Taiping Chen

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

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Publications (49)476.26 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian oocytes are arrested at prophase I until puberty when hormonal signals induce the resumption of meiosis I and progression to meiosis II. Meiotic progression is controlled by CDK1 activity and is accompanied by dynamic epigenetic changes. Although the signalling pathways regulating CDK1 activity are well defined, the functional significance of epigenetic changes remains largely unknown. Here we show that LSD1, a lysine demethylase, regulates histone H3 lysine 4 di-methylation (H3K4me2) in mouse oocytes and is essential for meiotic progression. Conditional deletion of Lsd1 in growing oocytes results in precocious resumption of meiosis and spindle and chromosomal abnormalities. Consequently, most Lsd1-null oocytes fail to complete meiosis I and undergo apoptosis. Mechanistically, upregulation of CDC25B, a phosphatase that activates CDK1, is responsible for precocious meiotic resumption and also contributes to subsequent spindle and chromosomal defects. Our findings uncover a functional link between LSD1 and the major signalling pathway governing meiotic progression.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Erasure and subsequent reinstatement of DNA methylation in the germline, especially at imprinted CpG islands (CGIs), is crucial to embryogenesis in mammals. The mechanisms underlying DNA methylation establishment remain poorly understood, but a number of post-translational modifications of histones are implicated in antagonizing or recruiting the de novo DNA methylation complex. In mouse oogenesis, DNA methylation establishment occurs on a largely unmethylated genome and in nondividing cells, making it a highly informative model for examining how histone modifications can shape the DNA methylome. Using a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and genome-wide sequencing (ChIP-seq) protocol optimized for low cell numbers and novel techniques for isolating primary and growing oocytes, profiles were generated for histone modifications implicated in promoting or inhibiting DNA methylation. CGIs destined for DNA methylation show reduced protective H3K4 dimethylation (H3K4me2) and trimethylation (H3K4me3) in both primary and growing oocytes, while permissive H3K36me3 increases specifically at these CGIs in growing oocytes. Methylome profiling of oocytes deficient in H3K4 demethylase KDM1A or KDM1B indicated that removal of H3K4 methylation is necessary for proper methylation establishment at CGIs. This work represents the first systematic study performing ChIP-seq in oocytes and shows that histone remodeling in the mammalian oocyte helps direct de novo DNA methylation events.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Genes & development
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    ABSTRACT: SETDB1, a histone methyltransferase responsible for methylation of histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9), is involved in maintenance of embryonic stem (ES) cells and early embryonic development of the mouse. However, how SETDB1 regulates gene expression during development is largely unknown. Here, we characterized genome-wide SETDB1 binding and H3K9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) profiles in mouse ES cells and uncovered two distinct classes of SETDB1 binding sites, termed solo and ensemble peaks. The solo peaks were devoid of H3K9me3 and enriched near developmental regulators while the ensemble peaks were associated with H3K9me3. A subset of the SETDB1 solo peaks, particularly those near neural development related genes, was found to be associated with Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) as well as PRC2-interacting proteins JARID2 and MTF2. Genetic deletion of Setdb1 reduced EZH2 binding as well as histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27) trimethylation level at SetDB1 solo peaks and facilitated neural differentiation. Furthermore, we found that H3K27me3 inhibits SETDB1 methyltransferase activity. The currently identified reciprocal action between SETDB1 and PRC2 reveals a novel mechanism underlying ES cell pluripotency and differentiation regulation. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Genome Research
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    Tewfik Hamidi · Anup Kumar Singh · Taiping Chen
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    ABSTRACT: DNA methylation plays a critical role in the regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression and is involved in a variety of biological processes. The levels and patterns of DNA methylation are regulated by both DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B) and 'demethylating' proteins, including the ten-eleven translocation (TET) family of dioxygenases (TET1, TET2 and TET3). The effects of DNA methylation on chromatin and gene expression are largely mediated by methylated DNA 'reader' proteins, including MeCP2. Numerous mutations in DNMTs, TETs and MeCP2 have been identified in cancer and developmental disorders, highlighting the importance of the DNA methylation machinery in human development and physiology. In this review, we describe these mutations and discuss how they may lead to disease phenotypes.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Epigenomics
