John P Lydon

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States

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Publications (188)1147.21 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: DGCR8 is an RNA-binding protein that interacts with DROSHA to produce pre-microRNA in the nucleus, while DICER generates not only mature microRNA, but also endogenous small interfering RNAs in the cytoplasm. Here, we produced Dgcr8 conditional knock-out mice using progesterone receptor (PR)-Cre (Dgcr8d/d) and demonstrated that canonical microRNAs dependent on the DROSHA-DGCR8 complex are required for uterine development as well as female fertility in mice. Adult Dgcr8d/d females neither underwent regular reproductive cycles nor produced pups, whereas administration of exogenous gonadotropins induced normal ovulation in these mice. Interestingly, immune cells associated with acute inflammation aberrantly infiltrated into reproductive organs of pregnant Dgcr8d/d mice. Regarding uterine development, multiple uterine abnormalities were noticeable at 4 weeks of age when PR is significantly increased, and the severity of these deformities increased over time. Gland formation and myometrial layers were significantly reduced, and the stromal cell compartment did not expand and became atrophic during uterine development in these mice. These results were consistent with aberrantly reduced stromal cell proliferation and completely failed decidualization. Collectively, we suggest that DGCR8-dependent canonical microRNAs are essential for uterine development and physiological processes such as proper immune modulation, reproductive cycle, and steroid hormone responsiveness in mice.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Scientific Reports
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    ABSTRACT: The window of implantation is defined by the inhibition of uterine epithelial proliferation, structural epithelial cell remodeling, and attenuated estrogen (E2) response. These changes occur via paracrine signaling between the uterine epithelium and stroma. Because implantation defects are a major cause of infertility in women, identifying these signaling pathways will improve infertility interventions. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are TGF-β family members that regulate the postimplantation and midgestation stages of pregnancy. In this study, we discovered that signaling via activin-like kinase 3 (ALK3/BMPR1A), a BMP type 1 receptor, is necessary for blastocyst attachment. Conditional knockout (cKO) of ALK3 in the uterus was obtained by producing Alk3(flox) (/flox)-Pgr-cre-positive females. Alk3 cKO mice are sterile and have defects in the luminal uterine epithelium, including increased microvilli density and maintenance of apical cell polarity. Moreover, Alk3 cKO mice exhibit an elevated uterine E2 response and unopposed epithelial cell proliferation during the window of implantation. We determined that dual transcriptional regulation of Kruppel-like factor 15 (Klf15), by both the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) transcription factor SMAD family member 4 (SMAD4) and progesterone receptor (PR), is necessary to inhibit uterine epithelial cell proliferation, a key step for embryo implantation. Our findings present a convergence of BMP and steroid hormone signaling pathways in the regulation of uterine receptivity.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: In addition to the well-characterized role of the sex steroid receptors in fertility and reproduction, organs of the female reproductive tract are also regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. These endocrine organs are sensitive to stress-mediated actions of glucocorticoids, and the mouse uterus contains high levels of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Although the presence of GR in the uterus is well established, uterine glucocorticoid signaling has been largely ignored in terms of its reproductive and/or immunomodulatory functions on fertility. To define the direct in vivo function of glucocorticoid signaling in adult uterine physiology, we generated a uterine-specific GR knockout (uterine GR KO) mouse using the PR(cre) mouse model. The uterine GR KO mice display a profound subfertile phenotype, including a significant delay to first litter and decreased pups per litter. Early defects in pregnancy are evident as reduced blastocyst implantation and subsequent defects in stromal cell decidualization, including decreased proliferation, aberrant apoptosis, and altered gene expression. The deficiency in uterine GR signaling resulted in an exaggerated inflammatory response to induced decidualization, including altered immune cell recruitment. These results demonstrate that GR is required to establish the necessary cellular context for maintaining normal uterine biology and fertility through the regulation of uterine-specific actions.