Feng-Chun Yang

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, United States

Are you Feng-Chun Yang?

Claim your profile

Publications (62)454.68 Total impact

  • Feng Pan, Ophelia Weeks, Feng-Chun Yang, Mingjiang Xu
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ten-eleven translocation (TET) family proteins are dioxygenases that oxidize 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5-formylcytosine, and 5-carboxylcytosine in DNA, early steps of active DNA demethylation. TET2, the second member of TET protein family, is frequently mutated in patients with hematological malignancies, leading to aberrant DNA methylation profiling and decreased 5hmC levels. Located in the nucleus and acting as a DNA-modifying enzyme, TET2 is thought to exert its function via TET2-containing protein complexes. Identifying the interactome network of TET2 likely holds the key to uncover the mechanisms by which TET2 exerts its function in cells. Here, we review recent literature on TET2 interactors and discuss their possible roles in TET2 loss-mediated dysregulation of hematopoiesis and pathogenesis of hematological malignancies. © 2015 IUBMB Life, 2015. © 2015 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Life 06/2015; DOI:10.1002/iub.1389 · 2.76 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in the NF1 tumor suppressor gene, which affect approximately 1 out of 3000 individuals. Patients with NF1 suffer from a range of malignant and nonmalignant manifestations such as plexiform neurofibromas and skeletal abnormalities. We previously demonstrated that Nf1 haploinsufficiency in mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells (MSPCs) results in impaired osteoblastic differentiation, which may be associated with the skeletal manifestations in NF1 patients. Here we sought to further ascertain the role of Nf1 in modulating the migration and adhesion of MSPCs of the Nf1 haploinsufficient (Nf1+/-) mice. Nf1+/- MSPCs demonstrated increased nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio, increased migration, and increased actin polymerization as compared to wild-type (WT) MSPCs. Additionally, Nf1+/- MSPCs were noted to have significantly enhanced cell adhesion to fibronectin with selective affinity for CH271 with an overexpression of its complimentary receptor, CD49e. Nf1+/- MSPCs also showed hyperactivation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K) and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways when compared to WT MSPCs, which were both significantly reduced in the presence of their pharmacologic inhibitors, LY294002 and PD0325901, respectively. Collectively, our study suggests that both PI3-K and MAPK signaling pathways play a significant role in enhanced migration and adhesion of Nf1 haploinsufficient MSPCs.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 06/2015; 16(6):12345-59. DOI:10.3390/ijms160612345 · 2.34 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: While nullizygous loss of NF1 leads to myeloid malignancies, haploinsufficient loss of NF1 (Nf1) has been shown to contribute to osteopenia and osteoporosis which occurs in approximately 50 percent of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients. Bone marrow mononuclear cells of haploinsufficient NF1 patients and Nf1(+/-) mice exhibit increased osteoclastogenesis and accelerated bone turnover, however the culprit hematopoietic lineages responsible for perpetuating these osteolytic manifestations have yet to be elucidated. Here we demonstrate that conditional inactivation of a single Nf1 allele within the myeloid progenitor cell population (Nf1-LysM) is necessary and sufficient to promote multiple osteoclast gain-in-functions, resulting in enhanced osteoclastogenesis and accelerated osteoclast bone lytic activity in response to pro-resorptive challenge in vivo. Surprisingly, mice conditionally Nf1 heterozygous in mature, terminally differentiated osteoclasts (Nf1-Ctsk) do not exhibit any of these skeletal phenotypes, indicating a critical requirement for Nf1 haploinsufficiency at a more primitive/progenitor stage of myeloid development in perpetuating osteolytic activity. We further identified p21Ras dependent hyper-phosphorylation of Pu.1 within the nucleus of Nf1 haploinsufficent myelomoncytic osteoclast precursors, providing a novel therapeutic target for the potential treatment of NF1 associated osteolytic manifestations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 04/2015; DOI:10.1002/jbmr.2538 · 6.59 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite the high prevalence and significant morbidity of spinal anomalies in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), the pathogenesis of these defects remains largely unknown. Here, we present two murine models: Nf1flox/-;PeriCre and Nf1flox/-;Col.2.3Cre mice, which recapitulate spinal deformities seen in the human disease. Dynamic histomorphometry and microtomographic studies show recalcitrant bone remodeling and distorted bone microarchitecture within the vertebral spine of Nf1flox/-;PeriCre and Nf1flox/-;Col2.3Cre mice, with analogous histological features present in a human patient with dystrophic scoliosis. Intriguingly, 36-60% of Nf1flox/-;PeriCre and Nf1flox/-;Col2.3Cre mice exhibit segmental vertebral fusion anomalies with boney obliteration of the intervertebral disc (IVD). While analogous findings have not yet been reported in the NF1 patient population, we herein present two case reports of IVD defects and interarticular vertebral fusion in patients with NF1. Collectively, these data provide novel insights regarding the pathophysiology of dystrophic spinal anomalies in NF1, and provide impetus for future radiographic analyses of larger patient cohorts to determine whether IVD and vertebral fusion defects may have been previously overlooked or underreported in the NF1 patient population.
    PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0119093. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119093 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder resulting from germline mutations in the NF2 gene. Bilateral vestibular schwannomas, tumors on cranial nerve VIII, are pathognomonic for NF2 disease. Furthermore, schwannomas also commonly develop in other cranial nerves, dorsal root ganglia, and peripheral nerves. These tumors are a major cause of morbidity and mortality and medical therapies to treat them are limited. Animal models that accurately recapitulate the full anatomical spectrum of human NF2-related schwannomas, including the characteristic functional deficits in hearing and balance associated with cranial nerve VIII tumors, would allow systematic evaluation of experimental therapeutics prior to clinical use. Here, we present a genetically engineered NF2 mouse model generated through excision of the Nf2 gene driven by Cre expression under control of a tissue-restricted 3.9kbPeriostin promoter element. By ten months of age, 100% of Postn-Cre; Nf2(flox/flox) mice develop spinal, peripheral, and cranial nerve tumors histologically identical to human schwannomas. In addition, the development of cranial nerve VIII tumors correlates with functional impairments in hearing and balance, as measured by auditory brainstem response and vestibular testing. Overall, the Postn-Cre; Nf2(flox/flox) tumor model provides a novel tool for future mechanistic and therapeutic studies of NF2-associated schwannomas.
    Human Molecular Genetics 08/2014; 24(1). DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddu414 · 6.68 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dysregulated TGF-β signaling is associated with a spectrum of osseous defects as seen in Loeys-Dietz syndrome, Marfan syndrome, and Camurati-Engelmann disease. Intriguingly, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients exhibit many of these characteristic skeletal features including kyphoscoliosis, osteoporosis, tibial dysplasia, and pseudarthrosis; however, the molecular mechanisms mediating these phenotypes remain unclear. Here, we provide genetic and pharmacologic evidence that hyperactive TGF-β1 signaling pivotally underpins osseous defects in Nf1(flox/-) ;Col2.3Cre mice, a model which closely recapitulates the skeletal abnormalities found in the human disease. Compared to controls, we show that serum TGF-β1 levels are 5-6 fold increased both in Nf1(flox/-) ;Col2.3Cre mice and in a cohort of NF1 patients. Nf1 deficient osteoblasts, the principal source of TGF-β1 in bone, overexpress TGF-β1 in a gene dosage dependent fashion. Moreover, Nf1 deficient osteoblasts and osteoclasts are hyperresponsive to TGF-β1 stimulation, potentiating osteoclast bone resorptive activity while inhibiting osteoblast differentiation. These cellular phenotypes are further accompanied by p21-Ras dependent hyperactivation of the canonical TGF-β1-Smad pathway. Re-expression of the human, full-length neurofibromin GTPase-activating protein (GAP) related domain (NF1 GRD) in primary Nf1 deficient osteoblast progenitors, attenuated TGF-β1 expression levels and reduced Smad phosphorylation in response to TGF-β1 stimulation. As an in vivo proof of principle, we demonstrate that administration of the TβRI kinase inhibitor, SD-208, can rescue bone mass deficits and prevent tibial fracture non-union in Nf1(flox/-) ;Col2.3Cre mice. In sum, these data demonstrate a pivotal role for hyperactive TGF-β1 signaling in the pathogenesis of NF1 associated osteoporosis and pseudarthrosis, thus implicating the TGF-β signaling pathway as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of NF1 osseous defects which are refractory to current therapies.
    Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 12/2013; 28(12). DOI:10.1002/jbmr.1992 · 6.59 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ASXL1 is mutated/deleted with high frequencies in multiple forms of myeloid malignancies and its alterations are associated with poor prognosis. De novo ASXL1 mutations cause Bohring-Opitz syndrome characterized by multiple congenital malformations. We show that Asxl1-deletion in mice led to developmental abnormalities including dwarfism, anophthalmia and 80% embryonic lethality. Surviving Asxl1(-/-) mice lived for up to 42 days and developed features of MDS, including dysplastic neutrophils and multiple lineage cytopenia. Asxl1(-/-) mice had a reduced HSC-pool and Asxl1(-/-) HSCs exhibited decreased hematopoietic repopulating capacity with skewed cell differentiation favoring granulocytic lineage. Importantly, Asxl1(+/-) mice also developed mild MDS-like disease, which could progress to MDS/MPN, demonstrating a haploinsufficient effect of Asxl1 in the pathogenesis of myeloid malignancies. Asxl1-loss led to an increased apoptosis and mitosis in LK cells, consistent with human MDS. Furthermore, Asxl1(-/-) LK cells exhibited decreased global levels of H3K27me3 and H3K4me3, and altered expression of genes regulating apoptosis (Bcl2, Bcl2l12 and Bcl2l13). Collectively, we report a novel ASXL1 murine model which recapitulates human myeloid malignancies, implying that Asxl1 functions as a tumor suppressor to maintain hematopoietic cell homeostasis. Future work is necessary to clarify the contribution of microenvironment to the hematopoietic phenotypes observed in the constitutional Asxl1(-/-) mice.
    Blood 11/2013; 123(4). DOI:10.1182/blood-2013-05-500272 · 10.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common genetic disorder affecting 1 in 3500 individuals. Patients with NF1 are predisposed to debilitating skeletal manifestations, including osteopenia/osteoporosis and long bone pseudarthrosis (non-union fracture). Hyperactivation of the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in NF1 is known to underlie aberrant proliferation and differentiation in cell lineages, including osteoclast progenitors and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) also known as osteoblast progenitors (pro-OBLs). Our current study demonstrates the hyper Ras/MAPK as a critical pathway underlying the pathogenesis of NF1 associated fracture repair deficits. Nf1-deficient pro-OBLs exhibit Ras/MAPK hyperactivation. Introduction of the NF1 GTPase activating related domain (NF1 GAP-related domain) in vitro is sufficient to rescue hyper Ras activity and enhance osteoblast (OBL) differentiation in Nf1(-/-) pro-OBLs and NF1 human (h) MSCs cultured from NF1 patients with skeletal abnormalities including pseudarthrosis or scoliosis. Pharmacologic inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) signaling with PD98059 partially rescues aberrant Erk activation while enhancing OBL differentiation and expression of OBL markers, osterix and osteocalcin, in Nf1-deficient murine pro-OBLs. Similarly, MEK inhibition enhances OBL differentiation of hMSCs. In addition, PD98059 rescues aberrant osteoclast maturation in Nf1 haploinsufficient bone marrow mononuclear cells. Importantly, MEK inhibitor significantly improves fracture healing in an NF1 murine model, Col2.3Cre;Nf1(flox/-). Collectively, these data indicate the Ras/MAPK cascade as a critical pathway in the pathogenesis of bone loss and pseudarthrosis related to NF1 mutations. These studies provide evidence for targeting the MAPK pathway to improve bone mass and treat pseudarthrosis in NF1.
