Taiping Chen

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, United States

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Publications (32)314.96 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Somatic heterozygous mutations of the DNA methyltransferase gene DNMT3A occur frequently in acute myeloid leukemia and other hematological malignancies, with the majority (~60%) of mutations affecting a single amino acid, Arg882 (R882), in the catalytic domain. While the mutations impair DNMT3A catalytic activity in vitro, their effects on DNA methylation in cells have not been explored. Here, we show that exogenously expressed mouse Dnmt3a proteins harboring the corresponding R878 mutations largely fail to mediate DNA methylation in murine embryonic stem (ES) cells, but are capable of interacting with wild-type Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b. Co-expression of the Dnmt3a R878H (histidine) mutant protein results in inhibition of the ability of wild-type Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b to methylate DNA in murine ES cells. Furthermore, expression of Dnmt3a R878H in ES cells containing endogenous Dnmt3a or Dnmt3b induces hypomethylation. These results suggest that the DNMT3A R882 mutations, in addition to being hypomorphic, have dominant-negative effects.
    Blood 10/2013; · 9.78 Impact Factor
  • Hongbo Zhao, Taiping Chen
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    ABSTRACT: Methylation of cytosines is a major epigenetic modification in mammalian genomes. The levels and patterns of DNA methylation are the results of the opposing actions of methylating and demethylating machineries. Over the past two decades, great progress has been made in elucidating the methylating machinery including the identification and functional characterization of the DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts). However, the mechanisms of demethylation and the major players involved had been elusive. A major breakthrough came in 2009, when the ten-eleven translocation (Tet) family of proteins was discovered as 5-methylcytosine (5mC) dioxygenases that convert 5mC to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). Studies in the past several years have established that 5hmC serves as an intermediate in DNA demethylation and that Tet proteins have important roles in epigenetic reprogramming in early embryos and primordial germ cells. In this review, we discuss recent advances in this exciting field, focusing on the role of Tet proteins in mammalian development.Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 30 May 2013; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.63.
    Journal of Human Genetics 05/2013; · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (Lsd1/Aof2/Kdm1a), the first enzyme with specific lysine demethylase activity to be described, demethylates histone and non-histone proteins and is essential for mouse embryogenesis. Lsd1 interacts with numerous proteins through several different domains, most notably the tower domain, an extended helical structure that protrudes from the core of the protein. While there is evidence that Lsd1-interacting proteins regulate the activity and specificity of Lsd1, the significance and roles of such interactions in developmental processes remain largely unknown. Here we describe a hypomorphic Lsd1 allele that contains two point mutations in the tower domain, resulting in a protein with reduced interaction with known binding partners and decreased enzymatic activity. Mice homozygous for this allele die perinatally due to heart defects, with the majority of animals suffering from ventricular septal defects. Molecular analyses revealed hyperphosphorylation of E-cadherin in the hearts of mutant animals. These results identify a previously unknown role for Lsd1 in heart development, perhaps partly through the control of E-cadherin phosphorylation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e60913. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Cell Research 04/2012; · 10.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1/AOF2/KDM1A), the first enzyme with specific lysine demethylase activity to be described, demethylates histone and non-histone proteins and is essential for mouse embryogenesis. LSD1 interacts with numerous proteins through several different domains, most notably the tower domain, an extended helical structure that protrudes from the core of the protein. While there is evidence that LSD1-interacting proteins regulate the activity and specificity of LSD1, the significance and roles of such interactions in developmental processes remain largely unknown. Here we describe a hypomorphic LSD1 allele that contains two point mutations in the tower domain, resulting in a protein with reduced interaction with known binding partners and decreased enzymatic activity. Mice homozygous for this allele die perinatally due to heart defects, with the majority of animals suffering from ventricular septal defects. Transcriptional profiling revealed altered expression of a limited subset of genes in the hearts. This includes an increase in calmodulin kinase (CK) 2β, the regulatory subunit of the CK2 kinase, which correlates with E-cadherin hyperphosphorylation. These results identify a previously unknown role for LSD1 in heart development, perhaps partly through the control of E-cadherin phosphorylation.Cell Research advance online publication 6 December 2011; doi:10.1038/cr.2011.194.