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Alterations in estrogen-mediated cellular signaling play an essential role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. In addition to higher estrogen receptor (ER) β levels, enhanced ERβ activity was detected in endometriotic tissues, and the inhibition of enhanced ERβ activity by an ERβ-selective antagonist suppressed mouse ectopic lesion growth. Notably, gain of ERβ function stimulated the progression of endometriosis. As a mechanism to evade endogenous immune surveillance for cell survival, ERβ interacts with cellular apoptotic machinery in the cytoplasm to inhibit TNF-α-induced apoptosis. ERβ also interacts with components of the cytoplasmic inflammasome to increase interleukin-1β and thus enhance its cellular adhesion and proliferation properties. Furthermore, this gain of ERβ function enhances epithelial-mesenchymal transition signaling, thereby increasing the invasion activity of endometriotic tissues for establishment of ectopic lesions. Collectively, we reveal how endometrial tissue generated by retrograde menstruation can escape immune surveillance and develop into sustained ectopic lesions via gain of ERβ function.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Cell
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    ABSTRACT: The surge of luteinizing hormone triggers the genomic reprogramming, cell differentiation, and tissue remodeling of the ovulated follicle, leading to the formation of the corpus luteum. During this process, called luteinization, follicular granulosa cells begin expressing a new set of genes that allow the resulting luteal cells to survive in a vastly different hormonal environment and to produce the extremely high amounts of progesterone (P4) needed to sustain pregnancy. To better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of luteal P4 production in vivo, the transcription factors GATA4 and GATA6 were knocked down in the corpus luteum by crossing mice carrying Gata4 and Gata6 floxed genes with mice carrying Cre recombinase fused to the progesterone receptor. This receptor is expressed exclusively in granulosa cells after the luteinizing hormone surge, leading to recombination of floxed genes during follicle luteinization. The findings demonstrated that GATA4 and GATA6 are essential for female fertility, whereas targeting either factor alone causes subfertility. When compared to control mice, serum P4 levels and luteal expression of key steroidogenic genes were significantly lower in conditional knockdown mice. The results also showed that GATA4 and GATA6 are required for the expression of the receptors for prolactin and luteinizing hormone, the main luteotropic hormones in mice. The findings demonstrate that GATA4 and GATA6 are crucial regulators of luteal steroidogenesis and are required for the normal response of luteal cells to luteotropins.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Biology of Reproduction
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    ABSTRACT: AT-rich interactive domain 1A gene (ARID1A) loss is a frequent event in endometriosis-associated ovarian carcinomas. Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside the uterus, and 50% of women with endometriosis are infertile. ARID1A protein levels were significantly lower in the eutopic endometrium of women with endometriosis compared to women without endometriosis. However, an understanding of the physiological effects of ARID1A loss remains quite poor, and the function of Arid1a in the female reproductive tract has remained elusive. In order to understand the role of Arid1a in the uterus, we have generated mice with conditional ablation of Arid1a in the PGR positive cells (Pgrcre/+Arid1af/f; Arid1ad/d). Ovarian function and uterine development of Arid1ad/d mice were normal. However, Arid1ad/d mice were sterile due to defective embryo implantation and decidualization. The epithelial proliferation was significantly increased in Arid1ad/d mice compared to control mice. Enhanced epithelial estrogen activity and reduced epithelial PGR expression, which impedes maturation of the receptive uterus, was observed in Arid1ad/d mice at the peri-implantation period. The microarray analysis revealed that ARID1A represses the genes related to cell cycle and DNA replication. We showed that ARID1A positively regulates Klf15 expression with PGR to inhibit epithelial proliferation at peri-implantation. Our results suggest that Arid1a has a critical role in modulating epithelial proliferation which is a critical requisite for fertility. This finding provides a new signaling pathway for steroid hormone regulation in female reproductive biology and furthers our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie dysregulation of hormonal signaling in human reproductive disorders such as endometriosis.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · PLoS Genetics
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    Z Tu · Q Wang · T Cui · J Wang · H Ran · H Bao · J Lu · B Wang · J P Lydon · F DeMayo · S Zhang · S Kong · X Wu · H Wang