    Human Molecular Genetics 07/2013; DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddt333 · 6.68 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The ten-eleven translocation 1 (TET1) gene is the founding member of the TET family of enzymes (TET1/2/3) that convert 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. Although TET1 was first identified as a fusion partner of the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) gene in acute myeloid leukemia carrying t(10,11), its definitive role in leukemia is unclear. In contrast to the frequent down-regulation (or loss-of-function mutations) and critical tumor-suppressor roles of the three TET genes observed in various types of cancers, here we show that TET1 is a direct target of MLL-fusion proteins and is significantly up-regulated in MLL-rearranged leukemia, leading to a global increase of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine level. Furthermore, our both in vitro and in vivo functional studies demonstrate that Tet1 plays an indispensable oncogenic role in the development of MLL-rearranged leukemia, through coordination with MLL-fusion proteins in regulating their critical cotargets, including homeobox A9 (Hoxa9)/myeloid ecotropic viral integration 1 (Meis1)/pre-B-cell leukemia homeobox 3 (Pbx3) genes. Collectively, our data delineate an MLL-fusion/Tet1/Hoxa9/Meis1/Pbx3 signaling axis in MLL-rearranged leukemia and highlight TET1 as a potential therapeutic target in treating this presently therapy-resistant disease.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2013; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1310656110 · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mitosis is controlled by a network of kinases and phosphatases. We screened a library of small interfering RNAs against a genome-wide set of phosphatases to comprehensively evaluate the role of human phosphatases in mitosis. We found four candidate spindle checkpoint phosphatases, including the tumor suppressor CDKN3. We show that CDKN3 is essential for normal mitosis and G1/S transition. We demonstrate that subcellular localization of CDKN3 changes throughout the cell cycle. We show that CDKN3 dephosphorylates threonine-161 of CDC2 during mitotic exit and we visualize CDC2(pThr-161) at kinetochores and centrosomes in early mitosis. We performed a phosphokinome-wide mass spectrometry screen to find effectors of the CDKN3-CDC2 signaling axis. We found that one of the identified downstream phosphotargets, CKβ phosphorylated at serine 209, localizes to mitotic centrosomes and controls the spindle checkpoint. Finally, we show that CDKN3 protein is down-regulated in brain tumors. Our findings indicate that CDKN3 controls mitosis through the CDC2 signaling axis. These results have implications for targeted anticancer therapeutics.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 06/2013; 201(7). DOI:10.1083/jcb.201205125 · 9.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:: Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant disorder with various skeletal abnormalities occurring as part of a complex phenotype. Tibial dysplasia, which typically presents as anterolateral bowing of the leg with subsequent fracture and nonunion (pseudarthrosis), is a serious but infrequent osseous manifestation of NF1. Over the past several years, results from clinical and experimental studies have advanced our knowledge of the role of NF1 in bone. On the basis of current knowledge, we propose a number of concepts to consider as a theoretical approach to the optimal management of tibial pseudarthrosis. METHODS:: A literature review for both clinical treatment and preclinical models for tibial dysplasia in NF1 was performed. Concepts were discussed and developed by experts who participated in the Children's Tumor Foundation sponsored International Bone Abnormalities Consortium meeting in 2011. RESULTS:: Concepts for a theoretical approach to treating tibial pseudarthrosis include: bone fixation appropriate to achieve stability in any given case; debridement of the "fibrous pseudarthrosis tissue" between the bone segments associated with the pseudarthrosis; creating a healthy vascular bed for bone repair; promoting osteogenesis; controlling overactive bone resorption (catabolism); prevention of recurrence of the "fibrous pseudarthrosis tissue"; and achievement of long-term bone health to prevent recurrence. CONCLUSIONS:: Clinical trials are needed to assess effectiveness of the wide variation of surgical and pharmacologic approaches currently in practice for the treatment of tibial pseudarthrosis in NF1. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: Level V, expert opinion.