  • Thomas B. Nicholson · Nicolas Veland · Taiping Chen
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    ABSTRACT: Changes in gene expression and activity underlie the formation of cancerous tumors. Historically, alterations (deletions, point mutations, translocations, etc.) in the DNA genome of the cell were believed to be the basis for tumor formation, but recent studies have demonstrated that epigenetic modifications, which involve the regulated addition of chemical groups to DNA and histones, also profoundly affect gene expression and, thus, cancer. Both genomic region compaction and gene expression are modulated by epigenetic modifications, which are deposited by specific enzymes (known as "writers"), and subsequently recognized by effector proteins ("readers"). Most, if not all, epigenetic marks are reversible, and various enzymes ("erasers") remove these marks. The complex interplay of these three classes of proteins controls gene transcription, and defects in this system contribute to cancer initiation and progression. This chapter will introduce the key concepts surrounding these three types of proteins, with a particular focus on methyl and acetyl marks.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015
  • Taiping Chen · Sharon Y R Dent
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    ABSTRACT: Cellular differentiation is, by definition, epigenetic. Genome-wide profiling of pluripotent cells and differentiated cells suggests global chromatin remodelling during differentiation, which results in a progressive transition from a fairly open chromatin configuration to a more compact state. Genetic studies in mouse models show major roles for a variety of histone modifiers and chromatin remodellers in key developmental transitions, such as the segregation of embryonic and extra-embryonic lineages in blastocyst stage embryos, the formation of the three germ layers during gastrulation and the differentiation of adult stem cells. Furthermore, rather than merely stabilizing the gene expression changes that are driven by developmental transcription factors, there is emerging evidence that chromatin regulators have multifaceted roles in cell fate decisions.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Nature Reviews Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Somatic heterozygous mutations of the DNA methyltransferase gene DNMT3A occur frequently in acute myeloid leukemia and other hematological malignancies, with the majority (~60%) of mutations affecting a single amino acid, Arg882 (R882), in the catalytic domain. While the mutations impair DNMT3A catalytic activity in vitro, their effects on DNA methylation in cells have not been explored. Here, we show that exogenously expressed mouse Dnmt3a proteins harboring the corresponding R878 mutations largely fail to mediate DNA methylation in murine embryonic stem (ES) cells, but are capable of interacting with wild-type Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b. Co-expression of the Dnmt3a R878H (histidine) mutant protein results in inhibition of the ability of wild-type Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b to methylate DNA in murine ES cells. Furthermore, expression of Dnmt3a R878H in ES cells containing endogenous Dnmt3a or Dnmt3b induces hypomethylation. These results suggest that the DNMT3A R882 mutations, in addition to being hypomorphic, have dominant-negative effects.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Blood
  • Hongbo Zhao · Taiping Chen
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    ABSTRACT: Methylation of cytosines is a major epigenetic modification in mammalian genomes. The levels and patterns of DNA methylation are the results of the opposing actions of methylating and demethylating machineries. Over the past two decades, great progress has been made in elucidating the methylating machinery including the identification and functional characterization of the DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts). However, the mechanisms of demethylation and the major players involved had been elusive. A major breakthrough came in 2009, when the ten-eleven translocation (Tet) family of proteins was discovered as 5-methylcytosine (5mC) dioxygenases that convert 5mC to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). Studies in the past several years have established that 5hmC serves as an intermediate in DNA demethylation and that Tet proteins have important roles in epigenetic reprogramming in early embryos and primordial germ cells. In this review, we discuss recent advances in this exciting field, focusing on the role of Tet proteins in mammalian development.Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 30 May 2013; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.63.