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    ABSTRACT: Successful embryo implantation requires functional luminal epithelia to establish uterine receptivity and blastocyst-uterine adhesion. During the configuration of uterine receptivity from prereceptive phase, the luminal epithelium undergoes dynamic membrane reorganization and depolarization. This timely regulated epithelial membrane maturation and precisely maintained epithelial integrity are critical for embryo implantation in both humans and mice. However, it remained largely unexplored with respect to potential signaling cascades governing this functional epithelial transformation prior to implantation. Using multiple genetic and cellular approaches combined with uterine conditional Rac1 deletion mouse model, we demonstrated herein that Rac1, a small GTPase, is spatiotemporally expressed in the periimplantation uterus, and uterine depletion of Rac1 induces premature decrease of epithelial apical-basal polarity and defective junction remodeling, leading to disrupted uterine receptivity and implantation failure. Further investigations identified Pak1-ERM as a downstream signaling cascade upon Rac1 activation in the luminal epithelium necessary for uterine receptivity. In addition, we also demonstrated that Rac1 via P38 MAPK signaling ensures timely epithelial apoptotic death at postimplantation. Besides uncovering a potentially important molecule machinery governing uterine luminal integrity for embryo implantation, our finding has high clinical relevance, because Rac1 is essential for normal endometrial functions in women.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 17 July 2015; doi:10.1038/cdd.2015.98.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Cell death and differentiation
  • Maria M Szwarc · John P Lydon · Bert W O'Malley
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    ABSTRACT: The Steroid Receptor Coactivators (SRCs/p160/NCOA) are a family of three transcriptional coregulators initially discovered to transactivate the transcriptional potency of steroid hormone receptors. Even though SRCs were also found to modulate the activity of multiple other transcription factors, their function is still strongly associated with regulation of steroid hormone action and many studies have found that they are critical for the regulation of reproductive biology. In the case of the female reproductive tract, SRCs have been found to play crucial roles in its physiology, ranging from ovulation, implantation, to parturition. Not surprisingly, SRCs' action has been linked to numerous abnormalities and debilitating disorders of female reproductive tissues, including infertility, cancer, and endometriosis. Many of these pathologies are still in critical need of therapeutic intervention and "proof-of-principle" studies have found that SRCs are excellent targets in pathological states. Therefore, small molecule modulators of SRCs' activity could be applied in the future in the treatment of many diseases of the female reproductive system. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology
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    ABSTRACT: Unlike cancers of related exocrine tissues such as the mammary and prostate gland, diagnosis and treatment of aggressive salivary gland malignancies have not markedly advanced in decades. Effective clinical management of malignant salivary gland cancers is undercut by our limited knowledge concerning the key molecular signals that underpin the etiopathogenesis of this rare and heterogeneous head and neck cancer. Without knowledge of the critical signals that drive salivary gland tumorigenesis, tumor vulnerabilities cannot be exploited that allow for targeted molecular therapies. This knowledge insufficiency is further exacerbated by a paucity of preclinical mouse models (as compared to other cancer fields) with which to both study salivary gland pathobiology and test novel intervention strategies. Using a mouse transgenic approach, we demonstrate that deregulation of the Receptor Activator of NFkB Ligand (RANKL)/RANK signaling axis results in rapid tumor development in all three major salivary glands. In line with its established role in other exocrine gland cancers (i.e., breast cancer), the RANKL/RANK signaling axis elicits an aggressive salivary gland tumor phenotype both at the histologic and molecular level. Despite the ability of this cytokine signaling axis to drive advanced stage disease within a short latency period, early blockade of RANKL/RANK signaling markedly attenuates the development of malignant salivary gland neoplasms. Together, our findings have uncovered a tumorigenic role for RANKL/RANK in the salivary gland and suggest that targeting this pathway may represent a novel therapeutic intervention approach in the prevention and/or treatment of this understudied head and neck cancer.