexity
Genome Research. Sep, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21813625
Modification of microRNA sequences by the 3' addition of nucleotides to generate so-called "isomiRs" adds to the complexity of miRNA function, with recent reports showing that 3' modifications can influence miRNA stability and efficiency of target repression. Here, we show that the 3' modification of miRNAs is a physiological and common post-transcriptional event that shows selectivity for specific miRNAs and is observed across species ranging from C. elegans to human. The modifications result predominantly from adenylation and uridylation and are seen across tissue types, disease states, and developmental stages. To quantitatively profile 3' nucleotide additions, we developed and validated a novel assay based on NanoString Technologies' nCounter platform. For certain miRNAs, the frequency of modification was altered by processes such as cell differentiation, indicating that 3' modification is a biologically regulated process. To investigate the mechanism of 3' nucleotide additions, we used RNA interference to screen a panel of eight candidate miRNA nucleotidyl transferases for 3' miRNA modification activity in human cells. Multiple enzymes, including MTPAP, PAPD4, PAPD5, ZCCHC6, ZCCHC11, and TUT1, were found to govern 3' nucleotide addition to miRNAs in a miRNA-specific manner. Three of these enzymes-MTPAP, ZCCHC6, and TUT1-have not previously been known to modify miRNAs. Collectively, our results indicate that 3' modification observed in next-generation small RNA sequencing data is a biologically relevant process, and identify enzymatic mechanisms that may lead to new approaches for modulating miRNA activity in vivo.
Cancer Prevention Research (Philadelphia, Pa.). Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22158052
Circulating, cell-free microRNAs (miRNAs) hold great promise as a new class of cancer biomarkers due to their surprisingly high stability in plasma, association with disease states, and ease of sensitive measurement. Yet little is known about the origin of circulating miRNAs in either healthy or sick people, or what factors influence levels of circulating miRNA biomarkers. Of 79 solid tumor circulating miRNA biomarkers reported in the literature, we found that fifty-eight percent (47/79) are highly expressed in one or more blood cell type. Plasma levels of miRNA biomarkers expressed by myeloid (e.g., miR-223, miR-197, miR-574-3p, let-7a) and lymphoid (e.g., miR-150) blood cells tightly correlated with corresponding white blood cell counts. Plasma miRNA biomarkers expressed by red blood cells (e.g., miR-486-5p, miR-451, miR-92a, miR-16) could not be correlated to red cell counts due to limited variation in hematocrit in the cohort studied, but were significantly increased in hemolyzed specimens (20-30 fold plasma increase; p<0.0000001). Finally, in a patient undergoing autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation, plasma levels of myeloid- and lymphoid-expressed miRNAs (miR-223 and miR-150, respectively) tracked closely with changes in corresponding blood counts. We present evidence that blood cells are a major contributor to circulating miRNA, and that perturbations in blood cell counts and hemolysis can alter plasma miRNA biomarker levels by up to 50-fold. Given that a majority of reported circulating miRNA cancer biomarkers are highly expressed in blood cells, we suggest caution in interpretation of such results as they may reflect a blood cell-based phenomenon rather than a cancer-specific origin.
An Integrative Genomic Approach Identifies P73 and P63 As Activators of MiR-200 MicroRNA Family Transcription
Nucleic Acids Research. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 21917857
Although microRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression, the transcriptional regulation of miRNAs themselves is not well understood. We employed an integrative computational pipeline to dissect the transcription factors (TFs) responsible for altered miRNA expression in ovarian carcinoma. Using experimental data and computational predictions to define miRNA promoters across the human genome, we identified TFs with binding sites significantly overrepresented among miRNA genes overexpressed in ovarian carcinoma. This pipeline nominated TFs of the p53/p63/p73 family as candidate drivers of miRNA overexpression. Analysis of data from an independent set of 253 ovarian carcinomas in The Cancer Genome Atlas showed that p73 and p63 expression is significantly correlated with expression of miRNAs whose promoters contain p53/p63/p73 family binding sites. In experimental validation of specific miRNAs predicted by the analysis to be regulated by p73 and p63, we found that p53/p63/p73 family binding sites modulate promoter activity of miRNAs of the miR-200 family, which are known regulators of cancer stem cells and epithelial-mesenchymal transitions. Furthermore, in chromatin immunoprecipitation studies both p73 and p63 directly associated with the miR-200b/a/429 promoter. This study delineates an integrative approach that can be applied to discover transcriptional regulatory mechanisms in other biological settings where analogous genomic data are available.