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · Journal of Human Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (Lsd1/Aof2/Kdm1a), the first enzyme with specific lysine demethylase activity to be described, demethylates histone and non-histone proteins and is essential for mouse embryogenesis. Lsd1 interacts with numerous proteins through several different domains, most notably the tower domain, an extended helical structure that protrudes from the core of the protein. While there is evidence that Lsd1-interacting proteins regulate the activity and specificity of Lsd1, the significance and roles of such interactions in developmental processes remain largely unknown. Here we describe a hypomorphic Lsd1 allele that contains two point mutations in the tower domain, resulting in a protein with reduced interaction with known binding partners and decreased enzymatic activity. Mice homozygous for this allele die perinatally due to heart defects, with the majority of animals suffering from ventricular septal defects. Molecular analyses revealed hyperphosphorylation of E-cadherin in the hearts of mutant animals. These results identify a previously unknown role for Lsd1 in heart development, perhaps partly through the control of E-cadherin phosphorylation.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Cell death and differentiation is a monthly research journal focused on the exciting field of programmed cell death and apoptosis. It provides a single accessible source of information for both scientists and clinicians, keeping them up-to-date with advances in the field. It encompasses programmed cell death, cell death induced by toxic agents, differentiation and the interrelation of these with cell proliferation.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Cell Research
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    ABSTRACT: Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1/AOF2/KDM1A), the first enzyme with specific lysine demethylase activity to be described, demethylates histone and non-histone proteins and is essential for mouse embryogenesis. LSD1 interacts with numerous proteins through several different domains, most notably the tower domain, an extended helical structure that protrudes from the core of the protein. While there is evidence that LSD1-interacting proteins regulate the activity and specificity of LSD1, the significance and roles of such interactions in developmental processes remain largely unknown. Here we describe a hypomorphic LSD1 allele that contains two point mutations in the tower domain, resulting in a protein with reduced interaction with known binding partners and decreased enzymatic activity. Mice homozygous for this allele die perinatally due to heart defects, with the majority of animals suffering from ventricular septal defects. Transcriptional profiling revealed altered expression of a limited subset of genes in the hearts. This includes an increase in calmodulin kinase (CK) 2β, the regulatory subunit of the CK2 kinase, which correlates with E-cadherin hyperphosphorylation. These results identify a previously unknown role for LSD1 in heart development, perhaps partly through the control of E-cadherin phosphorylation.Cell Research advance online publication 6 December 2011; doi:10.1038/cr.2011.194.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Cell Research
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    ABSTRACT: DNA methylation at the 5 position of cytosine (5mC) in the mammalian genome is a key epigenetic event critical for various cellular processes. The ten-eleven translocation (Tet) family of 5mC-hydroxylases, which convert 5mC to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), offers a way for dynamic regulation of DNA methylation. Here we report that Tet1 binds to unmodified C or 5mC- or 5hmC-modified CpG-rich DNA through its CXXC domain. Genome-wide mapping of Tet1 and 5hmC reveals mechanisms by which Tet1 controls 5hmC and 5mC levels in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). We also uncover a comprehensive gene network influenced by Tet1. Collectively, our data suggest that Tet1 controls DNA methylation both by binding to CpG-rich regions to prevent unwanted DNA methyltransferase activity, and by converting 5mC to 5hmC through hydroxylase activity. This Tet1-mediated antagonism of CpG methylation imparts differential maintenance of DNA methylation status at Tet1 targets, ultimately contributing to mESC differentiation and the onset of embryonic development.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Molecular cell
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    ABSTRACT: Histone methylation plays an important role in regulating gene expression. One such methylation occurs at Lys 79 of histone H3 (H3K79) and is catalyzed by the yeast DOT1 (disruptor of telomeric silencing) and its mammalian homolog, DOT1L. Previous studies have demonstrated that germline disruption of Dot1L in mice resulted in embryonic lethality. Here we report that cardiac-specific knockout of Dot1L results in increased mortality rate with chamber dilation, increased cardiomyocyte cell death, systolic dysfunction, and conduction abnormalities. These phenotypes mimic those exhibited in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Mechanistic studies reveal that DOT1L performs its function in cardiomyocytes through regulating Dystrophin (Dmd) transcription and, consequently, stability of the Dystrophin-glycoprotein complex important for cardiomyocyte viability. Importantly, expression of a miniDmd can largely rescue the DCM phenotypes, indicating that Dmd is a major target mediating DOT1L function in cardiomyocytes. Interestingly, analysis of available gene expression data sets indicates that DOT1L is down-regulated in idiopathic DCM patient samples compared with normal controls. Therefore, our study not only establishes a critical role for DOT1L-mediated H3K79 methylation in cardiomyocyte function, but also reveals the mechanism underlying the role of DOT1L in DCM. In addition, our study may open new avenues for the diagnosis and treatment of human heart disease.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Genes & development
