Publications by authors named "Rainer B Lanz"

46 Publications

Constitutive expression of progesterone receptor isoforms promotes the development of hormone-dependent ovarian neoplasms.

Sci Signal 2020 10 6;13(652). Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.

Differences in the relative abundances of the progesterone receptor (PGR) isoforms PGRA and PGRB are often observed in women with reproductive tract cancers. To assess the importance of the PGR isoform ratio in the maintenance of the reproductive tract, we generated mice that overexpress PGRA or PGRB in all PGR-positive tissues. Whereas few PGRA-overexpressing mice developed reproductive tract tumors, all PGRB-overexpressing mice developed ovarian neoplasms that were derived from ovarian luteal cells. Transcriptomic analyses of the ovarian tumors from PGRB-overexpressing mice revealed enhanced AKT signaling and a gene expression signature similar to those of human ovarian and endometrial cancers. Treating PGRB-overexpressing mice with the PGR antagonist RU486 stalled tumor growth and decreased the expression of cell cycle-associated genes, indicating that tumor growth and cell proliferation were hormone dependent in addition to being isoform dependent. Analysis of the PGRB cistrome identified binding events at genes encoding proteins that are critical regulators of mitotic phase entry. This work suggests a mechanism whereby an increase in the abundance of PGRB relative to that of PGRA drives neoplasia in vivo by stimulating cell cycling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aaz9646DOI Listing
October 2020

Early growth response 1 transcriptionally primes the human endometrial stromal cell for decidualization.

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2019 05 31;189:283-290. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX, United States. Electronic address:

Mouse studies support a role for endometrial early growth response 1 (EGR1) in uterine receptivity and decidualization, which are processes controlled by estrogen and progesterone. However, the importance of this transcription factor in similar cellular processes in human is unclear. Analysis of clinical samples indicate that endometrial EGR1 levels are decreased in the endometrium of women with recurrent implantation failure, suggesting that tight control of EGR1 levels are necessary for normal endometrial function. Therefore, we used siRNA-mediated knockdown of EGR1 expression in cultured human endometrial stromal cells (hESCs) to assess the functional role of EGR1 in hESC decidualization. Protein expression studies revealed that EGR1 is highly expressed in pre-decidual hESCs. However, EGR1 protein levels rapidly decrease following administration of an established deciduogenic hormone stimulus containing estradiol, medroxyprogesterone acetate, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate. Intriguingly, EGR1 knockdown in pre-decidual hESCs blocks the ability of these cells to decidualize later, indicating that EGR1 is required to transcriptionally program pre-decidual hESCs for decidualization. Support for this proposal comes from the analysis of transcriptome and cistrome datasets, which shows that EGR1 target genes are primarily involved in transcriptional regulation, cell signaling, and proliferation. Collectively, our studies provide translational support for an evolutionary conserved role for human endometrial stromal EGR1 in the early events of pregnancy establishment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsbmb.2019.01.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566904PMC
May 2019

FOXO1 regulates uterine epithelial integrity and progesterone receptor expression critical for embryo implantation.

PLoS Genet 2018 11 19;14(11):e1007787. Epub 2018 Nov 19.

Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, United States of America.

Successful embryo implantation requires a receptive endometrium. Poor uterine receptivity can account for implantation failure in women who experience recurrent pregnancy loss or multiple rounds of unsuccessful in vitro fertilization cycles. Here, we demonstrate that the transcription factor Forkhead Box O1 (FOXO1) is a critical regulator of endometrial receptivity in vivo. Uterine ablation of Foxo1 using the progesterone receptor Cre (PgrCre) mouse model resulted in infertility due to altered epithelial cell polarity and apoptosis, preventing the embryo from penetrating the luminal epithelium. Analysis of the uterine transcriptome after Foxo1 ablation identified alterations in gene expression for transcripts involved in the activation of cell invasion, molecular transport, apoptosis, β-catenin (CTNNB1) signaling pathway, and an increase in PGR signaling. The increase of PGR signaling was due to PGR expression being retained in the uterine epithelium during the window of receptivity. Constitutive expression of epithelial PGR during this receptive period inhibited expression of FOXO1 in the nucleus of the uterine epithelium. The reciprocal expression of PGR and FOXO1 was conserved in human endometrial samples during the proliferative and secretory phase. This demonstrates that expression of FOXO1 and the loss of PGR during the window of receptivity are interrelated and critical for embryo implantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1007787DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6277115PMC
November 2018

SOX17 regulates uterine epithelial-stromal cross-talk acting via a distal enhancer upstream of Ihh.