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Progesterone (P4) and the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (Dex) inhibit luminal epithelial (LE) proliferation in neonatal mouse uteri. This study determined the roles of progesterone receptor and estrogen receptor 1 (PR and ESR1, respectively) in P4- and Dex-induced inhibition of LE proliferation using PR knockout (PRKO) and Esr1 knockout (Esr1KO) mice. Wild-type (WT), heterozygous and homozygous PRKO female pups were injected with vehicle, P4 (40 μg/g BW) or Dex (4 or 40 μg/g BW) on Postnatal Day 5, then 24 h later immunostained for markers of cell proliferation. In WT and heterozygous mice, P4 sharply reduced LE proliferation, and Dex produced dose-responsive decreases equaling those of P4 at the higher dose. Critically, although both doses of Dex similarly decreased proliferation compared to vehicle-treated PRKOs, treatment of PRKO pups with the high Dex dose (40 μg/g) did not inhibit LE as much as this Dex dose or P4 in WT mice. Stromal proliferation was stimulated by P4 in WT but not PRKO mice, and Dex did not alter stromal proliferation. Uteri of all genotypes strongly expressed glucocorticoid receptor (GR), demonstrating that impaired Dex effects in PRKOs did not reflect GR deficiency. Furthermore, inhibition of LE proliferation by Dex (40 μg/g) in Esr1KO mice was normal, so this process does not involve ESR1. In summary, inhibitory Dex effects on LE proliferation occur partially through non-PR mediated mechanisms, presumably GR, as indicated by Dex inhibition of LE proliferation in PRKOs. However, maximal inhibitory Dex effects on uterine LE proliferation are not seen in PRKO mice with even high Dex, indicating that maximal Dex effects in WT mice also involve PR. Copyright 2015 by The Society for the Study of Reproduction.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Biology of Reproduction
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    ABSTRACT: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) affects up to 10% of pregnancies in Western societies. IUGR is a strong predictor of reduced short-term neonatal survival and impairs long-term health in children. Placental insufficiency is often associated with IUGR; however, the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of placental insufficiency and IUGR are largely unknown. Here, we developed a mouse model of fetal-growth restriction and placental insufficiency that is induced by a midgestational stress challenge. Compared with control animals, pregnant dams subjected to gestational stress exhibited reduced progesterone levels and placental heme oxygenase 1 (Hmox1) expression and increased methylation at distinct regions of the placental Hmox1 promoter. These stress-triggered changes were accompanied by an altered CD8+ T cell response, as evidenced by a reduction of tolerogenic CD8+CD122+ T cells and an increase of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells. Using progesterone receptor- or Hmox1-deficient mice, we identified progesterone as an upstream modulator of placental Hmox1 expression. Supplementation of progesterone or depletion of CD8+ T cells revealed that progesterone suppresses CD8+ T cell cytotoxicity, whereas the generation of CD8+CD122+ T cells is supported by Hmox1 and ameliorates fetal-growth restriction in Hmox1 deficiency. These observations in mice could promote the identification of pregnancies at risk for IUGR and the generation of clinical interventional strategies.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Clinical Investigation
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    ABSTRACT: Progesterone drives mammary stem and progenitor cell dynamics through paracrine mechanisms that are currently not well understood. Here, we demonstrate that CXCR4, the receptor for stromal-derived factor 1 (SDF-1; CXC12), is a crucial instructor of hormone-induced mammary stem and progenitor cell function. Progesterone elicits specific changes in the transcriptome of basal and luminal mammary epithelial populations, where CXCL12 and CXCR4 represent a putative ligand-receptor pair. In situ, CXCL12 localizes to progesterone-receptor-positive luminal cells, whereas CXCR4 is induced in both basal and luminal compartments in a progesterone-dependent manner. Pharmacological inhibition of CXCR4 signaling abrogates progesterone-directed expansion of basal (CD24(+)CD49f(hi)) and luminal (CD24(+)CD49f(lo)) subsets. This is accompanied by a marked reduction in CD49b(+)SCA-1(-) luminal progenitors, their functional capacity, and lobuloalveologenesis. These findings uncover CXCL12 and CXCR4 as novel paracrine effectors of hormone signaling in the adult mammary gland, and present a new avenue for potentially targeting progenitor cell growth and malignant transformation in breast cancer. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Stem Cell Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Rates of the most common gynecologic cancer, endometrioid adenocarcinoma (EAC), continue to rise, mirroring the global epidemic of obesity, a well-known EAC risk factor. Thus, identifying novel molecular targets to prevent and/or mitigate EAC is imperative. The prevalent Type 1 EAC commonly harbors loss of the tumor suppressor, Pten, leading to AKT activation. The major endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone, GRP78, is a potent pro-survival protein to maintain ER homeostasis, and as a cell surface protein, is known to regulate the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway. To determine whether targeting GRP78 could suppress EAC development, we created a conditional knockout mouse model using progesterone receptor-Cre-recombinase to achieve Pten and Grp78 (cPten(f/f)Grp78(f/f)) deletion in the endometrial epithelium. Mice with a single Pten (cPten(f/f)) deletion developed well-differentiated EAC by 4 weeks. In contrast, no cPten(f/f)Grp78(f/f) mice developed EAC, even after more than 8 months of observation. Histologic examination of uteri from cPten(f/f)Grp78(f/f) mice also revealed no complex atypical hyperplasia, a well-established EAC precursor. These histologic observations among the cPten(f/f)Grp78(f/f) murine uteri also corresponded to abrogation of AKT activation within the endometrium. We further observed that GRP78 co-localized with activated AKT on the surface of EAC, thus providing an opportunity for therapeutic targeting. Consistent with previous findings that cell surface GRP78 is an upstream regulator of PI3K/AKT signaling, we show here that in vivo short-term systemic treatment with a highly specific monoclonal antibody against GRP78 suppressed AKT activation and increased apoptosis in the cPten(f/f) tumors. Collectively, these findings present GRP78-targeting therapy as an efficacious therapeutic option for EAC.Oncogene advance online publication, 16 February 2015; doi:10.1038/onc.2015.4.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Oncogene
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    ABSTRACT: The major endocrine regulators of the female reproductive tract are 17β-estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4). This review discusses our recent work related to the roles of E2 and P4 and their receptors, estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) and progesterone receptor (PR), respectively, in the neonatal uterus. Neonatal uterine cells in mice are mitogenically responsive to estrogens, but neonatal ovariectomy does not inhibit pre-weaning uterine cell proliferation, indicating that this process does not require endogenous estrogens. Neonatal uterine cell proliferation could result from ligand-independent growth factor activation of ESR1, or be independent of ESR1 neonatally despite its obligatory role in adult uterine epithelial proliferation. To determine the role of ESR1 in uterine development, we analyzed cell proliferation and uterine gland development (adenogenesis) in wild-type (WT) and Esr1 knockout (Esr1KO) mice postnatally. Our results indicate that pre-weaning uterine cell proliferation and adenogenesis are independent of ESR1, but these processes become dependent on E2/ESR1 signaling for maintenance and further proliferation and uterine growth during puberty. How pre-weaning uterine cell proliferation and adenogenesis occur independently of E2/ESR1 signaling remains unknown, but ligand-independent activation of ESR1 is not involved in this process. The synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (Dex) inhibits luminal epithelial (LE) proliferation in neonatal mouse uteri, but it has been unclear whether Dex effects were mediated by glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and/or PR. We have used PR knockout (PRKO) mice to test whether PR is required for Dex inhibition of LE proliferation. Our results indicate that maximal inhibitory Dex effects on uterine LE proliferation require PR, possibly reflecting Dex crosstalk with PR. Inhibitory effects of Dex and P4 on LE proliferation may also involve GR binding, as indicated by the small but significant inhibition of LE proliferation by both Dex and P4 in PRKO mice.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Animal reproduction
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    ABSTRACT: In response to progesterone and prolactin, the murine mammary epithelium executes an accelerated proliferative program that is required to generate numerous ductal side branches and alveoli during early pregnancy. With prolactin exposure later in pregnancy, alveolar epithelial cells differentiate to enable the synthesis and secretion of enough milk components to meet the nutritional demands of an average litter size. Termination of the suckling stimulus at weaning triggers regression of the alveolar-ductal network through proteinase- and apoptotic-mediated remodeling steps, collectively termed involution. Following postlactational involution, the remodeling of the mammary gland to a ductal structure similar to that of the prepregnant mouse completes this mammary cycle of development. The fact that the mammary gland can enter this developmental cycle with each successive pregnancy strongly supports the existence of a resident mammary stem cell.
