Jianmin Huang

Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (8)49.33 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Lecithin:retinol acyltransferase (LRAT) is a major enzyme involved in vitamin A/retinol metabolism, which regulates various physiological processes like cell proliferation and differentiation. LRAT expression is reduced in numerous cancers, yet the underlying mechanisms have remained undefined. We hypothesized that methylation silencing may contribute to decreased LRAT gene expression in colorectal cancer (CRC). LRAT hypermethylation status was analyzed in five CRC cell lines, 167 colorectal tumors, and 69 adjacent normal colonic mucosae, using a quantitative bisulfite/PCR/LDR/Universal Array assay. LRAT transcription levels were determined by real-time RT-PCR in a subset of tumors and matched normal tissues and in CRC cell lines that were treated with a demethylating agent, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. The incidence of LRAT hypermethylation was significantly higher in colorectal tumors than in adjacent normal mucosae (p = 0.0025). Aberrant methylation occurred in 51 % of microsatellite-stable CRCs, in 84 % of microsatellite-unstable CRCs, and in 12 out of 13 colonic polyps. The number of hypermethylated LRAT events was inversely correlated with CRC stage (p < 0.0001). Importantly, LRAT hypermethylation was associated with decreased mRNA level in CRC clinical specimens, and demethylation treatment resulted in LRAT transcriptional reactivation. Our data support the idea that LRAT promoter hypermethylation associates with LRAT gene expression in CRC. The higher frequency of LRAT hypermethylation in colonic polyps and early-stage CRCs indicates that it may occur early in malignant progression.
    Medical Oncology 11/2014; 31(11):254. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant promoter methylation and genomic instability occur frequently during colorectal cancer development. CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) has been shown to associate with microsatellite instability, and BRAF mutation and is often found in the right-side colon. Nevertheless, the relative importance of CIMP and chromosomal instability (CIN) for tumorigenesis has yet to be thoroughly investigated in sporadic colorectal cancers. We determined CIMP in 161 primary colorectal cancers and 66 matched normal mucosae using a quantitative bisulfite/PCR/ligase detection reaction (LDR)/Universal Array assay. The validity of CIMP was confirmed in a subset of 60 primary tumors using MethyLight assay and five independent markers. In parallel, CIN was analyzed in the same study cohort using Affymetrix 50K Human Mapping arrays. The identified CIMP-positive cancers correlate with microsatellite instability (P = 0.075) and the BRAF mutation V600E (P = 0.00005). The array-based high-resolution analysis of chromosomal aberrations indicated that the degree of aneuploidy is spread over a wide spectrum among analyzed colorectal cancers. Whether CIN was defined by copy number variations in selected microsatellite loci (criterion 1) or considered as a continuous variable (criterion 2), CIMP-positive samples showed a strong correlation with low-degree chromosomal aberrations (P = 0.075 and P = 0.012, respectively). Similar correlations were observed when CIMP was determined by MethyLight assay (P = 0.001 and P = 0.013, respectively). CIMP-positive tumors generally possess lower chromosomal aberrations, which may only be revealed using a genome-wide approach. The significant difference in the degree of chromosomal aberrations between CIMP-positive and the remainder of samples suggests that epigenetic (CIMP) and genetic (CIN) abnormalities may arise from independent molecular mechanisms of tumor progression.
    Clinical Cancer Research 11/2008; 14(19):6005-13. · 8.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endonuclease V (endo V) recognizes a broad range of aberrations in DNA such as deaminated bases or mismatches. It nicks DNA at the second phosphodiester bond 3' to a deaminated base or a mismatch. Endonuclease V obtained from Thermotoga maritima preferentially cleaves purine mismatches in certain sequence context. Endonuclease V has been combined with a high-fidelity DNA ligase to develop an enzymatic method for mutation scanning. A biochemical screening of site-directed mutants identified mutants in motifs III and IV that altered the base preferences in mismatch cleavage. Most profoundly, a single alanine substitution at Y80 position switched the enzyme to essentially a C-specific mismatch endonuclease, which recognized and cleaved A/C, C/A, T/C, C/T and even the previously refractory C/C mismatches. Y80A can also detect the G13D mutation in K-ras oncogene, an A/C mismatch embedded in a G/C rich sequence context that was previously inaccessible using the wild-type endo V. This investigation offers insights on base recognition and active site organization. Protein engineering in endo V may translate into better tools in mutation recognition and cancer mutation scanning.
    Nucleic Acids Research 02/2007; 35(1):e2. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The eukaryotic Melanoplus sanguinipes entomopoxvirus (MsEPV) genome reveals a homologous sequence to eubacterial nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+))-dependent DNA ligases [J. Virol. 73 (1999) 533]. This 522-amino acid open reading frame (ORF) contains all conserved nucleotidyl transferase motifs but lacks the zinc finger motif and BRCT domain found in conventional eubacterial NAD(+) ligases. Nevertheless, cloned MsEPV ligase seals DNA nicks in a NAD(+)-dependent fashion, while adenosine 5'-monophosphate (ATP) cannot serve as an adenylation cofactor. The ligation activity of MsEPV ligase requires Mg(2+) or Mn(2+). MsEPV ligase seals sticky ends efficiently, but has little activity on 1-nucleotide gap or blunt-ended DNA substrates even in the presence of polyethylene glycol. In comparison, bacterial NAD(+)-dependent ligases seal blunt-ended DNA substrates in the presence of polyethylene glycol. MsEPV DNA ligase readily joins DNA nicks with mismatches at either side of the nick junction, except for mismatches at the nick junction containing an A base in the template strand (A/A, G/A, and C/A). MsEPV NAD(+)-dependent DNA ligase can join DNA probes on RNA templates, a unique property that distinguishes this enzyme from other conventional bacterial NAD(+) DNA ligases. T4 ATP-dependent DNA ligase shows no detectable mismatch ligation at the 3' side of the nick but substantial 5' T/G mismatch ligation on an RNA template. In contrast, MsEPV ligase joins mismatches at the 3' side of the nick more frequently than at the 5' side of the nick on an RNA template. The complementary specificities of these two enzymes suggest alternative primer design for genomic profiling approaches that use allele-specific detection directly from RNA transcripts.