    Journal of pediatric orthopedics 04/2013; 33(3):269-275. DOI:10.1097/BPO.0b013e31828121b8 · 1.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) predisposes individuals to the development of juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), a fatal myeloproliferative disease (MPD). In genetically engineered murine models, nullizygosity of Nf1, a tumor suppressor gene that encodes a Ras-GTPase-activating protein, results in hyperactivity of Raf/Mek/Erk in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Activated Erk1/2 phosphorylate kinases and transcription factors with myriad mitogenic roles in diverse cell types. However, genetic studies examining Erk1/2's differential and/or combined control of normal and Nf1-deficient myelopoiesis are lacking. Moreover, prior studies relying on chemical Mek/Erk inhibitors have reached conflicting conclusions in normal and Nf1-deficient mice. Here, we show that while single Erk1 or Erk2 disruption did not grossly compromise myelopoiesis, dual Erk1/2 disruption rapidly ablated granulocyte and monocyte production in vivo, diminished progenitor cell number, and prevented HSPC proliferation in vitro. Genetic disruption of Erk1/2 in the context of Nf1 nullizygosity (Mx1Cre+Nf1flox/floxErk1-/-Erk2flox/flox) fully protects against the development of MPD. Collectively, we identified a fundamental requirement for Erk1/2 signaling in normal and Nf1-deficient hematopoiesis, elucidating a critical hematopoietic function for Erk1/2 while genetically validating highly selective Mek/Erk inhibitors in a leukemia that is otherwise resistant to traditional therapy.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 12/2012; DOI:10.1172/JCI66167 · 13.77 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Skeletal abnormalities including osteoporosis and osteopenia occur frequently in both pediatric and adult neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients. NF1 (Nf1) haploinsufficient osteoclasts and osteoclast progenitors derived from both NF1 patients and Nf1(+/-) mice exhibit increased differentiation, migration, and bone resorptive capacity in vitro, mediated by hyperactivation of p21(Ras) in response to limiting concentrations of macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF). Here, we show that M-CSF binding to its receptor, c-Fms, results in increased c-Fms activation in Nf1(+/) (-) osteoclast progenitors, mediating multiple gain-in-functions through the downstream effectors Erk1/2 and p90RSK. PLX3397, a potent and selective c-Fms inhibitor, attenuated M-CSF mediated Nf1(+/-) osteoclast migration by 50%, adhesion by 70%, and pit formation by 60%. In vivo, we administered PLX3397 to Nf1(+/-) osteoporotic mice induced by ovariectomy (OVX) and evaluated changes in bone mass and skeletal architecture. We found that PLX3397 prevented bone loss in Nf1(+/-)-OVX mice by reducing osteoclast differentiation and bone resorptive activity in vivo. Collectively, these results implicate the M-CSF/c-Fms signaling axis as a critical pathway underlying the aberrant functioning of Nf1 haploinsufficient osteoclasts and may provide a potential therapeutic target for treating NF1 associated osteoporosis and osteopenia.
    PLoS ONE 11/2012; 7(11):e46900. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0046900 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Plexiform neurofibromas are slow-growing chemoradiotherapy-resistant tumours arising in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Currently, there are no viable therapeutic options for patients with plexiform neurofibromas that cannot be surgically removed because of their proximity to vital body structures. We undertook an open-label phase 2 trial to test whether treatment with imatinib mesylate can decrease the volume burden of clinically significant plexiform neurofibromas in patients with NF1. METHODS: Eligible patients had to be aged 3-65 years, and to have NF1 and a clinically significant plexiform neurofibroma. Patients were treated with daily oral imatinib mesylate at 220 mg/m(2) twice a day for children and 400 mg twice a day for adults for 6 months. The primary endpoint was a 20% or more reduction in plexiform size by sequential volumetric MRI imaging. Clinical data were analysed on an intention-to-treat basis; a secondary analysis was also done for those patients able to take imatinib mesylate for 6 months. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01673009. FINDINGS: Six of 36 patients (17%, 95% CI 6-33), enrolled on an intention-to-treat basis, had an objective response to imatinib mesylate, with a 20% or more decrease in tumour volume. Of the 23 patients who received imatinib mesylate for at least 6 months, six (26%, 95% CI 10-48) had a 20% or more decrease in volume of one or more plexiform tumours. The most common adverse events were skin rash (five patients) and oedema with weight gain (six). More serious adverse events included reversible grade 3 neutropenia (two), grade 4 hyperglycaemia (one), and grade 4 increases in aminotransferase concentrations (one). INTERPRETATION: Imatinib mesylate could be used to treat plexiform neurofibromas in patients with NF1. A multi-institutional clinical trial is warranted to confirm these results. FUNDING: Novartis Pharmaceuticals, the Indiana University Simon Cancer Centre, and the Indiana University Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research.
