H L Ozer

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey, United States

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Publications (79)428.84 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We recently identified the snaR family of small non-coding RNAs that associate in vivo with the nuclear factor 90 (NF90/ILF3) protein. The major human species, snaR-A, is an RNA polymerase III transcript with restricted tissue distribution and orthologs in chimpanzee but not rhesus macaque or mouse. We report their expression in human tissues and their evolution in primates. snaR genes are exclusively in African Great Apes and some are unique to humans. Two novel families of snaR-related genetic elements were found in primates: CAS (catarrhine ancestor of snaR), limited to Old World Monkeys and apes; and ASR (Alu/snaR-related), present in all monkeys and apes. ASR and CAS appear to have spread by retrotransposition, whereas most snaR genes have spread by segmental duplication. snaR-A and snaR-G2 are differentially expressed in discrete regions of the human brain and other tissues, notably including testis. snaR-A is up-regulated in transformed and immortalized human cells, and is stably bound to ribosomes in HeLa cells. We infer that snaR evolved from the left monomer of the primate-specific Alu SINE family via ASR and CAS in conjunction with major primate speciation events, and suggest that snaRs participate in tissue- and species-specific regulation of cell growth and translation.
    Nucleic Acids Research 10/2010; 39(4):1485-500. DOI:10.1093/nar/gkq856 · 9.11 Impact Factor
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    S S Banga · L Peng · T Dasgupta · V Palejwala · H L Ozer ·
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    ABSTRACT: Normal human diploid fibroblasts have limited life span in culture and undergo replicative senescence after 50-60 population doublings. On the contrary, cancer cells typically divide indefinitely and are immortal. Expression of SV40 large T and small t antigens in human fibroblasts transiently extends their life span by 20-30 population doublings and facilitates immortalization. We have identified a rearrangement in chromosome 6 shared by SV40-transformed human fibroblasts. Rearrangements involving chromosome 6 are among the most frequent in human carcinogenesis. In this paper, we extend analysis of the 6q26-q27 region, a putative site for a growth suppressor gene designated SEN6 involved in immortalization of SV40-transformed cells. Detailed molecular characterization of the rearranged chromosomes (6q*, normal appearing; and 6q(t), translocated) in the SV40-immortalized cell line HALneo by isolating each of these 2 chromosomes in mouse/HAL somatic cell hybrids is presented. Analysis of these mouse/HAL somatic cell hybrids with polymorphic and nonpolymorphic markers revealed that the 6q* has undergone a chromosomal break in the MLLT4 gene (alias AF6). This result in conjunction with previous published observations leads us to conclude that SEN6 lies between MLLT4 and TBP at chromosomal region 6q27. Examination of different genes (MLLT4, DLL1, FAM120B, PHF10) located within this interval that are expressed in HS74 normal fibroblast cells reveals that overexpression of epitope-tagged truncated PHF10 cDNAs resulted in reduced cell proliferation in multiple cell lines. Paradoxically, down-regulation of PHF10 by RNAi also resulted in loss of cell proliferation in normal fibroblast cells, indicating PHF10 function is required for cell growth. Taken together, these observations suggest that decreased cell proliferation with epitope-tagged truncated PHF10 proteins may be due to dominant negative effects or due to unregulated expression of these mutant proteins. Hence we conclude that PHF10 is not SEN6 but is required for cell growth.
    Cytogenetic and Genome Research 12/2009; 126(3):227-42. DOI:10.1159/000251960 · 1.56 Impact Factor
  • Philippos C Patsalis · Harvey L. Ozer · Ann S. Henderson ·

    Clinical Genetics 11/2008; 48(5):275-276. DOI:10.1111/j.1399-0004.1995.tb04105.x · 3.93 Impact Factor
  • Mary Judith Tevethia · Harvey L. Ozer ·
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    ABSTRACT: Normal cells in culture divide a defined number of times before reaching replicative senescence (1). The number of divisions that cells can undergo varies with the species of animal and tissue from which the cells are derived. Cells that have exceeded their typical number of divisions are said to have an extended life-span. Cells that have permanently bypassed the natural senescence point are said to have been immortalized. Immortalization can be brought about by the accumulation of mutations in cellular genes (spontaneous immortalization) or by the introduction of specific types of oncogenes, including T antigen (T-ag).