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 10/2004; 1701(1-2):37-48. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Both the mutational status and the specific mutation of TP53 (p53) have been shown to impact both tumor prognosis and response to therapies. Molecular profiling of solid tumors is confounded by infiltrating wild-type cells, since normal DNA can interfere with detection of mutant sequences. Our objective was to identify TP53 mutations in 138 stage I-IV colorectal adenocarcinomas and liver metastases without first enriching for tumor cells by microdissection. To achieve this, we developed a harmonized protocol involving multiplex polymerase chain reaction/ligase detection reaction (PCR/LDR) with Universal DNA microarray analysis and endonuclease V/ligase mutation scanning. Sequences were verified using dideoxy sequencing. The harmonized protocol detected all 66 mutations. Dideoxy sequencing detected 41 out of 66 mutations (62%) using automated reading, and 59 out of 66 mutations (89%) with manual reading. Data analysis comparing colon cancer entries in the TP53 database (http://p53.curie.fr) with the results reported in this study showed that distribution of mutations and the mutational events were comparable.
    Human Mutation 08/2004; 24(1):63-75. · 5.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to associate mutations in cancer genes with the disease and its subtypes is critical for understanding oncogenesis and identifying biomarkers for clinical diagnosis. A two-step mutation scanning method that sequentially used endonuclease V (EndoV) to nick at mismatches and DNA ligase to reseal incorrectly or nonspecifically nicked sites was previously developed in our laboratory. Herein we report an optimized single-step assay that enables ligase to proofread EndoV cleavage in real-time under a compromise between buffer conditions. Real-time proofreading results in a dramatic reduction of background cleavage. A universal PCR strategy that employs both unlabeled gene-specific primers and labeled universal primers, allows for multiplexed gene amplification and precludes amplification of primer dimers. Internally labeled PCR primers eliminate EndoV cleavage at the 5' terminus, enabling high-throughput capillary electrophoresis readout. Furthermore, signal intensity is increased and artifacts are reduced by generating heteroduplexes containing only one of the two possible mismatches (e.g. either A/C or G/T). The single-step assay improves sensitivity to 1:50 and 1:100 (mutant:wild type) for unknown mutations in the p53 and K-ras genes, respectively, opening prospects as an early detection tool.
    Nucleic Acids Research 01/2004; 32(19):e148. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    Jianmin Huang, Jing Lu, Francis Barany, Weiguo Cao
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    ABSTRACT: Endonuclease V nicks damaged DNA at the second phosphodiester bond 3' to inosine, uracil, mismatched bases, or abasic (AP) sites. Alanine scanning mutagenesis was performed in nine conserved positions of Thermotoga maritima endonuclease V to identify amino acid residues involved in recognition or endonucleolytic cleavage of these diverse substrates. Alanine substitution at D43, E89, and D110 either abolishes or substantially reduces inosine cleavage activity. These three mutants gain binding affinity for binding to double-stranded or single-stranded inosine substrates in the absence of a metal ion, suggesting that these residues may be involved in coordinating catalytic metal ion(s). Y80A, H116A, and, to a lesser extent, R88A demonstrate reduced affinities for double-stranded or single-stranded inosine substrates or nicked products. The lack of tight binding to a nicked inosine product accounts for the increased rate of turnover of inosine substrate since the product release is less rate-limiting. Y80A, R88A, and H116A fail to cleave AP site substrates. Their activities toward uracil substrates are in the following order: H116A > R88A > Y80A. These residues may play a role in substrate recognition. K139A maintains wild-type binding affinity for binding to double-stranded and single-stranded inosine substrate, but fails to cleave AP site and uracil substrate efficiently, suggesting that K139 may play a role in facilitating non-inosine substrate cleavage.
    Biochemistry 07/2002; 41(26):8342-50. · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Knowledge of inherited and sporadic mutations in known and candidate cancer genes may influence clinical decisions. We have developed a mutation scanning method that combines thermostable EndonucleaseV (Endo V) and DNA ligase. Variant and wild-type PCR amplicons are generated using fluorescently labeled primers, and heteroduplexed. Thermotoga maritima (Tma) EndoV recognizes and primarily cleaves heteroduplex DNA one base 3' to the mismatch, as well as nicking matched DNA at low levels. Thermus species (Tsp.) AK16D DNA ligase reseals the background nicks to create a highly sensitive and specific assay. The fragment mobility on a DNA sequencing gel reveals the approximate position of the mutation. This method identified 31/35 and 8/8 unique point mutations and insertions/deletions, respectively, in the p53, VHL, K-ras, APC, BRCA1, and BRCA2 genes. The method has the sensitivity to detect K-ras mutations diluted 1 : 20 with wild-type DNA, a p53 mutation in a 1.7 kb amplicon, and unknown p53 mutations in pooled DNA samples. EndoV/Ligase mutation scanning combined with PCR/LDR/Universal array proved superior to automated DNA sequencing for detecting p53 mutations in colon tumors. This technique is well suited for scanning low-frequency mutations in pooled samples and for analysing tumor DNA containing a minority of the unknown mutation.
    Oncogene 04/2002; 21(12):1909-21. · 8.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

153 Citations
49.33 Total Impact Points


  • 2002–2008
    • Weill Cornell Medical College
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2007
    • Clemson University
      Clemson, South Carolina, United States
  • 2004
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Ithaca, NY, United States