    Cell Research 12/2011; · 10.53 Impact Factor
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    Xin-Jian He, Taiping Chen, Jian-Kang Zhu
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    ABSTRACT: DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mark involved in diverse biological processes. In plants, DNA methylation can be established through the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway, an RNA interference pathway for transcriptional gene silencing (TGS), which requires 24-nt small interfering RNAs. In mammals, de novo DNA methylation occurs primarily at two developmental stages: during early embryogenesis and during gametogenesis. While it is not clear whether establishment of DNA methylation patterns in mammals involves RNA interference in general, de novo DNA methylation and suppression of transposons in germ cells require 24-32-nt piwi-interacting small RNAs. DNA methylation status is dynamically regulated by DNA methylation and demethylation reactions. In plants, active DNA demethylation relies on the repressor of silencing 1 family of bifunctional DNA glycosylases, which remove the 5-methylcytosine base and then cleave the DNA backbone at the abasic site, initiating a base excision repair (BER) pathway. In animals, multiple mechanisms of active DNA demethylation have been proposed, including a deaminase- and DNA glycosylase-initiated BER pathway. New information concerning the effects of various histone modifications on the establishment and maintenance of DNA methylation has broadened our understanding of the regulation of DNA methylation. The function of DNA methylation in plants and animals is also discussed in this review.
    Cell Research 02/2011; 21(3):442-65. · 10.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Imprinted gene expression corresponds to parental allele-specific DNA CpG methylation and chromatin composition. Histone tail covalent modifications have been extensively studied, but it is not known whether modifications in the histone globular domains can also discriminate between the parental alleles. Using multiplex chromatin immunoprecipitation-single nucleotide primer extension (ChIP-SNuPE) assays, we measured the allele-specific enrichment of H3K79 methylation and H4K91 acetylation along the H19/Igf2 imprinted domain. Whereas H3K79me1, H3K79me2, and H4K91ac displayed a paternal-specific enrichment at the paternally expressed Igf2 locus, H3K79me3 was paternally biased at the maternally expressed H19 locus, including the paternally methylated imprinting control region (ICR). We found that these allele-specific differences depended on CTCF binding in the maternal ICR allele. We analyzed an additional 11 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) and found that, in general, H3K79me3 was associated with the CpG-methylated alleles, whereas H3K79me1, H3K79me2, and H4K91ac enrichment was specific to the unmethylated alleles. Our data suggest that allele-specific differences in the globular histone domains may constitute a layer of the "histone code" at imprinted genes.
    Molecular and cellular biology 03/2010; 30(11):2693-707. · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dynamic regulation of histone methylation by methyltransferases and demethylases plays a central role in regulating the fate of embryonic stem (ES) cells. The histone H3K9 methyltransferase KMT1E, formerly known as ESET or Setdb1, is essential to embryonic development as the ablation of the Setdb1 gene results in peri-implantation lethality and prevents the propagation of ES cells. However, Setdb1-null blastocysts do not display global changes in H3K9 methylation or DNA methylation, arguing against a genome-wide defect. Here we show that conditional deletion of the Setdb1 gene in ES cells results in the upregulation of lineage differentiation markers, especially trophectoderm-specific factors, similar to effects observed upon loss of Oct3/4 expression in ES cells. We demonstrate that KMT1E deficiency in ES cells leads to a decrease in histone H3K9 methylation at and derepression of trophoblast-associated genes such as Cdx2. Furthermore, we find genes that are derepressed upon Setdb1 deletion to overlap with known targets of polycomb mediated repression, suggesting that KMT1E mediated H3K9 methylation acts in concert with polycomb controlled H3K27 methylation. Our studies thus demonstrate an essential role for KMT1E in the control of developmentally regulated gene expression programs in ES cells.