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    ABSTRACT: Histone demethylase LSD1 (also known as KDM1 and AOF2) is active in various cancer cells, but its biological significance in human carcinogenesis is unexplored. In this study, we explored hypothesized interactions between LSD1 and MYPT1, a known regulator of RB1 phosphorylation. We found that MYPT1 was methylated in vitro and in vivo by histone lysine methyltransferase SETD7 and demethylated by LSD1, identifying Lys 442 of MYPT1 as a target for methylation/demethylation by these enzymes. LSD1 silencing increased MYPT1 protein levels, decreasing the steady state level of phosphorylated RB1 (Ser 807/811) and reducing E2F activity. MYPT1 methylation status influenced the affinity of MYPT1 for the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway of protein turnover. MYPT1 was unstable in murine cells deficient in SETD7, supporting the concept that MYPT1 protein stability is physiologically regulated by methylation status. LSD1 overexpression could activate RB1 phosphorylation by inducing a destabilization of MYPT1 protein. Taken together, our results comprise a novel cell cycle regulatory mechanism mediated by methylation/demethylation dynamics, and they reveal the significance of LSD1 overexpression in human carcinogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Cancer Research
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    Xin-Jian He · Taiping Chen · Jian-Kang Zhu
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    ABSTRACT: DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mark involved in diverse biological processes. In plants, DNA methylation can be established through the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway, an RNA interference pathway for transcriptional gene silencing (TGS), which requires 24-nt small interfering RNAs. In mammals, de novo DNA methylation occurs primarily at two developmental stages: during early embryogenesis and during gametogenesis. While it is not clear whether establishment of DNA methylation patterns in mammals involves RNA interference in general, de novo DNA methylation and suppression of transposons in germ cells require 24-32-nt piwi-interacting small RNAs. DNA methylation status is dynamically regulated by DNA methylation and demethylation reactions. In plants, active DNA demethylation relies on the repressor of silencing 1 family of bifunctional DNA glycosylases, which remove the 5-methylcytosine base and then cleave the DNA backbone at the abasic site, initiating a base excision repair (BER) pathway. In animals, multiple mechanisms of active DNA demethylation have been proposed, including a deaminase- and DNA glycosylase-initiated BER pathway. New information concerning the effects of various histone modifications on the establishment and maintenance of DNA methylation has broadened our understanding of the regulation of DNA methylation. The function of DNA methylation in plants and animals is also discussed in this review.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Cell Research
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    Taiping Chen
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    ABSTRACT: DNA methylation is a common mechanism of epigenetic regulation in eukaryotic organisms ranging from fungi to mammals. Genetic studies in model organisms have demonstrated the involvement of DNA methylation in a variety of biological processes. In mammals, DNA methylation patterns are established and maintained by three DNA methyltransferases: Dnmt3a, Dnmt3b, and Dnmt1. The basis of the specificity of the DNA methylation machinery and how DNA methylation patterns are regulated remain poorly understood. However, accumulating evidence suggests complex interplay between DNA methylation and other epigenetic mechanisms. Of particular interest is histone lysine methylation that has been shown to be tightly linked to DNA methylation in various systems. This chapter highlights the findings of several recent studies that provide insights into the mechanistic and functional interactions between histone methylation and DNA methylation.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Progress in molecular biology and translational science