Nat Commun 2018 10 24;9(1):4421. Epub 2018 Oct 24.

Reproductive and Development Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.

Mammalian pregnancy depends on the ability of the uterus to support embryo implantation. Previous studies reveal the Sox17 gene as a downstream target of the Pgr-Gata2-dependent transcription network that directs genomic actions in the uterine endometrium receptive for embryo implantation. Here, we report that ablating Sox17 in the uterine epithelium impairs leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and Indian hedgehog homolog (IHH) signaling, leading to failure of embryo implantation. In vivo deletion of the SOX17-binding region 19 kb upstream of the Ihh locus by CRISPR-Cas technology reduces Ihh expression specifically in the uterus and alters proper endometrial epithelial-stromal interactions, thereby impairing pregnancy. This SOX17-binding interval is also bound by GATA2, FOXA2, and PGR. This cluster of transcription factor binding is common in 737 uterine genes and may represent a key regulatory element essential for uterine epithelial gene expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06652-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6200785PMC
October 2018

Retinoid signaling controlled by SRC-2 in decidualization revealed by transcriptomics

Reproduction 2018 10 16;156(5):387-395. Epub 2018 Oct 16.

Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

Establishment of a successful pregnancy requires not only implantation of a healthy embryo into a receptive uterus but also progesterone receptor (PGR)-dependent transformation of endometrial stromal cells (ESCs) into specialized decidual cells. Decidual cells support the developing embryo and are critical for placentation. We have previously shown that a known transcriptional coregulator of the PGR, steroid receptor coactivator-2 (SRC-2), is a critical driver of endometrial decidualization in both human and mouse endometrium. However, the full spectrum of genes transcriptionally controlled by SRC-2 in decidualizing ESCs has not been identified. Therefore, using an RNA- and chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing approach, we have identified the transcriptome of decidualizing human ESCs (hESCs) that requires SRC-2. We revealed that the majority of hESC genes regulated by SRC-2 are associated with decidualization. Over 50% of SRC-2-regulated genes are also controlled by the PGR. While ontology analysis showed that SRC-2-dependent genes are functionally linked to signaling processes known to underpin hESC decidualization, cell membrane processes were significantly enriched in this analysis. Follow-up studies showed that retinoid signaling is dependent on SRC-2 during hESC decidualization. Specifically, SRC-2 is required for full induction of the retinol transporter, stimulated by retinoic acid 6 (STRA6), which is essential for hESC decidualization. Together our findings show that a critical subset of genes transcriptionally reprogramed by PGR during hESC decidualization requires SRC-2. Among the multiple genes, pathways and networks that are dependent on SRC-2 during hESC decidualization, first-line analysis supports a critical role for this coregulator in maintaining retinoid signaling during progesterone-driven decidualization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/REP-18-0282DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6208442PMC
October 2018

Steroid Receptor Coactivator-2 Controls the Pentose Phosphate Pathway through RPIA in Human Endometrial Cancer Cells.

Sci Rep 2018 09 3;8(1):13134. Epub 2018 Sep 3.

Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

Steroid receptor coactivator-2 (SRC-2) is a transcriptional coregulator that modulates the activity of many transcription factors. Levels of SRC-2 are elevated in endometrial biopsies from polycystic ovary syndrome patients, a population predisposed to endometrial cancer (EC). Increased expression of SRC-2 is also detected in neoplastic endometrium suggesting a causal link between elevated SRC-2 expression and the emergence of endometrial disorders that can lead to cancer. Here, we reveal that SRC-2 knockdown reduces EC cell proliferation and anchorage-independence. Additionally, SRC-2 is required to maintain cellular glycolytic capacity and oxidative phosphorylation, processes essential for EC cell proliferation. Importantly, SRC-2 is critical for the normal performance of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). Perturbation of the PPP due to loss of SRC-2 expression may result from the depletion of ribose-5-P isomerase (RPIA), a key enzyme of the PPP. As with SRC-2, RPIA knockdown reduces EC cell proliferation, which is accompanied by a decrease in glycolytic capacity and oxidative phosphorylation. Glucose metabolite tracking experiments confirmed that knockdown of SRC-2 and RPIA downregulates the metabolic rate of both glycolysis and the PPP, highlighting a novel regulatory cross-talk between glycolysis and the PPP modulated by SRC-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31372-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6120906PMC
September 2018

Maf1 and Repression of RNA Polymerase III-Mediated Transcription Drive Adipocyte Differentiation.