    Stem Cells 12/2009; 28(2):201-12. · 7.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Differential DNA methylation of the paternal and maternal alleles regulates the parental origin-specific expression of imprinted genes in mammals. The methylation imprints are established in male and female germ cells during gametogenesis, and the de novo DNA methyltransferase DNMT3A and its cofactor DNMT3L are required in this process. However, the mechanisms underlying locus- and parental-specific targeting of the de novo DNA methylation machinery in germline imprinting are poorly understood. Here we show that amine oxidase (flavin-containing) domain 1 (AOF1), a protein related to the lysine demethylase KDM1 (also known as LSD1), functions as a histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) demethylase and is required for de novo DNA methylation of some imprinted genes in oocytes. AOF1, now renamed lysine demethylase 1B (KDM1B) following a new nomenclature, is highly expressed in growing oocytes where genomic imprints are established. Targeted disruption of the gene encoding KDM1B had no effect on mouse development and oogenesis. However, oocytes from KDM1B-deficient females showed a substantial increase in H3K4 methylation and failed to set up the DNA methylation marks at four out of seven imprinted genes examined. Embryos derived from these oocytes showed biallelic expression or biallelic suppression of the affected genes and died before mid-gestation. Our results suggest that demethylation of H3K4 is critical for establishing the DNA methylation imprints during oogenesis.
    Nature 10/2009; 461(7262):415-8. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Post-translational modifications are well-known effectors in DNA damage signaling and epigenetic gene expression. Protein arginine methylation is a covalent modification that results in the addition of methyl groups to the nitrogen atoms of the arginine side chains and is catalyzed by a family of protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs). In the past, arginine methylation was mainly observed on abundant proteins such as RNA-binding proteins and histones, but recent advances have revealed a plethora of arginine-methylated proteins implicated in a variety of cellular processes including signal transduction, epigenetic regulation and DNA repair pathways. Herein, we discuss these recent advances, focusing on the role of PRMT1, the major asymmetric arginine methyltransferase, in cellular processes and its link to human diseases.
    Pharmacological Research 08/2009; 60(6):466-74. · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    David N Ciccone, Taiping Chen
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    ABSTRACT: Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon that causes parent-of-origin-specific expression of a small subset of genes in mammals. DNA methylation is believed to be the primary epigenetic signal that controls genomic imprinting. These methylation imprints are established during gametogenesis in male and female germ cells and maintained and interpreted during embryogenesis and in somatic tissues. Based on recent studies, histone lysine methylation plays an important role in the regulation of imprinted gene expression and, more intriguingly, may also be involved in the establishment and maintenance of DNA methylation imprints. In this point of view, we discuss these studies and their implications.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 06/2009; 4(4):216-20. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    Thomas B Nicholson, Taiping Chen
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    ABSTRACT: One of the key breakthroughs in the epigenetics/chromatin field in the last several years was the identification of enzymes capable of removing the methyl group from methylated lysines in histone proteins. Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) was the first such enzyme identified, which has been shown to demethylate histone H3 on lysine 4 (H3K4) and lysine 9 (H3K9). LSD1 is essential for mammalian development and likely involved in many biological processes. Recent studies show that LSD1 demethylates p53 and Dnmt1 and regulates their cellular functions, indicating that LSD1 fulfills its biological functions by directly acting on both histone and non-histone proteins. LSD1 contains several defined domains and associates with a number of protein complexes. Interacting partners of LSD1 may play key roles in determining/modulating the activity and specificity of LSD1.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 05/2009; 4(3):129-32. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1) is the major enzyme that generates monomethylarginine and asymmetrical dimethylarginine. We report here a conditional null allele of PRMT1 in mice and that the loss of PRMT1 expression leads to embryonic lethality. Using the Cre/lox-conditional system, we show that the loss of PRMT1 in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) leads to the loss of arginine methylation of substrates harboring a glycine-arginine rich motif, including Sam68 and MRE11. The loss of PRMT1 in MEFs leads to spontaneous DNA damage, cell cycle progression delay, checkpoint defects, aneuploidy, and polyploidy. We show using a 4-hydroxytamoxifen-inducible Cre that the loss of PRMT1 in MEFs leads to a higher incidence of chromosome losses, gains, structural rearrangements, and polyploidy, as documented by spectral karyotyping. Using PRMT1 small interfering RNA in U2OS cells, we further show that PRMT1-deficient cells are hypersensitive to the DNA damaging agent etoposide and exhibit a defect in the recruitment of the homologous recombination RAD51 recombinase to DNA damage foci. Taken together, these data show that PRMT1 is required for genome integrity and cell proliferation. Our findings also suggest that arginine methylation by PRMT1 is a key posttranslational modification in the DNA damage response pathway in proliferating mammalian cells.