    The Lancet Oncology 10/2012; 13(12). DOI:10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70414-X · 24.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mast cells coordinate allergy and allergic asthma and are crucial cellular targets in therapeutic approaches to inflammatory disease. Allergens cross-link IgE bound at high-affinity receptors on the mast cell's surface, causing release of pre-formed cytoplasmic granules containing inflammatory molecules, including histamine, a principal effector of fatal septic shock. Both p21 activated kinase 1 (Pak1) and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) modulate mast cell degranulation, but the molecular mechanisms underpinning these observations and their potential interactions in common or disparate pathways are unknown. Here, we use genetic and other approaches to show that Pak1's kinase-dependent interaction with PP2A potentiates PP2A's subunit assembly and activation. PP2A then dephosphorylates threonine 567 of Ezrin/Radixin/Moesin (ERM), molecules that have been shown to couple F-actin to the plasma membrane in other cell systems. In our study, the activity of this Pak1-PP2A-ERM axis correlates with impaired systemic histamine release in Pak1(-/-) mice and defective F-actin rearrangement and impaired degranulation in Ezrin disrupted (Mx1Cre(+)Ezrin(flox/flox)) primary mast cells. This heretofore unknown mechanism of mast cell degranulation provides novel therapeutic targets in allergy and asthma and may inform studies of kinase regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics in other cell lineages.
    Experimental hematology 10/2012; DOI:10.1016/j.exphem.2012.10.001 · 2.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Parathyroid hormone (PTH) anabolic osteoporosis therapy is intrinsically limited by unknown mechanisms. We previously showed that disabling the transcription factor Nmp4/CIZ in mice expanded this anabolic window while modestly elevating bone resorption. This enhanced bone formation requires a lag period to materialize. Wild-type (WT) and Nmp4-knockout (KO) mice exhibited equivalent PTH-induced increases in bone at 2 weeks of treatment, but by 7 weeks, the null mice showed more new bone. At 3-week treatment, serum osteocalcin, a bone formation marker, peaked in WT mice, but continued to increase in null mice. To determine if 3 weeks is the time when the addition of new bone diverges and to investigate its cellular basis, we treated 10-week-old null and WT animals with human PTH (1-34) (30 μg/kg/day) or vehicle before analyzing femoral trabecular architecture and bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood phenotypic cell profiles. PTH-treated Nmp4-KO mice gained over 2-fold more femoral trabecular bone than WT by 3 weeks. There was no difference between genotypes in BM cellularity or profiles of several blood elements. However, the KO mice exhibited a significant elevation in CFU-F cells, CFU-F(Alk)(Phos+) cells (osteoprogenitors), and a higher percentage of CFU-F(Alk)(Phos+) cells/CFU-F cells consistent with an increase in CD45-/CD146+/CD105+/nestin+ mesenchymal stem cell frequency. Null BM exhibited a 2-fold enhancement in CD8+ T cells known to support osteoprogenitor differentiation and a 1.6-fold increase in CFU-GM colonies (osteoclast progenitors). We propose that Nmp4/CIZ limits the PTH anabolic window by restricting the number of BM stem, progenitor, and blood cells that support anabolic bone remodeling.
    Stem cells and development 08/2012; DOI:10.1089/scd.2012.0308 · 4.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Feng-Chun Yang, Karl Staser, D Wade Clapp
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dynamic interactions between tumorigenic cells and surrounding cells, including immunomodulatory hematopoietic cells, can dictate tumor initiation, progression, and transformation. Hematopoietic-stromal interactions underpin the plexiform neurofibroma, a debilitating tumor arising in individuals afflicted with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a common genetic disorder resulting from mutations in the NF1 tumor suppressor gene. At the tissue level, plexiform neurofibromas demonstrate a complex microenvironment composed of Schwann cells, fibroblasts, perineural cells, mast cells, secreted collagen, and blood vessels. At the cellular level, specific interactions between these cells engender tumor initiation and progression. In this microenvironment hypothesis, tumorigenic Schwann cells secrete pathological concentrations of stem cell factor, which recruit c-kit expressing mast cells. In turn, activated mast cells release inflammatory effectors stimulating the tumorigenic Schwann cells and their supporting fibroblasts and blood vessels, thus promoting tumor expansion in a feed-forward loop. Bone marrow transplantation experiments in plexiform neurofibroma mouse models have shown that tumorigenesis requires Nf1 haploinsufficiency in the hematopoietic compartment, suggesting that tumor microenvironments can depend on intricate interactions at both cellular and genetic levels. Overall, our continued understanding of critical tumor-stromal interactions will illuminate novel therapeutic targets, as shown by the first-ever successful medical treatment of a plexiform neurofibroma by targeted inhibition of the stem cell factor/c-kit axis.
