Guo-Min Li

University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, United States

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Publications (50)346.06 Total impact

  • Guo-Min Li

    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Science China. Life sciences
  • Feng Li · Janice Ortega · Liya Gu · Guo-Min Li
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    ABSTRACT: DNA mismatch repair (MMR) protects genome integrity by correcting DNA replication-associated mispairs, modulating DNA damage-induced cell cycle checkpoints and regulating homeologous recombination. Loss of MMR function leads to cancer development. This review describes progress in understanding how MMR is carried out in the context of chromatin and how chromatin organization/compaction, epigenetic mechanisms and posttranslational modifications of MMR proteins influence and regulate MMR in eukaryotic cells.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · DNA repair
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    ABSTRACT: The human DNA glycosylase NEIL1 was recently demonstrated to initiate pre-replicative base excision repair (BER) of oxidized bases in the replicating genome, thus preventing mutagenic replication. A significant fraction of NEIL1 in cells is present in large cellular complexes containing DNA replication and other repair proteins, as shown by gel filtration. However, how NEIL1's interaction affects its recruitment to the replication site for prereplicative repair was not investigated. Here we show that NEIL1 binarily interacts with the PCNA clamp loader, replication factor C (RFC), DNA polymerase δ (Polδ) and DNA ligase I (LigI) in the absence of DNA via its non-conserved C-terminal domain (CTD); RFC interaction results in 8-fold stimulation of NEIL1's activity. Disruption of NEIL1's interactions within the BERosome complex, as observed for a NEIL1 deletion mutant (N311) lacking the CTD not only inhibits complete base excision repair (BER) in vitro, but also prevents its chromatin association and reduced recruitment at replication foci in S-phase cells. This suggests that NEIL1's interaction with replication and other BER proteins is required for efficient repair of the replicating genome. Consistently, the CTD polypeptide acts as a dominant negative inhibitor during in vitro repair, and its ectopic expression sensitizes human cells to reactive oxygen species. We conclude that multiple interactions among BER proteins lead to large complexes, which are critical for efficient BER in mammalian cells, and the CTD interaction could be targeted for enhancing drug/radiation sensitivity of tumor cells. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Both genotoxic and non-genotoxic chemicals can act as carcinogens. However, while genotoxic compounds lead directly to mutations that promote unregulated cell growth, the mechanism by which non-genotoxic carcinogens lead to cellular transformation is poorly understood. Using a model non-genotoxic carcinogen, arsenic, we show here that exposure to arsenic inhibits mismatch repair (MMR) in human cells, possibly through its ability to stimulate epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-dependent tyrosine-phosphorylation of proliferating cellular nuclear antigen (PCNA). HeLa cells exposed to exogenous arsenic demonstrate a dose- and time-dependent increase in the levels of EGFR and tyrosine 211 phosphorylated PCNA. Cell extracts derived from arsenic-treated HeLa cells are defective in MMR, and unphosphorylated recombinant PCNA restores normal MMR activity to these extracts. These results suggest a model in which arsenic induces expression of EGFR, which in turn phosphorylates PCNA, and phosphorylated PCNA then inhibits MMR, leading to increased susceptibility to carcinogenesis. This study suggests a putative novel mechanism of action for arsenic and other non-genotoxic carcinogens. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: MutS protein homolog 2 (MSH2) is a key DNA mismatch repair protein. It forms the MSH2-MSH6 (MutSα) and MSH2-MSH3 (MutSβ) heterodimers, which help to ensure genomic integrity. MutSα not only recognizes and repairs mismatched nucleotides but also recognizes DNA adducts induced by DNA-damaging agents, and triggers cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. Loss or depletion of MutSα from cells leads to microsatellite instability (MSI) and resistance to DNA damage. Although the level of MutSα can be reduced by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, the detailed mechanisms of this regulation remain elusive. Here we report that histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) sequentially deacetylates and ubiquitinates MSH2, leading to MSH2 degradation. In addition, HDAC6 significantly reduces cellular sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents and decreases cellular DNA mismatch repair activities by downregulation of MSH2. Overall, these findings reveal a mechanism by which proper levels of MutSα are maintained.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Molecular Cell
