J L Stein

University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, United States

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Publications (167)957.29 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Runx1 is a transcription factor essential for definitive hematopoiesis, and genetic abnormalities in Runx1 cause leukemia. Runx1 is functionally promiscuous and acts as either an oncogene or tumor suppressor gene in certain epithelial cancers. Recent evidence suggests that Runx1 is an important factor in breast cancer, however its role remains ambiguous. Here, we addressed whether Runx1 has a specific pathological role during breast cancer progression and show that Runx1 has an oncogenic function. We observed elevated Runx1 expression in a subset of human breast cancers. Furthermore, throughout the course of disease progression in a classical mouse model of breast cancer (i.e., the MMTV-PyMT transgenic model), Runx1 expression increases in the primary site (mammary gland) and is further upregulated in tumors and distal lung metastatic lesions. Ex vivo studies using tumor epithelial cells derived from these mice express significantly higher levels of Runx1 than normal mammary epithelial cells. The tumor cells exhibit increased rates of migration and invasion, indicative of an aggressive cancer phenotype. Inhibition of Runx1 expression using RNA interference significantly abrogates these cancer-relevant phenotypic characteristics. Importantly, our data establish that Runx1 contributes to murine mammary tumor development and malignancy and potentially represents a key disease-promoting and prognostic factor in human breast cancer progression and metastasis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 03/2015; 230(10). DOI:10.1002/jcp.24989 · 3.84 Impact Factor
  • RE Scott · PN Ghule · JL Stein · GS Stein
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    ABSTRACT: The early stages of carcinogenesis are linked to defects in the cell cycle. A series of cell cycle checkpoints are involved in this process. The G1/S checkpoint that serves to integrate the control of cell proliferation and differentiation is linked to carcinogenesis and the mitotic spindle checkpoint by its association with the development of chromosomal instability. This paper presents the outcome of systems biology studies designed to evaluate if networks of covariate cell cycle gene transcripts exist in proliferative mammalian tissues including mice, rats and humans. The GeneNetwork website that contains numerous gene expression datasets from different species, sexes and tissues represents the foundational resource for these studies (www.genenetwork.org). In addition, WebGestalt, a gene ontology tool, facilitated the identification of expression networks of genes that co-vary with key cell cycle targets, especially Cdc20 and Plk1 (www.bioinfo.vanderbilt.edu/webgestalt). Cell cycle expression networks of such covariate mRNAs exist in multiple proliferative tissues including liver, lung, pituitary, adipose and lymphoid tissues among others but not in brain or retina that have low proliferative potential. Sixty-three covariate cell cycle gene transcripts (mRNAs) compose the average cell cycle network with p = e(-13) to e(-36) . Cell cycle expression networks show species, sex and tissue variability and they are enriched in mRNA transcripts associated with mitosis many of which are associated with chromosomal instability. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 03/2015; 230(10). DOI:10.1002/jcp.24990 · 3.84 Impact Factor
  • 39th Annual Congress of the European-Calcified-Tissue-Society (ECTS); 05/2012
  • 39th Annual Congress of the European-Calcified-Tissue-Society (ECTS); 05/2012
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    ABSTRACT: Three parameters of nuclear structure contribute to transcriptional control. The linear representation of promoter elements provides competency for physiological responsiveness within the contexts of developmental as well as cell cycle and phenotype-dependent regulation. Chromatin structure and nucleosome organization reduce distances between independent regulatory elements providing a basis for integrating components of transcriptional control. The nuclear matrix supports gene expression by imposing physical constraints on chromatin related to three dimensional genomic organization. In addition, the nuclear matrix facilitates gene localization as well as the concentration and targeting of transcription factors. Several lines of evidence are presented which are consistent with involvement of multiple levels of nuclear architecture in cell growth and tissue-specific gene expression during differentiation. Growth factor and steroid hormone responsive modifications in chromatin structure, nucleosome organization and the nuclear matrix are considered which influence transcription of the cell cycle regulated histone gene and the bone tissue-specific osteocalcin gene during progressive expression of the osteoblast phenotype.
    Genome Structure and Function, 07/2011: pages 57-82;
  • Bone 06/2010; 47. DOI:10.1016/j.bone.2010.04.036 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Skeletal development and bone remodeling require stringent control of gene activation and suppression in response to physiological cues. This chapter focuses on contributions by several indices of nuclear architecture to the control of gene expression in bone cells. It presents cellular, biochemical, molecular, genetic, and epigenetic evidence for linkages of developmental and tissue-specific gene expression with the organization of transcriptional regulatory machinery in subnuclear compartments. The fidelity of gene regulation necessitates the coordination of transcription factor metabolism and the spatial organization of genes and regulatory proteins within the three-dimensional context of nuclear architecture. Using skeletal genes as a paradigm, this chapter addresses mechanisms that functionally organize the regulatory machinery for transcriptional activation and suppression as well as cell fate and lineage commitment during skeletal development and remodeling. It also provides evidence for consequences that result from perturbations in nuclear structure: gene expression interrelationships that are associated with skeletal disease and tumors that metastasize to bone. Finally, it suggests that there is emerging recognition that the placement of regulatory components of gene expression must be coordinated temporally and spatially to facilitate biological control. The consequences of breaches in nuclear structure-function relationships are observed in an expanding series of diseases that include cancer and neurological disorders.