Cell Rep 2018 08;24(7):1852-1864

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address:

RNA polymerase (pol) III transcribes a variety of small untranslated RNAs involved in transcription, RNA processing, and translation. RNA pol III and its components are altered in various human developmental disorders, yet their roles in cell fate determination and development are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that Maf1, a transcriptional repressor, promotes induction of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) into mesoderm. Reduced Maf1 expression in mESCs and preadipocytes impairs adipogenesis, while ectopic Maf1 expression in Maf1-deficient cells enhances differentiation. RNA pol III repression by chemical inhibition or knockdown of Brf1 promotes adipogenesis. Altered RNA pol III-dependent transcription produces select changes in mRNAs with a significant enrichment of adipogenic gene signatures. Furthermore, RNA pol III-mediated transcription positively regulates long non-coding RNA H19 and Wnt6 expression, established adipogenesis inhibitors. Together, these studies reveal an important and unexpected function for RNA pol III-mediated transcription and Maf1 in mesoderm induction and adipocyte differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2018.07.046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6138453PMC
August 2018

SRC-3 Coactivator Governs Dynamic Estrogen-Induced Chromatin Looping Interactions during Transcription.

Mol Cell 2018 05;70(4):679-694.e7

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Electronic address:

Enhancers are thought to activate transcription by physically contacting promoters via looping. However, direct assays demonstrating these contacts are required to mechanistically verify such cellular determinants of enhancer function. Here, we present versatile cell-free assays to further determine the role of enhancer-promoter contacts (EPCs). We demonstrate that EPC is linked to mutually stimulatory transcription at the enhancer and promoter in vitro. SRC-3 was identified as a critical looping determinant for the estradiol-(E2)-regulated GREB1 locus. Surprisingly, the GREB1 enhancer and promoter contact two internal gene body SRC-3 binding sites, GBS1 and GBS2, which stimulate their transcription. Utilizing time-course 3C assays, we uncovered SRC-3-dependent dynamic chromatin interactions involving the enhancer, promoter, GBS1, and GBS2. Collectively, these data suggest that the enhancer and promoter remain "poised" for transcription via their contacts with GBS1 and GBS2. Upon E2 induction, GBS1 and GBS2 disengage from the enhancer, allowing direct EPC for active transcription.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2018.04.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5966282PMC
May 2018

Human endometrial stromal cell decidualization requires transcriptional reprogramming by PLZF.

Biol Reprod 2018 01;98(1):15-27

Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas, USA.

Infertility and early embryo miscarriage is linked to inadequate endometrial decidualization. Although transcriptional reprogramming is known to drive decidualization in response to progesterone, the key signaling effectors that directly mediate this hormone response are not fully known. This knowledge gap is clinically significant because identifying the early signals that directly mediate progesterone-driven decidualization will address some of the current limitations in diagnosing and therapeutically treating patients at most risk for early pregnancy loss. We recently revealed that the promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF) is a direct target of the progesterone receptor and is essential for decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells (hESCs). The purpose of this current work was to identify the genome-wide transcriptional program that is controlled by PLZF during hESC decidualization using an established in vitro hESC culture model, siRNA-mediated knockdown methods, and RNA-sequencing technology followed by bioinformatic analysis and validation. We discovered that PLZF is critical in the regulation of genes that are involved in cellular processes that are essential for the archetypal morphological and functional changes that occur when hESCs transform into epithelioid decidual cells such as proliferation and cell motility. We predict that the transcriptome datasets identified in this study will not only contribute to a broader understanding of PLZF-dependent endometrial decidualization at the molecular level but may advance the development of more effective molecular diagnostics and therapeutics for the clinical management of female infertility and subfertility that is based on a dysfunctional endometrium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biolre/iox161DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5819842PMC
January 2018

Temporal-Spatial Establishment of Initial Niche for the Primary Spermatogonial Stem Cell Formation Is Determined by an ARID4B Regulatory Network.

Stem Cells 2017 06 16;35(6):1554-1565. Epub 2017 Mar 16.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.