  • Guo-Min Li
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    ABSTRACT: DNA mismatch repair (MMR) maintains genome stability primarily by repairing DNA replication-associated mispairs. Because loss of MMR function increases the mutation frequency genome-wide, defects in this pathway predispose affected individuals to cancer. The genes encoding essential eukaryotic MMR activities have been identified, as the recombinant proteins repair 'naked' heteroduplex DNA in vitro. However, the reconstituted system is inactive on nucleosome-containing heteroduplex DNA, and it is not understood how MMR occurs in vivo. Recent studies suggest that chromatin organization, nucleosome assembly/disassembly factors and histone modifications regulate MMR in eukaryotic cells, but the complexity and importance of the interaction between MMR and chromatin remodeling has only recently begun to be appreciated. This article reviews recent progress in understanding the mechanism of eukaryotic MMR in the context of chromatin structure and dynamics, considers the implications of these recent findings and discusses unresolved questions and challenges in understanding eukaryotic MMR.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · DNA repair
  • Guo-Min Li

    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2014
  • Guo-Min Li
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    ABSTRACT: DNA mismatch repair (MMR) maintains genome stability primarily by correcting replication-associated mismatches. Defects in MMR lead to several human cancers characterized by frequent alterations in simple repetitive DNA sequences, a phenomenon called microsatellite instability (MSI). In most MSI-positive cancers, genetic or epigenetic changes that alter the function or expression of an essential MMR protein have been identified. However, in a subset of MSI-positive cancers, epigenetic or genetic changes have not been found in known MMR genes, such that the molecular basis of the MMR defect in these cells remains unknown. A possible answer to this puzzle emerged recently when it was discovered that H3K36me3, a well-studied posttranslational histone modification or histone mark, plays a role in regulating human MMR in vivo. In this review, potential roles for this histone mark to modulate genome stability and cancer susceptibility in human cells are discussed. Cancer Res; 73(21); 1-5. ©2013 AACR.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: The Huntington's disease gene (HTT) CAG repeat mutation undergoes somatic expansion that correlates with pathogenesis. Modifiers of somatic expansion may therefore provide routes for therapies targeting the underlying mutation, an approach that is likely applicable to other trinucleotide repeat diseases. Huntington's disease Hdh(Q111) mice exhibit higher levels of somatic HTT CAG expansion on a C57BL/6 genetic background (B6.Hdh(Q111) ) than on a 129 background (129.Hdh(Q111) ). Linkage mapping in (B6x129).Hdh(Q111) F2 intercross animals identified a single quantitative trait locus underlying the strain-specific difference in expansion in the striatum, implicating mismatch repair (MMR) gene Mlh1 as the most likely candidate modifier. Crossing B6.Hdh(Q111) mice onto an Mlh1 null background demonstrated that Mlh1 is essential for somatic CAG expansions and that it is an enhancer of nuclear huntingtin accumulation in striatal neurons. Hdh(Q111) somatic expansion was also abolished in mice deficient in the Mlh3 gene, implicating MutLγ (MLH1-MLH3) complex as a key driver of somatic expansion. Strikingly, Mlh1 and Mlh3 genes encoding MMR effector proteins were as critical to somatic expansion as Msh2 and Msh3 genes encoding DNA mismatch recognition complex MutSβ (MSH2-MSH3). The Mlh1 locus is highly polymorphic between B6 and 129 strains. While we were unable to detect any difference in base-base mismatch or short slipped-repeat repair activity between B6 and 129 MLH1 variants, repair efficiency was MLH1 dose-dependent. MLH1 mRNA and protein levels were significantly decreased in 129 mice compared to B6 mice, consistent with a dose-sensitive MLH1-dependent DNA repair mechanism underlying the somatic expansion difference between these strains. Together, these data identify Mlh1 and Mlh3 as novel critical genetic modifiers of HTT CAG instability, point to Mlh1 genetic variation as the likely source of the instability difference in B6 and 129 strains and suggest that MLH1 protein levels play an important role in driving of the efficiency of somatic expansions.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · PLoS Genetics
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    Xi Chen · Yong Zhao · Guo-Min Li · Lin Guo