    Molecular and cellular biology 04/2009; 29(11):2982-96. · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Histone methylation and DNA methylation cooperatively regulate chromatin structure and gene activity. How these two systems coordinate with each other remains unclear. Here we study the biological function of lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1, also known as KDM1 and AOF2), which has been shown to demethylate histone H3 on lysine 4 (H3K4) and lysine 9 (H3K9). We show that LSD1 is required for gastrulation during mouse embryogenesis. Notably, targeted deletion of the gene encoding LSD1 (namely, Aof2) in embryonic stem (ES) cells induces progressive loss of DNA methylation. This loss correlates with a decrease in DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1) protein, as a result of reduced Dnmt1 stability. Dnmt1 protein is methylated in vivo, and its methylation is enhanced in the absence of LSD1. Furthermore, Dnmt1 can be methylated by Set7/9 (also known as KMT7) and demethylated by LSD1 in vitro. Our findings suggest that LSD1 demethylates and stabilizes Dnmt1, thus providing a previously unknown mechanistic link between the histone and DNA methylation systems.
    Nature Genetics 01/2009; 41(1):125-9. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dicer initiates RNA interference by generating small RNAs involved in various silencing pathways. Dicer participates in centromeric silencing, but its role in the epigenetic regulation of other chromatin domains has not been explored. Here we show that Dicer1 deficiency in Mus musculus leads to decreased DNA methylation, concomitant with increased telomere recombination and telomere elongation. These DNA-methylation defects correlate with decreased expression of Dnmt1, Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts), and methylation levels can be recovered by their overexpression. We identify the retinoblastoma-like 2 protein (Rbl2) as responsible for decreased Dnmt expression in Dicer1-null cells, suggesting the existence of Dicer-dependent small RNAs that target Rbl2. We identify the miR-290 cluster as being downregulated in Dicer1-deficient cells and show that it silences Rbl2, thereby controlling Dnmt expression. These results identify a pathway by which miR-290 directly regulates Rbl2-dependent Dnmt expression, indirectly affecting telomere-length homeostasis.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 10/2008; 15(9):998. · 11.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dot1 is an evolutionarily conserved histone methyltransferase specific for lysine 79 of histone H3 (H3K79). In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Dot1-mediated H3K79 methylation is associated with telomere silencing, meiotic checkpoint control, and DNA damage response. The biological function of H3K79 methylation in mammals, however, remains poorly understood. Using gene targeting, we generated mice deficient for Dot1L, the murine Dot1 homologue. Dot1L-deficient embryos show multiple developmental abnormalities, including growth impairment, angiogenesis defects in the yolk sac, and cardiac dilation, and die between 9.5 and 10.5 days post coitum. To gain insights into the cellular function of Dot1L, we derived embryonic stem (ES) cells from Dot1L mutant blastocysts. Dot1L-deficient ES cells show global loss of H3K79 methylation as well as reduced levels of heterochromatic marks (H3K9 di-methylation and H4K20 tri-methylation) at centromeres and telomeres. These changes are accompanied by aneuploidy, telomere elongation, and proliferation defects. Taken together, these results indicate that Dot1L and H3K79 methylation play important roles in heterochromatin formation and in embryonic development.