During neonatal testis development, centrally located gonocytes migrate to basement membrane of the seminiferous cords, where physical contact with a niche established by Sertoli cells is essential for transition of gonocytes into spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). To provide structural support and signaling stimuli for the gonocyte-to-SSC transition that occurs at a specific location during a finite phase, temporal-spatial establishment of the niche is critical. To date, the factors that guide Sertoli cells to establish the initial stem cell niche remain largely unknown. Using the Sertoli cell-specific Arid4b knockout (Arid4bSCKO) mice, we demonstrated that ablation of AT-rich interaction domain 4B (ARID4B) resulted in abnormal detachment of Sertoli cells from the basement membrane of seminiferous cords during the gonocyte-to-SSC transition phase, suggesting failure to establish a niche for the SSC formation. Without support by a niche environment, gonocytes showed disarranged cell distribution in the Arid4bSCKO testes and underwent apoptosis. The commitment of gonocytes to differentiate into the spermatogonial lineage was broken and the capability of SSCs to self-renew and differentiate was also impaired. Gene expression profiling revealed the molecular mechanisms responsible for the phenotypic changes in the Arid4bSCKO testes, by identifying genes important for stem cell niche function as downstream effectors of ARID4B, including genes that encode gap junction protein alpha-1, KIT ligand, anti-Müllerian hormone, Glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor, inhibin alpha, inhibin beta, and cytochrome P450 family 26 subfamily b polypeptide 1. Our results identified ARID4B as a master regulator of a signaling network that governs the establishment of a niche during the critical gonocyte-to-SSC transition phase to control the fate of gonocytes and SSCs. Stem Cells 2017;35:1554-1565.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.2597DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5743547PMC
June 2017

Decreased epithelial progesterone receptor A at the window of receptivity is required for preparation of the endometrium for embryo attachment.

Biol Reprod 2017 02;96(2):313-326

Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

The precise timing of progesterone signaling through its cognate receptor, the progesterone receptor (PGR), is critical for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. Loss of PGR expression in the murine uterine epithelium during the preimplantation period is a marker for uterine receptivity and embryo attachment. We hypothesized that the decrease in progesterone receptor A (PGRA) expression is necessary for successful embryo implantation. To test this hypothesis, a mouse model constitutively expressing PGRA (mPgrALsL/+) was generated. Expression of PGRA in all uterine compartments (Pgrcre) or uterine epithelium (Wnt7acre) resulted in infertility with defects in embryo attachment and stromal decidualization. Expression of critical PGRA target genes, indian hedgehog, and amphiregulin (Areg), was maintained through the window of receptivity while the estrogen receptor target gene, the leukemia inhibitory factor (Lif), a key regulator of embryo receptivity, was decreased. Transcriptomic and cistromic analyses of the mouse uterus at day 4.5 of pregnancy identified an altered group of genes regulating molecular transport in the control of fluid and ion levels within the uterine interstitial space. Additionally, LIF and its cognate receptor, the leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR), exhibited PGR-binding events in regions upstream of the transcriptional start sites, suggesting PGRA is inhibiting transcription at these loci. Therefore, downregulation of the PGRA isoform at the window of receptivity is necessary for the attenuation of hedgehog signaling, transcriptional activation of LIF signaling, and modulation of solutes and fluid, producing a receptive environment for the attaching embryo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.116.144410DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6225975PMC
February 2017

A Gata2-Dependent Transcription Network Regulates Uterine Progesterone Responsiveness and Endometrial Function.

Cell Rep 2016 10;17(5):1414-1425

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA. Electronic address:

Altered progesterone responsiveness leads to female infertility and cancer, but underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Mice with uterine-specific ablation of GATA binding protein 2 (Gata2) are infertile, showing failures in embryo implantation, endometrial decidualization, and uninhibited estrogen signaling. Gata2 deficiency results in reduced progesterone receptor (PGR) expression and attenuated progesterone signaling, as evidenced by genome-wide expression profiling and chromatin immunoprecipitation. GATA2 not only occupies at and promotes expression of the Pgr gene but also regulates downstream progesterone responsive genes in conjunction with the PGR. Additionally, Gata2 knockout uteri exhibit abnormal luminal epithelia with ectopic TRP63 expressing squamous cells and a cancer-related molecular profile in a progesterone-independent manner. Lastly, we found a conserved GATA2-PGR regulatory network in both human and mice based on gene signature and path analyses using gene expression profiles of human endometrial tissues. In conclusion, uterine Gata2 regulates a key regulatory network of gene expression for progesterone signaling at the early pregnancy stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2016.09.093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5084852PMC
October 2016

The tumor suppressive miR-200b subfamily is an ERG target gene in human prostate tumors.