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    ABSTRACT: Mediating DNA damage-induced apoptosis is an important genome-maintenance function of the mismatch repair (MMR) system. Defects in MMR not only cause carcinogenesis, but also render cancer cells highly resistant to chemotherapeutics, including alkylating agents. To understand the mechanisms of MMR-mediated apoptosis and MMR-deficiency-caused drug resistance, we analyze a model alkylating agent (N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, MNNG)-induced changes in protein phosphorylation and abundance in two cell lines, the MMR-proficient TK6 and its derivative MMR-deficient MT1. Under an experimental condition that MNNG-induced apoptosis was only observed in MutSa-proficient (TK6), but not in MutSa-deficient (MT1) cells, quantitative analysis of the proteomic data revealed differential expression and phosphorylation of numerous individual proteins and clusters of protein kinase substrates, as well differential activation of response pathways/networks in MNNG-treated TK6 and MT1 cells. Many alterations in TK6 cells are in favor of turning on the apoptotic machinery, while many of those in MT1 cells are to promote cell proliferation and anti-apoptosis. Our work provides novel molecular insights into the mechanism of MMR-mediated DNA damage-induced apoptosis.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Cell and Bioscience
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    ABSTRACT: Base oxidation by endogenous and environmentally induced reactive oxygen species preferentially occurs in replicating single-stranded templates in mammalian genomes, warranting prereplicative repair of the mutagenic base lesions. It is not clear how such lesions (which, unlike bulky adducts, do not block replication) are recognized for repair. Furthermore, strand breaks caused by base excision from ssDNA by DNA glycosylases, including Nei-like (NEIL) 1, would generate double-strand breaks during replication, which are not experimentally observed. NEIL1, whose deficiency causes a mutator phenotype and is activated during the S phase, is present in the DNA replication complex isolated from human cells, with enhanced association with DNA in S-phase cells and colocalization with replication foci containing DNA replication proteins. Furthermore, NEIL1 binds to 5-hydroxyuracil, the oxidative deamination product of C, in replication protein A-coated ssDNA template and inhibits DNA synthesis by DNA polymerase δ. We postulate that, upon encountering an oxidized base during replication, NEIL1 initiates prereplicative repair by acting as a "cowcatcher" and preventing nascent chain growth. Regression of the stalled replication fork, possibly mediated by annealing helicases, then allows lesion repair in the reannealed duplex. This model is supported by our observations that NEIL1, whose deficiency slows nascent chain growth in oxidatively stressed cells, is stimulated by replication proteins in vitro. Furthermore, deficiency of the closely related NEIL2 alone does not affect chain elongation, but combined NEIL1/2 deficiency further inhibits DNA replication. These results support a mechanism of NEIL1-mediated prereplicative repair of oxidized bases in the replicating strand, with NEIL2 providing a backup function.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    Feng Li · Guogen Mao · Dan Tong · Jian Huang · Liya Gu · Wei Yang · Guo-Min Li
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    ABSTRACT: DNA mismatch repair (MMR) ensures replication fidelity by correcting mismatches generated during DNA replication. Although human MMR has been reconstituted in vitro, how MMR occurs in vivo is unknown. Here, we show that an epigenetic histone mark, H3K36me3, is required in vivo to recruit the mismatch recognition protein hMutSα (hMSH2-hMSH6) onto chromatin through direct interactions with the hMSH6 PWWP domain. The abundance of H3K36me3 in G1 and early S phases ensures that hMutSα is enriched on chromatin before mispairs are introduced during DNA replication. Cells lacking the H3K36 trimethyltransferase SETD2 display microsatellite instability (MSI) and an elevated spontaneous mutation frequency, characteristic of MMR-deficient cells. This work reveals that a histone mark regulates MMR in human cells and explains the long-standing puzzle of MSI-positive cancer cells that lack detectable mutations in known MMR genes.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Cell
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    ABSTRACT: Expansion of CAG/CTG trinucleotide repeats causes certain familial neurological disorders. Hairpin formation in the nascent strand during DNA synthesis is considered a major path for CAG/CTG repeat expansion. However, the underlying mechanism is unclear. We show here that removal or retention of a nascent strand hairpin during DNA synthesis depends on hairpin structures and types of DNA polymerases. Polymerase (pol) δ alone removes the 3'-slipped hairpin using its 3'-5' proofreading activity when the hairpin contains no immediate 3' complementary sequences. However, in the presence of pol β, pol δ preferentially facilitates hairpin retention regardless of hairpin structures. In this reaction, pol β incorporates several nucleotides to the hairpin 3' end, which serves as an effective primer for the continuous DNA synthesis by pol δ, thereby leading to hairpin retention and repeat expansion. These findings strongly suggest that coordinated processing of 3'-slipped (CAG)n/(CTG)n hairpins by polymerases δ and β on during DNA synthesis induces CAG/CTG repeat expansions.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • Liya Gu · Charles M Ensor · Guo-Min Li