    02/2008: pages 185-199;
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    Bohdan P Harvey · Satnam S Banga · Harvey L Ozer ·
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    ABSTRACT: The regulation of the multifunctional calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) by serine/threonine protein phosphatases has been extensively studied in neuronal cells; however, this regulation has not been investigated previously in fibroblasts. We cloned a cDNA from SV40-transformed human fibroblasts that shares 80% homology to a rat calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase phosphatase that encodes a PPM1F protein. By using extracts from transfected cells, PPM1F, but not a mutant (R326A) in the conserved catalytic domain, was found to dephosphorylate in vitro a peptide corresponding to the auto-inhibitory region of CaMKII. Further analyses demonstrated that PPM1F specifically dephosphorylates the phospho-Thr-286 in autophosphorylated CaMKII substrate and thus deactivates the CaMKII in vitro. Coimmunoprecipitation of CaMKII with PPM1F indicates that the two proteins can interact intracellularly. Binding of PPM1F to CaMKII involves multiple regions and is not dependent on intact phosphatase activity. Furthermore, overexpression of PPM1F in fibroblasts caused a reduction in the CaMKII-specific phosphorylation of the known substrate vimentin(Ser-82) following induction of the endogenous CaM kinase. These results identify PPM1F as a CaM kinase phosphatase within fibroblasts, although it may have additional functions intracellularly since it has been presented elsewhere as POPX2 and hFEM-2. We conclude that PPM1F, possibly together with the other previously described protein phosphatases PP1 and PP2A, can regulate the activity of CaMKII. Moreover, because PPM1F dephosphorylates the critical autophosphorylation site of CaMKII, we propose that this phosphatase plays a key role in the regulation of the kinase intracellularly.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2004; 279(23):24889-98. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M400656200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human fibroblasts undergo cellular senescence after a finite number of divisions, in response to the erosion of telomeres. In addition to being terminally arrested in the cell cycle, senescent fibroblasts express genes that are normally induced upon wounding, including genes that remodel the extracellular matrix. We have identified the novel zinc finger protein APA-1, whose expression increased in senescent human fibroblasts independent of telomere shortening. Extended passage, telomerase-immortalized fibroblasts had increased levels of APA-1 as well as the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16. In fibroblasts, APA-1 was modified by the ubiquitin-like protein SUMO-1, which increased APA-1 half-life, possibly by blocking ubiquitin-mediated degradation. Overexpression of APA-1 did not cause cell cycle arrest; but, it induced transcription of the extracellular matrix-remodeling genes MMP1 and PAI2, which are associated with fibroblast senescence. MMP1 and PAI2 transcript levels also increased in telomerase-immortalized fibroblasts that had high levels of APA-1, demonstrating that the matrix-remodeling phenotype of senescent fibroblasts was not induced by telomere attrition alone. APA-1 was able to transactivate and bind to the MMP1 promoter, suggesting that APA-1 is a transcription factor that regulates expression of matrix-remodeling genes during fibroblast senescence.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 12/2002; 22(21):7385-97. DOI:10.1128/MCB.22.21.7385-7397.2002 · 4.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Normal human fibroblasts in culture have a limited lifespan, ending in replicative senescence. Introduction of SV40 sequences encoding large T antigen and small t antigen into pre-senescent cells results in an extension of lifespan for an additional 20-30 population doublings. Rare clones of SV40-transformed cells are capable of indefinite growth and are described as immortal; however, the great majority of SV40-transformed cells terminate this extended lifespan in cell death, termed "crisis." We have examined the properties of cells in crisis to obtain further insights into mechanism of cell death and immortalization. Populations at the terminal cell passage show a balance between cell replication and cell death over a period of several weeks, with a progressive increase in cells undergoing cell death. During this period, there is less than a 3-fold increase in attached cell number, with two stages being identifiable on the basis of the focal pattern of cell survival. We also demonstrate that cells in crisis are undergoing apoptosis based on TUNEL assay, subG1 DNA content, annexin V reactivity, and activation of caspases 3 and 8. We suggest a model whereby SV40-transformed cells acquire increased sensitivity to apoptosis based on changes in properties which activate caspase 8 in addition to changes previously described involving shortening of telomeric sequences. While only telomere stabilization could be clearly shown to be essential for survival of cells through crisis, the extended period of cell replication and altered gene expression observed in SV40-transformed cells during crisis are compatible with other genetic alterations in immortal cells.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 03/2002; 190(3):332-44. DOI:10.1002/jcp.10062 · 3.84 Impact Factor
  • H L Ozer ·

    Progress in molecular and subcellular biology 02/2000; 24:121-53. DOI:10.1007/978-3-662-06227-2_6
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    Karen Hubbard · Harvey L. Ozer ·
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    ABSTRACT: Model systems implementing various approaches to immortalize cells have led toward further understanding of replicative senescence and carcinogenesis. Human diploid cells have a limited life span, termed replicative senescence. Because cells are terminally growth arrested during replicative senescence, it has been suggested that it acts as a tumor suppression mechanism as tumor cells exhibit an indefinite life span and are immortal. The generation of immortal cells lines, by the introduction of SV40 and human papillomavirus (HPV) sequences into cells, has provided invaluable tools to dissect the mechanisms of immortalization. We have developed matched sets of nonimmortal and immortal SV40 cell lines which have been useful in the identification of novel growth suppressor genes (SEN6) as well as providing a model system for the study of processes such as cellular aging, apoptosis, and telomere stabilization. Thus, their continued use is anticipated to lead to insights into other processes, which are effected by the altered expression of oncogenes and growth suppressors.