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    ABSTRACT: The three mammalian Runt homology domain transcription factors (Runx1, Runx2, Runx3) support biological control by functioning as master regulatory genes for the differentiation of distinct tissues. Runx proteins also function as cell context-dependent tumor suppressors or oncogenes. Abnormalities in Runx mediated gene expression are linked to cell transformation and tumor progression. Runx2 is expressed in mesenchymal linage cells committed to the osteoblast phenotype and is essential for bone formation. This skeletal transcription factor is aberrantly expressed at high levels in breast and prostate tumors and cells that aggressively metastasize to the bone environment. In cancer cells, Runx2 activates expression of bone matrix and adhesion proteins, matrix metalloproteinases and angiogenic factors that have long been associated with metastasis. In addition, Runx2 mediates the responses of cells to signaling pathways hyperactive in tumors, including BMP/TGFbeta and other growth factor signals. Runx2 forms co-regulatory complexes with Smads and other co-activator and co-repressor proteins that are organized in subnuclear domains to regulate gene transcription. These activities of Runx2 contribute to tumor growth in bone and the accompanying osteolytic disease, established by interfering with Runx2 functions in metastatic breast cancer cells. Inhibition of Runx2 in MDA-MB-231 cells transplanted to bone decreased tumorigenesis and prevented osteolysis. This review evaluates evidence that Runx2 regulates early metastatic events in breast and prostate cancers, tumor growth, and osteolytic bone disease. Consideration is given to the potential for inhibition of this transcription factor as a therapeutic strategy upstream of the regulatory events contributing to the complexity of metastasis to bone.
    Cancer and metastasis reviews 01/2007; 25(4):589-600. DOI:10.1007/s10555-006-9032-0 · 7.23 Impact Factor
  • Bone 03/2006; 38(3):34-34. DOI:10.1016/j.bone.2006.01.130 · 3.97 Impact Factor
  • Oncogene 01/2004; 23(24):4315-4329. · 8.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cbfa1/Runx2 is a transcription factor essential for bone formation and osteoblast differentiation. Two major N-terminal isoforms of Cbfa1, designated type I/p56 (PEBP2aA1, starting with the sequence MRIPV) and type II/p57 (til-1, starting with the sequence MASNS), each regulated by distinct promoters, are known. Here, we show that the type I transcript is constitutively expressed in nonosseous mesenchymal tissues and in osteoblast progenitor cells. Cbfa1 type I isoform expression does not change with the differentiation status of the cells. In contrast, the type II transcript is increased during differentiation of primary osteoblasts and is induced in osteoprogenitors and in premyoblast C2C12 cells in response to bone morphogenetic protein-2. The functional equivalence of the two isoforms in activation and repression of bone-specific genes indicates overlapping functional roles. The presence of the ubiquitous type I isoform in nonosseous cells and before bone morphogenetic protein-2 induced expression of the type II isoform suggests a regulatory role for Cbfa1 type I in early stages of mesenchymal cell development, whereas type II is necessary for osteogenesis and maintenance of the osteoblast phenotype. Our data indicate that Cbfa1 function is regulated by transcription, cellular protein levels, and DNA binding activity during osteoblast differentiation. Taken together, our studies suggest that developmental timing and cell type- specific expression of type I and type II Cbfa isoforms, and not necessarily molecular properties or sequences that reside in the N-terminus of Cbfa1, are the principal determinants of the osteogenic activity of Cbfa1.
