Yuhong Shi

University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (3)17.71 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a common endocrine neoplastic disorder caused by a failure of calcium sensing secondary to tumour development in one or more of the parathyroid glands. Parathyroid adenomas are comprised of distinct cellular subpopulations of variable clonal status that exhibit differing degrees of calcium responsiveness. To gain a clearer understanding of the relationship among cellular identity, tumour composition and clinical biochemistry in PHPT, we developed a novel single cell platform for quantitative evaluation of calcium sensing behaviour in freshly resected human parathyroid tumour cells. Live-cell intracellular calcium flux was visualized through Fluo-4-AM epifluorescence, followed by in situ immunofluorescence detection of the calcium sensing receptor (CASR), a central component in the extracellular calcium signalling pathway. The reactivity of individual parathyroid tumour cells to extracellular calcium stimulus was highly variable, with discrete kinetic response patterns observed both between and among parathyroid tumour samples. CASR abundance was not an obligate determinant of calcium responsiveness. Calcium EC50 values from a series of parathyroid adenomas revealed that the tumours segregated into two distinct categories. One group manifested a mean EC50 of 2.40 mM (95% CI: 2.37-2.41), closely aligned to the established normal range. The second group was less responsive to calcium stimulus, with a mean EC50 of 3.61 mM (95% CI: 3.45-3.95). This binary distribution indicates the existence of a previously unappreciated biochemical sub-classification of PHPT tumours, possibly reflecting distinct etiological mechanisms. Recognition of quantitative differences in calcium sensing could have important implications for the clinical management of PHPT.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Parathyroid adenomas (PAs) causing primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) are histologically heterogeneous yet have been historically viewed as largely monotypic entities arising from clonal expansion of a single transformed progenitor. Using flow cytometric analysis of resected adenomatous parathyroid glands, we have isolated and characterized chief cells, oxyphil cells, and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. The parathyroid chief and oxyphil cells produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), express the calcium-sensing receptor (CASR), and mobilize intracellular calcium in response to CASR activation. Parathyroid tumor infiltrating lymphocytes are T cells by immunophenotyping. Under normocalcemic conditions, oxyphil cells produce ∼50% more PTH than do chief cells, yet display significantly greater PTH suppression and calcium flux response to elevated calcium. In contrast, CASR expression and localization are equivalent in the respective parathyroid cell populations. Analysis of tumor clonality using X-linked inactivation assays in a patient-matched series of intact tumors, preparatively isolated oxyphil and chief cells, and laser-captured microdissected PA specimens demonstrate polyclonality in 5 of 14 cases. These data demonstrate the presence of functionally distinct oxyphil and chief cells within parathyroid primary adenomas and provide evidence that primary PA can arise by both clonal and polyclonal mechanisms. The clonal differences, biochemical activity, and relative abundance of these parathyroid adenoma subpopulations likely reflect distinct mechanisms of disease in PHPT.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms responsible for aberrant calcium signaling in parathyroid disease are poorly understood. The loss of appropriate calcium-responsive modulation of PTH secretion observed in parathyroid disease is commonly attributed to decreased expression of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR), a G protein-coupled receptor. However, CaSR expression is highly variable in parathyroid adenomas, and the lack of correlation between CaSR abundance and calcium-responsive PTH kinetics indicates that mechanisms independent of CaSR expression may contribute to aberrant calcium sensing in parathyroid disease. To gain a better understanding of parathyroid tumors and the molecular determinants that drive parathyroid adenoma development, we performed gene expression profiling on a panel of 64 normal and neoplastic parathyroid tissues. The microarray data revealed high-level expression of genes known to be involved in parathyroid biology (PTH, VDR, CGA, CaSR, and GCM2). Moreover, our screen identified regulator of G protein signaling 5 (RGS5) as a candidate inhibitor of CaSR signaling. We confirmed RGS5 to be highly expressed in parathyroid adenomas relative to matched-pair normal glands. Transient expression of RGS5 in cells stably expressing CaSR resulted in dose-dependent abrogation of calcium-stimulated inositol trisphosphate production and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Furthermore, we found that RGS5-nullizygous mice display reduced plasma PTH levels, an outcome consistent with attenuated opposition to CaSR activity. Collectively, these data suggest that RGS5 can act as a physiological regulator of calcium sensing by CaSR in the parathyroid gland. The abnormally elevated expression of RGS5 observed in parathyroid adenomas could thus represent a novel mechanism of CaSR desensitization in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Molecular Endocrinology

Publication Stats

22 Citations
17.71 Total Impact Points


  • 2014-2015
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      • Department of Surgery
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2011
    • Duke University Medical Center
      • Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy
      Durham, North Carolina, United States