    Journal of the American Aging Association 03/1999; 22(2):65-69. DOI:10.1007/s11357-999-0008-1 · 3.39 Impact Factor
  • Krishna K. Jha · Satnam Banga · Vaseem Palejwala · Harvey L. Ozer ·
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    ABSTRACT: Human diploid cells have a limited life span, ending in replicative senescence, in contrast to cell lines derived from tumors, which show an indefinite life span and are immortal, suggesting that replicative senescence is a tumor suppression mechanism. We have utilized introduction of SV40 sequences to develop matched sets of nonimmortal and immortal cell lines to help dissect the mechanism of immortalization and have found that it has multiple facets, involving both SV40-dependent and -independent aspects. These studies have led to the identification of a novel growth suppressor gene (SEN6) as well as providing a model system for the study of cellular aging, apoptosis, and telomere stabilization among other things. It is anticipated that SV40-transformed cells will continue to provide a very useful experimental system leading to insights into the behavior of cells with altered expression of oncogenes and growth suppressor gene products.
    Experimental Cell Research 12/1998; 245(1):1-7. DOI:10.1006/excr.1998.4272 · 3.25 Impact Factor
  • S H Kim · S Banga · K K Jha · H L Ozer ·
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    ABSTRACT: SV40 infection of human cells results in both transformation and lytic infection. We have used origin-defective viral mutants which are unable to replicate in permissive cells to help analysis of transformation. Expression of large T antigen (T ag) and small t antigen results in the altered growth phenotypes characteristic of transformation in other species. Human diploid fibroblasts (HF) have a limited lifespan and undergo senescence; T ag results in extension of lifespan but only in rare cases are the cells capable of continuous growth and are immortal. We have developed matched sets of non-immortal and immortal transformed HF for assessment of the steps required for immortalization. Results are summarized to characterize both T-dependent and T-independent functions. A novel growth suppressor gene SEN6 has been identified, the inactivation of which is required for immortalization; it may also serve as a marker to distinguish cells in which SV40 is replicating from those in which it is responsible for tumorigenesis.
    Developments in biological standardization 02/1998; 94:297-302.