    Endocrinology 10/2001; 142(9):4026-39. DOI:10.1210/endo.142.9.8367 · 4.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are transcriptional mediators of interferon-responsive signaling pathways that are involved in antiviral defense, immune response, and cell growth regulation. To investigate the role of IRF proteins in the regulation of histone H4 gene transcription, we compared the transcriptional contributions of IRF-1, IRF-2, IRF-3, and IRF-7 using transient transfection assays with H4 promoter/luciferase (Luc) reporter genes. These IRF proteins up-regulate reporter gene expression but IRF-1, IRF-3, and IRF-7 are more potent activators of the H4 promoter than IRF-2. Forced expression of different IRF combinations reveals that IRF-2 reduces IRF-1 or IRF-3 dependent activation, but does not affect IRF-7 function. Thus, IRF-2 may have a dual function in histone H4 gene transcription by acting as a weak activator at low dosage and a competitive inhibitor of other strongly activating IRFs at high levels. IRF-1/IRF-3 and IRF-1/IRF-7 pairs each mediate the highest levels of site II-dependent promoter activity and can up-regulate transcription by 120-150-fold. We also find that interferon gamma up-regulates IRF-1 and site II-dependent promoter activity. This up-regulation is not observed when the IRF site is mutated or if cells are preloaded with IRF-1. Our results indicate that IRF-1, IRF-2, IRF-3, and IRF-7 can all regulate histone H4 gene expression. The pairwise utilization of distinct IRF factors provides a flexible transcriptional mechanism for integration of diverse growth-related signaling pathways.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2001; 276(21):18624-32. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M010391200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interactions between Cajal bodies (CBs) and replication-dependent histone loci occur more frequently than for other mRNA-encoding genes, but such interactions are not seen with all alleles at a given time. Because CBs contain factors required for transcriptional regulation and 3' end processing of nonpolyadenylated replication-dependent histone transcripts, we investigated whether interaction with CBs is related to metabolism of these transcripts, known to vary during the cell cycle. Our experiments revealed that a locus containing a cell cycle-independent, replacement histone gene that produces polyadenylated transcripts does not preferentially associate with CBs. Furthermore, modest but significant changes in association levels of CBs with replication-dependent histone loci mimic their cell cycle modulations in transcription and 3' end processing rates. By simultaneously visualizing replication-dependent histone genes and their nuclear transcripts for the first time, we surprisingly find that the vast majority of loci producing detectable RNA foci do not contact CBs. These studies suggest some link between CB association and unusual features of replication-dependent histone gene expression. However, sustained CB contact is not a requirement for their expression, consistent with our observations of U7 snRNP distributions. The modest correlation to gene expression instead may reflect transient gene signaling or the nucleation of small CBs at gene loci.
    Molecular Biology of the Cell 04/2001; 12(3):565-76. DOI:10.1091/mbc.12.3.565 · 4.47 Impact Factor
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  • J B Lian · G S Stein · J L Stein · A J van Wijnen
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of genetic or degenerative diseases severely affecting the entire skeleton may necessitate gene therapy involving transplantation of multipotential marrow cells. The ability of in vitro expanded adherent marrow cells enriched in pluripotent mesenchymal cell populations to remain competent to engraft, repopulate host tissues, and differentiate into bone and cartilage is advantageous for correction of skeletal-related diseases. However, to achieve phenotypic specificity and therapeutic or physiologic levels of proteins may require cell type specific expression of the gene. Tissue-specific promoter-controlled transgenes provide an efficacious approach to deliver therapeutic gene expression to repopulating chondrocytes and osteoblasts for treatment of cartilage and bone disorders or tumor metastasis to the skeleton. The bone-specific expression of a reporter gene controlled by the osteoblast-specific osteocalcin promoter after transplantation of a mixed population of marrow cells is shown. Tissue-restricted gene therapy potentially can be refined by use of a unique peptide targeting signal that directs the hematopoietic, chondrogenic, and osteogenic core binding factor/acute myelogenous leukemia transcription factors to subnuclear sites that support gene expression.
    Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 11/2000; · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The subnuclear organization of nucleic acids and cognate regulatory factors suggests that there are functional interrelationships between nuclear structure and gene expression. Nuclear proteins that are localized in discrete domains within the nucleus include the leukemia-associated acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and promyelocytic leukemia (PML) factors, the SC-35 RNA-processing factors, nucleolar proteins and components of both transcriptional and DNA replication complexes. Mechanisms that control the spatial distribution of transcription factors within the three-dimensional context of the nucleus may involve the sorting of regulatory information, as well as contribute to the assembly and activity of sites that support gene expression. Molecular, cellular, genetic and biochemical approaches have identified distinct protein segments, termed intranuclear-targeting signals, that are responsible for directing regulatory factors to specific subnuclear sites. Gene rearrangements that remove or alter intranuclear-targeting signals are prevalent in leukemias and have been linked to altered localization of regulatory factors within the nucleus. These modifications in the intranuclear targeting of transcription factors might abrogate fidelity of gene expression in tumor cells by influencing the spatial organization and/or assembly of machineries involved in the synthesis and processing of gene transcripts.
    Journal of Cell Science 08/2000; 113 ( Pt 14)(14):2527-33. · 5.43 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

6k Citations
957.29 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • University of Vermont
      Burlington, Vermont, United States
  • 1996–2012
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst
      Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States
    • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1993–2011
    • University of Massachusetts Medical School
      • • Department of Cancer Biology
      • • Department of Cell Biology
      Worcester, MA, United States
  • 1997
    • University of Wisconsin–Madison
      Madison, Wisconsin, United States
  • 1993–1996
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      • Department of Biology
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1995
    • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
      New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
    • Wayne State University
      • Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
      Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • 1994
    • University of Worcester
      Worcester, England, United Kingdom
  • 1975–1994
    • University of Florida
      • • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      • • College of Medicine
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 1984
    • Princeton University
      • Department of Molecular Biology
      Princeton, New Jersey, United States
  • 1982
    • University of Adelaide
      Tarndarnya, South Australia, Australia