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    ABSTRACT: The in vitro DNA mismatch repair (MMR) assay is a very useful technique for studying the functions and the mechanisms of the MMR system in genome maintenance. This assay has been effectively used to evaluate MMR proficiency in various tumor cells and to identify the majority of the protein components required for MMR. The procedure for setting up and performing the MMR assay involves mismatch substrate preparation, cell extract preparation, and the repair assay. In this chapter, we describe the detailed methods for this functional in vitro assay.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
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    ABSTRACT: Expansion of CAG/CTG repeats causes certain neurological and neurodegenerative disorders, and the formation and subsequent persistence of stable DNA hairpins within these repeats are believed to contribute to CAG/CTG repeat instability. Human cells possess a DNA hairpin repair (HPR) pathway, which removes various (CAG)(n) and (CTG)(n) hairpins in a nick-directed and strand-specific manner. Interestingly, this HPR system processes a (CTG)(n) hairpin on the template DNA strand much less efficiently than a (CAG)(n) hairpin on the same strand (Hou, C., Chan, N. L., Gu, L., and Li, G. M. (2009) Incision-dependent and error-free repair of (CAG)(n)/(CTG)(n) hairpins in human cell extracts. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 16, 869-875), suggesting the involvement of an additional component for (CTG)(n) HPR. To identify this activity, a functional in vitro HPR assay was used to screen partially purified HeLa nuclear fractions for their ability to stimulate (CTG)(n) HPR. We demonstrate here that the stimulating activity is the Werner syndrome protein (WRN). Although WRN contains both a 3'→5' helicase activity and a 3'→5' exonuclease activity, the stimulating activity was found to be the helicase activity, as a WRN helicase mutant failed to enhance (CTG)(n) HPR. Consistently, WRN efficiently unwound large (CTG)(n) hairpins and promoted DNA polymerase δ-catalyzed DNA synthesis using a (CTG)(n) hairpin as a template. We, therefore, conclude that WRN stimulates (CTG)(n) HPR on the template DNA strand by resolving the hairpin so that it can be efficiently used as a template for repair or replicative synthesis.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: The hMSH2(M688R) mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutation has been found in five large families from Tenerife, Spain, suggesting it is a Lynch syndrome or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (LS/HNPCC) founder mutation. In addition to classical LS/HNPCC tumors, these families present with a high incidence of central nervous system (CNS) tumors normally associated with Turcot or constitutional mismatch repair deficiency (CMMR-D) syndromes. Turcot and CMMR-D mutations may be biallelic, knocking out both copies of the MMR gene. The hMSH2(M688R) mutation is located in the ATP hydrolysis (ATPase) domain. We show that the hMSH2(M688R)-hMSH6 heterodimer binds to mismatched nucleotides but lacks normal ATP functions and inhibits MMR in vitro when mixed with the wild-type (WT) heterodimer. Another alteration that has been associated with LS/HNPCC, hMSH2(M688I)-hMSH6, displays no identifiable differences with the WT heterodimer. Interestingly, some extracolonic tumors from hMSH2(M688R) carriers may express hMSH2-hMSH6, yet display microsatellite instability (MSI). The functional analysis along with variability in tumor expression and the high incidence of CNS tumors suggests that hMSH2(M688R) may act as a dominant negative in some tissues, while the hMSH2(M688I) is most likely a benign polymorphism.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Carcinogenesis
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    Guo-Min Li
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT: The fidelity of the genome is under constant threat by exogenous and endogenous reactive species, including toxic chemicals, ionizing radiation and byproducts of normal cellular metabolism. These species cause damage to DNA by modifying DNA bases, breaking DNA strands and/or altering DNA structures. When this happens, the consequences to the cell can be disastrous, ranging from single gene mutations to massive chromosomal breakdown and rearrangements. These instabilities lead to severe human diseases including cancer.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Cell and Bioscience