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    ABSTRACT: Normal human diploid fibroblasts (HF) have a limited life span, undergo senescence, and rarely, if ever, spontaneously immortalize in culture. Introduction of the gene for T antigen encoded by the DNA virus SV40 extends the life span of HF and increases the frequency of immortalization; however, immortalization requires both T-dependent and T-independent functions. We previously generated independent SV40-transformed non-immortal (pre-immortal) HF cell lines from which we then obtained immortal sublines as part of a multifaceted approach to identify functions responsible for immortalization. In this study we undertook a search for cellular mRNAs which are differentially expressed upon immortalization. A lambda cDNA library was prepared from a pre-immortal SV40-transformed HF (HF-C). We screened the library with a subtracted probe enriched for sequences present in HF-C and reduced in immortal AR5 cells. A more limited screen was also employed for sequences overexpressed in AR5 using a different strategy. Alterations in the level of mRNAs in AR5 encoding functions relevant to signal transduction pathways were identified; however, most cDNAs encoded novel sequences. In an effort to clarify which of the altered mRNAs are most relevant to immortalization, we performed Northern analysis with RNA prepared from three paired sets of independent pre-immortal and immortal (4 cell lines) SV40-transformants using eight cloned cDNAs which show reduced expression in AR5. Three of these were reduced in additional immortal cell lines as well; one, J4-4 (unknown function) is reduced in all the immortal cell lines tested; a second, J4-3 (possible PP2C type phosphatase) is reduced in 2 of the 3 matched sets; and a third, J2-2 (unknown function) is reduced in 2 unrelated immortal cell lines. Although the roles of these genes are as yet unclear, their further analysis should extend our understanding of the molecular bases for immortalization. In particular, the patterns of expression of J4-4 and J4-3 strongly suggest that they are involved in the process of immortalization and/or can serve as target genes for assessing regulators of gene expression in this process.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 06/1997; 171(3):325-35. DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1097-4652(199706)171:3<325::AID-JCP11>3.0.CO;2-9 · 3.84 Impact Factor
  • S.S. Banga · H.L. Ozer · S K Park · S T Lee ·

    Cytogenetics and cell genetics 02/1997; 76(1-2):43-4. DOI:10.1159/000134511
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    ABSTRACT: Normal cells show a limited lifespan in culture and the phenotype of cellular senescence. Tumors and tumor cell lines have typically overcome this form of growth suppression and grow continuously as immortal cell lines in culture. We have exploited the DNA virus SV40 to study the mechanism by which human fibroblasts overcome senescence and become immortal. Multiple steps have now been identified, including inactivation of cellular growth suppressors through direct interaction with SV40 large T antigen and through mutation of a gene on chromosome 6 (designated SEN6). In this study, we sublocalize the site of SEN6 to 6q26-27 based on molecular genetic analysis. Twelve SV40-immortalized fibroblast cell lines share a deletion in this area based on assessment for loss of heterozygostiy (LOH) for seven informative markers on 6q. Two immortal cell lines (AR5 and HALneo) appeared to have retained separate single copies of chromosome 6 despite the fact that they are both derived from the same preimmortal SV40-transformant and should share the same mutated allele of SEN6 (Hubbard-Smith et al., 1992). Detailed analysis by polymerase chain reaction, restriction fragment length polymorphism and fluorescence in situ hybridization shows, however, that although they differ for 17 markers from the centromere to 6q26, they share AR5 derived sequences (eight markers) distal to 6q26 including the minimal deletion region, further supporting the assignment of SEN6 to this region. Since human tumors including non-Hodgkins lymphoma, mammary carcinoma and ovarian carcinoma show LOH in 6q26-27, inactivation of SEN6 may be responsible for immortalization of these tumors as well.
    Oncogene 02/1997; 14(3):313-21. DOI:10.1038/sj.onc.1200842 · 8.46 Impact Factor
  • M K Lenahan · H L Ozer ·
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    ABSTRACT: The ability of SV40 T antigen to block apoptosis was investigated in Rat1-A fibroblasts expressing an estrogen-dependent c-myc construct, mycER (Eilers et al., 1989). These RatmycER cells undergo apoptosis upon activation of c-myc by estradiol under conditions of serum deprivation. Under such conditions SV40-transfected derivatives of RatmycER undergo apoptosis as evidenced by rapid cell death, characteristic morphological changes and DNA fragmentation in a manner indistinguishable from the parental cell line, indicating that T antigen is not able to protect against myc-induced apoptosis. In as much as it had been reported that myc-mediated apoptosis involves wild-type p53 in other systems and T antigen is known to bind and inhibit p53 function, we examined these two polypeptides under different experimental conditions. In all cases, the great majority of the p53 in the SV40 transfectants was found to be in complexes with T antigen. Furthermore, the residual p53 in the uncomplexed state was not sufficient to transactivate an endogenous promoter, WAF1/p21. These data indicate that the failure of T antigen to block apoptosis cannot be attributed to defective function of T antigen and suggest that myc-mediated apoptosis may involve a p53-independent pathway in these cells.