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    ABSTRACT: Imprinted gene expression corresponds to parental allele-specific DNA CpG methylation and chromatin composition. Histone tail covalent modifications have been extensively studied, but it is not known whether modifications in the histone globular domains can also discriminate between the parental alleles. Using multiplex chromatin immunoprecipitation-single nucleotide primer extension (ChIP-SNuPE) assays, we measured the allele-specific enrichment of H3K79 methylation and H4K91 acetylation along the H19/Igf2 imprinted domain. Whereas H3K79me1, H3K79me2, and H4K91ac displayed a paternal-specific enrichment at the paternally expressed Igf2 locus, H3K79me3 was paternally biased at the maternally expressed H19 locus, including the paternally methylated imprinting control region (ICR). We found that these allele-specific differences depended on CTCF binding in the maternal ICR allele. We analyzed an additional 11 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) and found that, in general, H3K79me3 was associated with the CpG-methylated alleles, whereas H3K79me1, H3K79me2, and H4K91ac enrichment was specific to the unmethylated alleles. Our data suggest that allele-specific differences in the globular histone domains may constitute a layer of the “histone code” at imprinted genes.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Dynamic regulation of histone methylation by methyltransferases and demethylases plays a central role in regulating the fate of embryonic stem (ES) cells. The histone H3K9 methyltransferase KMT1E, formerly known as ESET or Setdb1, is essential to embryonic development as the ablation of the Setdb1 gene results in peri-implantation lethality and prevents the propagation of ES cells. However, Setdb1-null blastocysts do not display global changes in H3K9 methylation or DNA methylation, arguing against a genome-wide defect. Here we show that conditional deletion of the Setdb1 gene in ES cells results in the upregulation of lineage differentiation markers, especially trophectoderm-specific factors, similar to effects observed upon loss of Oct3/4 expression in ES cells. We demonstrate that KMT1E deficiency in ES cells leads to a decrease in histone H3K9 methylation at and derepression of trophoblast-associated genes such as Cdx2. Furthermore, we find genes that are derepressed upon Setdb1 deletion to overlap with known targets of polycomb mediated repression, suggesting that KMT1E mediated H3K9 methylation acts in concert with polycomb controlled H3K27 methylation. Our studies thus demonstrate an essential role for KMT1E in the control of developmentally regulated gene expression programs in ES cells.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Stem Cells
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    ABSTRACT: Differential DNA methylation of the paternal and maternal alleles regulates the parental origin-specific expression of imprinted genes in mammals. The methylation imprints are established in male and female germ cells during gametogenesis, and the de novo DNA methyltransferase DNMT3A and its cofactor DNMT3L are required in this process. However, the mechanisms underlying locus- and parental-specific targeting of the de novo DNA methylation machinery in germline imprinting are poorly understood. Here we show that amine oxidase (flavin-containing) domain 1 (AOF1), a protein related to the lysine demethylase KDM1 (also known as LSD1), functions as a histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) demethylase and is required for de novo DNA methylation of some imprinted genes in oocytes. AOF1, now renamed lysine demethylase 1B (KDM1B) following a new nomenclature, is highly expressed in growing oocytes where genomic imprints are established. Targeted disruption of the gene encoding KDM1B had no effect on mouse development and oogenesis. However, oocytes from KDM1B-deficient females showed a substantial increase in H3K4 methylation and failed to set up the DNA methylation marks at four out of seven imprinted genes examined. Embryos derived from these oocytes showed biallelic expression or biallelic suppression of the affected genes and died before mid-gestation. Our results suggest that demethylation of H3K4 is critical for establishing the DNA methylation imprints during oogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: Post-translational modifications are well-known effectors in DNA damage signaling and epigenetic gene expression. Protein arginine methylation is a covalent modification that results in the addition of methyl groups to the nitrogen atoms of the arginine side chains and is catalyzed by a family of protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs). In the past, arginine methylation was mainly observed on abundant proteins such as RNA-binding proteins and histones, but recent advances have revealed a plethora of arginine-methylated proteins implicated in a variety of cellular processes including signal transduction, epigenetic regulation and DNA repair pathways. Herein, we discuss these recent advances, focusing on the role of PRMT1, the major asymmetric arginine methyltransferase, in cellular processes and its link to human diseases.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2009 · Pharmacological Research

Publication Stats

5k Citations
476.26 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011-2015
    • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
      • • Science Park - Research Division
      • • Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis
      Houston, Texas, United States
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics
      North Carolina, United States
  • 2004-2011
    • Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2009
    • Université de Montréal
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 1998-2006
    • McGill University
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2003
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2000
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
      Chicago, Illinois, United States