    Cancer Microenvironment 07/2012; 5(3):307-10. DOI:10.1007/s12307-012-0115-x
  • Pediatric Blood & Cancer 07/2012; 58(7):1017-1017. · 2.56 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Differentiation is accompanied by extensive epigenomic reprogramming, leading to the repression of stemness factors and the transcriptional maintenance of activated lineage-specific genes. Here we use the mammalian Hoxa cluster of developmental genes as a model system to follow changes in DNA modification patterns during retinoic acid-induced differentiation. We find the inactive cluster to be marked by defined patterns of 5-methylcytosine (5mC). Upon the induction of differentiation, the active anterior part of the cluster becomes increasingly enriched in 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), following closely the colinear activation pattern of the gene array, which is paralleled by the reduction of 5mC. Depletion of the 5hmC generating dioxygenase Tet2 impairs the maintenance of Hoxa activity and partially restores 5mC levels. Our results indicate that gene-specific 5mC-5hmC conversion by Tet2 is crucial for the maintenance of active chromatin states at lineage-specific loci.
    Nature Communications 05/2012; 3:818. DOI:10.1038/ncomms1826 · 10.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chronic degenerative diseases are increasing with the aging U.S. population. One consequence of this phenomenon is the need for long-term osteoporosis therapies. Parathyroid hormone (PTH), the only FDA-approved treatment that adds bone to the aged skeleton, loses its potency within two years of initial treatment but the mechanism regulating its limited "anabolic window" is unknown. We have discovered that disabling the nucleocytoplasmic shuttling transcription factor nuclear matrix protein 4/cas interacting zinc finger protein (Nmp4/CIZ) in mice extends the PTH bone-forming capacity. Nmp4 was discovered during our search for nuclear matrix transcription factors that couple this hormone's impact on osteoblast cytoskeletal and nuclear organization with its anabolic capacity. CIZ was independently discovered as a protein that associates with the focal adhesion-associated mechanosensor p130Cas. The Nmp4/CIZ-knockout (KO) skeletal phenotype exhibits a modestly enhanced bone mineral density but manifests an exaggerated response to both PTH and to BMP2 and is resistant to disuse-induced bone loss. The cellular basis of the global Nmp4/CIZ-KO skeletal phenotype remains to be elucidated but may involve an expansion of the bone marrow osteoprogenitor population along with modestly enhanced osteoblast and osteoclast activities supporting anabolic bone turnover. As a shuttling Cys2His2 zinc finger protein, Nmp4/CIZ acts as a repressive transcription factor perhaps associated with epigenetic remodeling complexes, but the functional significance of its interaction with p130Cas is not known. Despite numerous remaining questions, Nmp4/CIZ provides insights into how the anabolic window is regulated, and itself may provide an adjuvant therapy target for the treatment of osteoporosis by extending PTH anabolic efficacy.
    Critical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression 01/2012; 22(3):205-18. DOI:10.1615/CritRevEukarGeneExpr.v22.i3.40 · 2.39 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
454.68 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
      • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Miami, Florida, United States
  • 1999–2015
    • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
      • • Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      • • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • 2012–2013
    • Riley Hospital for Children
      Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • 2007–2013
    • Indiana University-Purdue University School of Medicine
      • • Anatomy and Cell Biology
      • • Pediatrics
      Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • 2000
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ashburn, Virginia, United States