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    Tianyi Zhang · Jian Huang · Liya Gu · Guo-Min Li
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    ABSTRACT: Expansion of CAG/CTG trinucleotide repeats (TNRs) in humans is associated with a number of neurological and neurodegenerative disorders including Huntington's disease. Increasing evidence suggests that formation of a stable DNA hairpin within CAG/CTG repeats during DNA metabolism leads to TNR instability. However, the molecular mechanism by which cells recognize and repair CAG/CTG hairpins is largely unknown. Recent studies have identified a novel DNA repair pathway specifically removing (CAG)(n)/(CTG)(n) hairpins, which is considered a major mechanism responsible for TNR instability. The hairpin repair (HPR) system targets the repeat tracts for incisions in the nicked strand in an error-free manner. To determine the substrate spectrum of the HPR system and its ability to process smaller hairpins, which may be the intermediates for CAG/CTG expansions, we constructed a series of CAG/CTG hairpin heteroduplexes containing different numbers of repeats (from 5 to 25) and examined their repair in human nuclear extracts. We show here that although repair efficiencies differ slightly among these substrates, removal of the individual hairpin structures all involve endonucleolytic incisions within the repeat tracts in the nicked DNA strand. Analysis of the repair intermediates defined specific incision sites for each substrate, which were all located within the repeat regions. Mismatch repair proteins are not required for, nor do they inhibit, the processing of smaller hairpin structures. These results suggest that the HPR system ensures CAG/CTG stability primarily by removing various sizes of (CAG)(n)/(CTG)(n) hairpin structures during DNA metabolism.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · DNA repair
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    Guogen Mao · Sanghee Lee · Janice Ortega · Liya Gu · Guo-Min Li
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are critical post-transcriptional regulators and are derived from hairpin-shaped primary transcripts via a series of processing steps. However, how the production of individual miRNAs is regulated remains largely unknown. Similarly, loss or overexpression of the key mismatch repair protein MutLα (MLH1-PMS2 heterodimer) leads to genome instability and tumorigenesis, but the mechanisms controlling MutLα expression are unknown. Here we demonstrate in vitro and in vivo that MLH1 and miR-422a participate in a feedback loop that regulates the level of both molecules. Using a defined in-vitro miRNA processing system, we show that MutLα stimulates the conversion of pri-miR-422a to pre-miR-422a, as well as the processing of other miRNAs tested, implicating MutLα as a general stimulating factor for miRNA biogenesis. This newly identified MutLα function requires its ATPase and pri-miRNA binding activities. In contrast, miR-422a downregulates MutLα levels by suppressing MLH1 expression through base pairing with the MLH1 3'-untranslated region. A model depicting this feedback mechanism is discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Cell Research
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    ABSTRACT: Acrolein (Acr), a ubiquitous environmental contaminant, is a human carcinogen. Acr can react with DNA to form mutagenic α- and γ-hydroxy-1, N(2)-cyclic propano-2'-deoxyguanosine adducts (α-OH-Acr-dG and γ-OH-Acr-dG). We demonstrate here that Acr-dG adducts can be efficiently repaired by the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway in normal human bronchial epithelia (NHBE) and lung fibroblasts (NHLF). However, the same adducts were poorly processed in cell lysates isolated from Acr-treated NHBE and NHLF, suggesting that Acr inhibits NER. In addition, we show that Acr treatment also inhibits base excision repair and mismatch repair. Although Acr does not change the expression of XPA, XPC, hOGG1, PMS2 or MLH1 genes, it causes a reduction of XPA, XPC, hOGG1, PMS2, and MLH1 proteins; this effect, however, can be neutralized by the proteasome inhibitor MG132. Acr treatment further enhances both bulky and oxidative DNA damage-induced mutagenesis. These results indicate that Acr not only damages DNA but can also modify DNA repair proteins and further causes degradation of these modified repair proteins. We propose that these two detrimental effects contribute to Acr mutagenicity and carcinogenicity.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Journal of Biological Chemistry

Publication Stats

2k Citations
346.06 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002-2015
    • University of Kentucky
      • • Graduate Center for Toxicology
      • • Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
      Lexington, Kentucky, United States
  • 2012
    • Wuhan University
      Wu-han-shih, Hubei, China