    Oncogene 06/1996; 12(9):1847-54. · 8.46 Impact Factor
  • S S Banga · H L Ozer · J Wilusz ·

    Cytogenetics and cell genetics 02/1996; 73(4):295-6. DOI:10.1159/000134359
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    ABSTRACT: We have identified a multistep mechanism by which the DNA virus SV40 overcomes cellular senescence. Expression of SV40 T antigen is required for both transient extension of life span and unlimited life span or immortalization. These effects are mediated through inactivation of function of growth suppressors pRB and p53 via complex formation with T antigen. However, immortalization additionally requires inactivation of a novel growth suppressor gene, which has recently been identified to be on the distal portion of the long arm of chromosome 6, designated SEN6. We propose that SEN6 is responsible for cellular senescence in fibroblasts and other cells.
    Experimental Gerontology 01/1996; 31(1-2):303-10. DOI:10.1016/0531-5565(95)00024-0 · 3.49 Impact Factor
  • P C Patsalis · H L Ozer · A S Henderson ·

    Clinical Genetics 12/1995; 48(5):275-6. · 3.93 Impact Factor
  • K Hubbard · S N Dhanaraj · K A Sethi · J Rhodes · J Wilusz · M B Small · H L Ozer ·
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    ABSTRACT: The loss of telomere sequences during in vitro and in vivo aging suggests that mechanisms affecting telomere length may have important consequences in cellular senescence. In this study, we have found that the activity of single-stranded telomere binding proteins is increased in nuclear extracts prepared from senescent human diploid fibroblasts compared to actively growing cells. Since single-stranded telomere binding proteins are closely related to RNA binding proteins, we examined the binding activity of several major RNA binding proteins to RNA by uv cross-linking. The level of activity was greatly diminished and the overall pattern of uv cross-linked products were altered in extracts prepared from senescent cells. Furthermore, Western analysis revealed a concurrent decrease in senescent extracts of the protein level for many RNA binding proteins, including those which bind to telomere sequence. Although the reduction in the level of these proteins parallels the reduced activity in RNA binding, the paradoxical increased telomere binding activity exhibited by extracts from older cells suggests a complex relationship between these proteins with RNA and DNA. Moreover, the reduced RNA binding activity of these proteins indicates that the biochemical function of several RNA binding proteins is compromised during cellular senescence, raising an intriguing possibility that a change in pre-mRNA metabolism may contribute to the multitude of changes in gene expression observed in cellular senescence.
    Experimental Cell Research 06/1995; 218(1):241-7. DOI:10.1006/excr.1995.1152 · 3.25 Impact Factor
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    A K Sandhu · K Hubbard · G P Kaur · K K Jha · H L Ozer · R S Athwal ·
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    ABSTRACT: In these studies we show that introduction of a normal human chromosome 6 or 6q can suppress the immortal phenotype of simian virus 40-transformed human fibroblasts (SV/HF). Normal human fibroblasts have a limited life span in culture. Immortal clones of SV/HF displayed nonrandom rearrangements in chromosome 6. Single human chromosomes present in mouse/human monochromosomal hybrids were introduced into SV/HF via microcell fusion and maintained by selection for a dominant selectable marker gpt, previously integrated into the human chromosome. Clones of SV/HF cells bearing chromosome 6 displayed limited potential for cell division and morphological characteristics of senescent cells. The loss of chromosome 6 from the suppressed clones correlated with the reappearance of immortal clones. Introduced chromosome 6 in the senescing cells was distinguished from those of parental cells by the analysis for DNA sequences specific for the donor chromosome. Our results further show that suppression of immortal phenotype in SV/HF is specific to chromosome 6. Introduction of individual human chromosomes 2, 8, or 19 did not impart cellular senescence in SV/HF. In addition, introduction of chromosome 6 into human glioblastoma cells did not lead to senescence. Based upon these results we propose that at least one of the genes (SEN6) for cellular senescence in human fibroblasts is present on the long arm of chromosome 6.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/1994; 91(12):5498-502. DOI:10.1073/pnas.91.12.5498 · 9.67 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
428.84 Total Impact Points


  • 1992-2010
    • Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
      • • Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
      • • Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
      Newark, New Jersey, United States
  • 1978-1990
    • CUNY Graduate Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 1988
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 1978-1987
    • City University of New York - Hunter College
      • Department of Biological Sciences
      Manhattan, New York, United States
  • 1985
    • McGill University
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 1984
    • Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 1977
    • State University of New York
      New York, New York, United States
  • 1971-1972
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Chemical Biology Laboratory
      Maryland, United States
  • 1969
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
      Maryland, United States