    PLoS Genetics 10/2008; 4(9):e1000190. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The genomic DNA is methylated by de novo methyltransferases Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b during early embryonic development. The establishment of appropriate methylation patterns depends on a fine regulation of the methyltransferase activity. The activity of both enzymes increases in the presence of Dnmt3L, a Dnmt3a/3b-like protein. However, it is unclear how the function of Dnmt3L is regulated. We found here that the expression of Dnmt3L is controlled via its promoter methylation during embryonic development. Genetic studies showed that Dnmt3a, Dnmt3b and Dnmt3L are all involved in the methylation of the Dnmt3L promoter. Disruption of both Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b genes in mouse rendered the Dnmt3L promoter devoid of methylation, causing incomplete repression of the Dnmt3L transcription in embryonic stem cells and embryos. Disruption of either Dnmt3a or Dnmt3b led to reduced methylation and increased transcription of Dnmt3L, but severe hypomethylation occurred only when Dnmt3b was deficient. Consistent with the major contribution of Dnmt3b in the Dnmt3L promoter methylation, methylation of Dnmt3L was significantly reduced in mouse models of the human ICF syndrome carrying point mutations in Dnmt3b. Interestingly, Dnmt3L also contributes to the methylation of its own promoter in embryonic development. We thus propose an auto-regulatory mechanism for the control of DNA methylation activity whereby the activity of the Dnmt3L promoter is epigenetically modulated by the methylation machinery including Dnmt3L itself. Insufficient methylation of the DNMT3L promoter during embryonic development due to deficiency in DNMT3B might be implicated in the pathogenesis of the ICF syndrome.
    Human Molecular Genetics 07/2008; 17(17):2654-64. · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rett syndrome, a pervasive X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder in young girls, is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the gene that encodes the transcriptional repressor methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Mecp2-knockout mice phenocopy the major symptoms found in human patients and have advanced our understanding of the function of MeCP2 and mechanism of Rett syndrome. To study the behavior of the MeCP2 protein in vivo, we have generated a knock-in reporter mouse model that expresses MeCP2-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) fusion protein instead of endogenous MeCP2. Here we show that expression of the fusion protein in the brain remarkably mirrors endogenous MeCP2 expression in all temporal and spatial aspects. This mouse model may be a valuable tool for studying Rett syndrome and for developing therapies.
    Neuroreport 04/2008; 19(4):393-8. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dicer initiates RNA interference by generating small RNAs involved in various silencing pathways. Dicer participates in centromeric silencing, but its role in the epigenetic regulation of other chromatin domains has not been explored. Here we show that Dicer1 deficiency in Mus musculus leads to decreased DNA methylation, concomitant with increased telomere recombination and telomere elongation. These DNA-methylation defects correlate with decreased expression of Dnmt1, Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts), and methylation levels can be recovered by their overexpression. We identify the retinoblastoma-like 2 protein (Rbl2) as responsible for decreased Dnmt expression in Dicer1-null cells, suggesting the existence of Dicer-dependent small RNAs that target Rbl2. We identify the miR-290 cluster as being downregulated in Dicer1-deficient cells and show that it silences Rbl2, thereby controlling Dnmt expression. These results identify a pathway by which miR-290 directly regulates Rbl2-dependent Dnmt expression, indirectly affecting telomere-length homeostasis.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 03/2008; 15(3):268-279. · 11.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA methylation plays an important role in gene silencing in mammals. Two de novo methyltransferases, Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b, are required for the establishment of genomic methylation patterns in development. However, little is known about their coordinate function in the silencing of genes critical for embryonic development and how their activity is regulated. Here we show that Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b are the major components of a native complex purified from embryonic stem cells. The two enzymes directly interact and mutually stimulate each other both in vitro and in vivo. The stimulatory effect is independent of the catalytic activity of the enzyme. In differentiating embryonic carcinoma or embryonic stem cells and mouse postimplantation embryos, they function synergistically to methylate the promoters of the Oct4 and Nanog genes. Inadequate methylation caused by ablating Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b is associated with dysregulated expression of Oct4 and Nanog during the differentiation of pluripotent cells and mouse embryonic development. These results suggest that Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b form a complex through direct contact in living cells and cooperate in the methylation of the promoters of Oct4 and Nanog during cell differentiation. The physical and functional interaction between Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b represents a novel regulatory mechanism to ensure the proper establishment of genomic methylation patterns for gene silencing in development.
    Molecular and cellular biology 01/2008; 27(24):8748-59. · 6.06 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
314.96 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
      • Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis
      Houston, TX, United States
  • 2005–2013
    • Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2009
    • Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2002–2006
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • Cardiovascular Research Center
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2003
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States