Yizhen Lu

Zhejiang University, Hang-hsien, Zhejiang Sheng, China

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Publications (4)16.78 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified approximately three dozen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) consistently associated with prostate cancer (PCa) risk. Despite the reproducibility of these associations, the molecular mechanism for most of these SNPs has not been well elaborated as most lie within non-coding regions of the genome. Androgens play a key role in prostate carcinogenesis. Recently, using ChIP-on-chip technology, 22,447 androgen receptor (AR) binding sites have been mapped throughout the genome, greatly expanding the genomic regions potentially involved in androgen-mediated activity. To test the hypothesis that sequence variants in AR binding sites are associated with PCa risk, we performed a systematic evaluation among two existing PCa GWAS cohorts; the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) study population. We demonstrate that regions containing AR binding sites are significantly enriched for PCa risk-associated SNPs, that is, more than expected by chance alone. In addition, compared with the entire genome, these newly observed risk-associated SNPs in these regions are significantly more likely to overlap with established PCa risk-associated SNPs from previous GWAS. These results are consistent with our previous finding from a bioinformatics analysis that one-third of the 33 known PCa risk-associated SNPs discovered by GWAS are located in regions of the genome containing AR binding sites. The results to date provide novel statistical evidence suggesting an androgen-mediated mechanism by which some PCa associated SNPs act to influence PCa risk. However, these results are hypothesis generating and ultimately warrant testing through in-depth molecular analyses.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2012 · The Prostate
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    ABSTRACT: The species Brassica rapa includes various vegetable crops. Production of these vegetable crops is usually impaired by heat stress. Some microRNAs (miRNAs) in Arabidopsis have been considered to mediate gene silencing in plant response to abiotic stress. However, it remains unknown whether or what miRNAs play a role in heat resistance of B. rapa. To identify genomewide conserved and novel miRNAs that are responsive to heat stress in B. rapa, we defined temperature thresholds of non-heading Chinese cabbage (B. rapa ssp. chinensis) and constructed small RNA libraries from the seedlings that had been exposed to high temperature (46 °C) for 1 h. By deep sequencing and data analysis, we selected a series of conserved and novel miRNAs that responded to heat stress. In total, Chinese cabbage shares at least 35 conserved miRNA families with Arabidopsis thaliana. Among them, five miRNA families were responsive to heat stress. Northern hybridization and real-time PCR showed that the conserved miRNAs bra-miR398a and bra-miR398b were heat-inhibitive and guided heat response of their target gene, BracCSD1; and bra-miR156h and bra-miR156g were heat-induced and its putative target BracSPL2 was down-regulated. According to the criteria of miRNA and miRNA* that form a duplex, 21 novel miRNAs belonging to 19 miRNA families were predicted. Of these, four were identified to be heat-responsive by Northern blotting and/or expression analysis of the putative targets. The two novel miRNAs bra-miR1885b.3 and bra-miR5718 negatively regulated their putative target genes. 5′-Rapid amplification of cDNA ends PCR indicated that three novel miRNAs cleaved the transcripts of their target genes where their precursors may have evolved from. These results broaden our perspective on the important role of miRNA in plant responses to heat.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Journal of Experimental Botany
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms for the genome-wide association studies (GWAS)-identified prostate cancer (PCa) risk-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) remain largely unexplained. One recent finding that the PCa risk SNPs are enriched in genomic regions containing androgen receptor (AR)-binding sites has suggested altered AR signaling as a potentially important mechanism. To explore novel associations by leveraging this knowledge, we utilized a meta-analysis previously done over SNPs harbored in ChIP-on-chip identified AR-binding genomic regions using the GWAS data from the Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) and the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) study, and subsequently evaluated the top associations in a third population from the CAncer of the Prostate in Sweden (CAPS) study. One SNP (rs4919743: G>A), located at the KRT8 locus at 12q13.13 which encodes a keratin protein (K8) long used as a prostate epithelial malignancy marker and implicated in the tumorigenesis of several cancer types, was identified to be associated with PCa risk. The frequency of its minor "A" allele was consistently higher in PCa cases than in controls in all three study populations, with a combined OR of 1.22 (95% CI: 1.13-1.32) and an overall P value of 4.50 × 10(-7) (Bonferroni corrected, P = 0.006). We have identified a novel genetic locus that is associated with PCa risk. This study illustrated the great potential of prior biological knowledge in facilitating the search for novel disease-associated genetic loci. This finding warrants further replication in other studies.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of established prostate cancer (PCa) risk-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified from genome-wide association studies do not fall into protein coding regions. Therefore, the mechanisms by which these SNPs affect PCa risk remain unclear. Here, we used a series of bioinformatic tools and databases to provide possible molecular insights into the actions of risk SNPs. We performed a comprehensive assessment of the potential functional impact of 33 SNPs that were identified and confirmed as associated with PCa risk in previous studies. For these 33 SNPs and additional SNPs in linkage disequilibrium (LD) (r(2)  ≥ 0.5), we first mapped them to genomic functional annotation databases, including the encyclopedia of DNA elements (ENCODE), 11 genomic regulatory elements databases defined by the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) table browser, and androgen receptor (AR)-binding sites defined by a ChIP-chip technique. Enrichment analysis was then carried out to assess whether the risk SNP blocks were enriched in the various annotation sets. Risk SNP blocks were significantly enriched over that expected by chance in two annotation sets, including AR-binding sites (P = 0.003), and FoxA1-binding sites (P = 0.05). About one-third of the 33 risk SNP blocks are located within AR-binding regions. The significant enrichment of risk SNPs in AR-binding sites may suggest a potential molecular mechanism for these SNPs in PCa initiation, and provide guidance for future functional studies.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2011 · The Prostate

Publication Stats

109 Citations
16.78 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • Zhejiang University
      Hang-hsien, Zhejiang Sheng, China
  • 2011-2012
    • Fudan University
      • • State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering
      • • Fudan-VARI Center for Genetic Epidemiology
      Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China