    No preview · Chapter · Dec 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Despite increasing evidence pointing to the essential involvement of transforming growth factor beta (TGFB) superfamily in reproduction, a definitive role of TGFB signaling in the uterus remains to be unveiled. In this study, we generated a gain-of-function mouse model harboring a constitutively active (CA) TGFB receptor 1 (TGFBR1), the expression of which was conditionally induced by the progesterone receptor (Pgr)-Cre recombinase. Overactivation of TGFB signaling was verified by enhanced phosphorylation of SMAD2 and increased expression of TGFB target genes in the uterus. TGFBR1 Pgr-Cre CA mice were sterile. Histological, cellular, and molecular analyses demonstrated that constitutive activation of TGFBR1 in the mouse uterus promoted formation of hypermuscled uteri. Accompanying this phenotype is the upregulation of a battery of smooth muscle genes in the uterus. Furthermore, TGFB ligands activated SMAD2/3 and stimulated the expression of a smooth muscle maker gene, alpha smooth muscle actin (ACTA2), in human uterine smooth muscle cells. Immunofluorescence microscopy identified a marked reduction of uterine glands in TGFBR1 Pgr-Cre CA mice within the endometrial compartment that contained myofibroblast-like cells. Thus, constitutively active TGFBR1 in the mouse uterus caused defects in uterine morphology and function, evidenced by abnormal myometrial structure, dramatically reduced uterine glands, and impaired uterine decidualization. These results underscore the importance of a precisely controlled TGFB signaling system in establishing a uterine microenvironment conducive to normal development and function. Copyright 2014 by The Society for the Study of Reproduction.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Biology of Reproduction
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    ABSTRACT: PTEN mutations are the most common genetic alterations in endometrial cancer. Loss of PTEN and subsequent AKT activation stimulate ERα-dependent pathways that play an important role in endometrial tumorigenesis. The major pathologic phenomenon of endometrial cancer is the loss of ovarian steroid hormone control over uterine epithelial cell proliferation and apoptosis. However, the precise mechanism of PTEN/AKT signaling in endometrial cancer remains poorly understood. The progesterone signaling mediator MIG-6 suppresses estrogen signaling and it has been implicated previously as a tumor suppressor in endometrial cancer. In this study, we show that MIG-6 also acts as a tumor suppressor in endometrial cancers associated with PTEN deficiency. Transgenic mice where Mig-6 was overexpressed in PR-expressing cells exhibited a relative reduction in uterine tumorigenesis caused by Pten deficiency. ERK1/2 was phosphorylated in uterine tumors and administration of an ERK1/2 inhibitor suppressed cancer progression in PRcre/+Ptenf/f mice. In clinical specimens of endometrial cancer, MIG-6 expression correlated inversely with ERK1/2 phosphorylation during progression. Taken together, our findings suggest that Mig-6 regulates ERK1/2 phosphorylation and that it is crucial for progression of PTEN-mutant endometrial cancers, providing a mechanistic rationale for the evaluation of ERK1/2 inhibitors as a therapeutic treatment in human endometrial cancer.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Cancer Research

  • No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Molecular Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: Progesterone receptors (PRs) are phosphorylated on multiple sites, and a variety of roles for phosphorylation have been suggested by cell-based studies. Previous studies using PR null mice have shown that PR plays an important role in female fertility, regulation of uterine growth, the uterine decidualization response, and proliferation as well as ductal side branching and alveologenesis in the mammary gland. To study the role of PR phosphorylation in vivo, a mouse was engineered with homozygous replacement of PR with a PR serine-to-alanine mutation at amino acid 191. No overt phenotypes were observed in the mammary glands or uteri of PR S191A treated with progesterone (P4). In contrast, although PR S191A mice were fertile, litters were 19 smaller than wild type and the estrous cycle was lengthened slightly. Moreover, P4-dependent gene regulation in primary mammary epithelial cells (MECs) was altered in a gene-selective manner. MECs derived from wild-type and PR S191A mice were grown in a three-dimensional culture. Both formed acinar structures that were morphologically similar, and proliferation was stimulated equally by P4. However, P4 induction of receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand and calcitonin was selectively reduced in S191A cultures. These differences were confirmed in freshly isolated MECs. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that the binding of S191A PR to some of the receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand enhancers and a calcitonin enhancer was substantially reduced. Thus, the elimination of a single phosphorylation site is sufficient to modulate PR activity in vivo. PR contains many phosphorylation sites, and the coordinate regulation of multiple sites is a potential mechanism for selective modulation of PR function.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Molecular Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: The p160/steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) family comprises three pleiotropic coregulators (SRC-1, -2, and -3; otherwise known as NCOA1, NCOA2, NCOA3), which modulate a wide spectrum of physiological responses and clinicopathologies. Such pleiotropy is achieved through their inherent structural complexity, which allows this coregulator class to control both nuclear receptor (NR) and non-NR signaling. As observed in other physiologic systems, members of the SRC family have recently been shown to play pivotal roles in uterine biology and pathobiology. In the murine uterus, SRC-1 is required to launch a full steroid hormone response, without which endometrial decidualization is markedly attenuated. From "dove-tailing" clinical and mouse studies, an isoform of SRC-1 was recently identified which promotes endometriosis by reprogramming endometrial cells to evade apoptosis and colonize as endometriotic lesions within the peritoneal cavity. The endometrium fails to decidualize without SRC-2, which accounts for the infertility phenotype exhibited by mice devoid of this coregulator. In related studies on human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs), SRC-2 was shown to act as a molecular "pace maker" of the glycolytic flux. This finding is significant as acceleration of the glycolytic flux provides the necessary bioenergy and biomolecules for ESCs to switch from quiescence to a proliferative phenotype, a critical underpinning in the decidual progression program. Though studies on uterine SRC-3 function are in their early stages, clinical studies provide tantalizing support for the proposal that SRC-3 is causally linked to endometrial hyperplasia as well as with endometrial pathologies in patients diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. This proposal is now driving the development and application of innovative technologies particularly in the mouse to further understand the functional role of this elusive uterine coregulator in normal and abnormal physiologic contexts. Because dysregulation of this coregulator triad potentially presents a triple threat for increased risk of subfecundity, infertility, or endometrial disease, a clearer understanding of the individual and combinatorial roles of these coregulators in uterine function is urgently required. This minireview summarizes our current understanding of uterine SRC function, with a particular emphasis on the next critical questions that need to be addressed to ensure significant expansion of our knowledge of this underexplored field of uterine biology.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Biology of Reproduction

Publication Stats

10k Citations
1,147.21 Total Impact Points


  • 1992-2015
    • Baylor College of Medicine
      • Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2007
    • Texas A&M University System Health Science Center
      • Texas A&M Health Science Center
      Bryan, Texas, United States
  • 2006
    • Institut Clinique de la Souris
      Illkirch, Alsace, France
    • Molecular and Cellular Biology Program
      Seattle, Washington, United States
    • Harvard University
      • Department of Developmental Biology
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States