Oncotarget 2016 Jun;7(25):37993-38003

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

The TMPRSS2-ERG fusion occurs in approximately 50% of prostate cancer (PCa), resulting in expression of the oncogenic ERG in the prostate. Because ERG is a transcriptional activator, we hypothesized that ERG-regulated genes contribute to PCa development. Since microRNA (miRNA) has crucial functions in cancer, we searched for miRNAs regulated by ERG in PCas. We mined published datasets based on the MSKCC Prostate Oncogene Project, in which a comprehensive analysis defined the miRNA transcriptomes in 113 PCas. We retrieved the miRNA expression datasets, and identified miRNAs differentially expressed between ERG-positive and ERG-negative samples. Out of 369 miRNAs, miR-200a, -200b, -429 and -205 are the only miRNAs significantly increased in ERG-positive tumors. Strikingly, miR-200a, -200b and -429 are transcribed as a single polycistronic transcript, suggesting they are regulated at the transcriptional level. With ChIP-qPCR and in vitro binding assay, we identified two functional ETS motifs in the miR-200b/a/429 gene promoter. Knockdown of ERG in PCa cells reduced expression of these three miRNAs. In agreement with the well-established tumor suppressor function, overexpression of the miR-200b/a/429 gene inhibited PCa cell growth and invasion. In summary, our study reveals that miR-200b/a/429 is an ERG target gene, which implicates an important role in TMPRSS2/ERG-dependent PCa development. Although induction of the tumor suppressive miR-200b subfamily by oncogenic ERG appears to be counterintuitive, it is consistent with the observation that the vast majority of primary prostate cancers are slow-growing and indolent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9366DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5122366PMC
June 2016

The Germ Cell Gene TDRD1 as an ERG Target Gene and a Novel Prostate Cancer Biomarker.

Prostate 2016 10 8;76(14):1271-84. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Departments of Medicine-Hematology and Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Background: TMPRSS2-ERG fusion occurs in about half of prostate cancers and results in over-expression of the oncogenic ERG protein in the prostate. The mechanism by which ERG contributes to prostate cancer initiation and progression remains largely unknown. Because ERG is a transcriptional activator, we reasoned that the target genes regulated by ERG could contribute to prostate cancer development.

Methods: In a search for ERG target genes, we took advantage of published datasets from the MSKCC Prostate Oncogene Project, in which a comprehensive analysis was applied to define transcriptomes in 150 prostate tumors. We retrieved the mRNA expression dataset, split them based on ERG expression, and identified genes whose expression levels are associated with ERG mRNA levels.

Results: mRNA expression levels of 21 genes were found to be significantly increased, while for one gene it was decreased in ERG-positive prostate tumors. Among them, the expression of TDRD1 was the most significantly increased in ERG-positive tumors. Among 131 primary prostate tumors which were primarily from European American patients, TDRD1 is over-expressed in 68% of samples, while ERG is overexpressed in 48% of samples, suggesting an additional ERG-independent mechanism of TDRD1 overexpression. In African American prostate tumors, TDRD1 mRNA is expressed in 44%, while ERG is expressed in 24% of samples. In normal tissues, TDRD1 mRNA is exclusively expressed in germ cells and its protein is also known as cancer/testis antigen 41.1 (CT41.1). We generated a mouse monoclonal antibody that recognizes human TDRD1 protein with high specificity and sensitivity. By Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining, we demonstrate that TDRD1 protein is expressed in the majority of human prostate tumors, but not in normal prostate tissue. Finally, TDRD1 is not induced in the prostate of ERG overexpression transgenic mice, suggesting that such model does not fully recapitulate the TMPRSS2/ERG fusion-dependent human prostate cancer development.

Conclusions: Our results suggest TDRD1 as a novel prostate cancer biomarker. As an ERG target gene, TDRD1 might play an important role in human prostate cancer development, and as a cancer/testis antigen, TDRD1 might have long-term potential to be a therapeutic target for prostate cancer immunotherapy. Prostate 76:1271-1284, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pros.23213DOI Listing
October 2016

The Promyelocytic Leukemia Zinc Finger Transcription Factor Is Critical for Human Endometrial Stromal Cell Decidualization.

PLoS Genet 2016 Apr 1;12(4):e1005937. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America.

Progesterone, via the progesterone receptor (PGR), is essential for endometrial stromal cell decidualization, a cellular transformation event in which stromal fibroblasts differentiate into decidual cells. Uterine decidualization supports embryo implantation and placentation as well as subsequent events, which together ensure a successful pregnancy. Accordingly, impaired decidualization results not only in implantation failure or early fetal miscarriage, but also may lead to potential adverse outcomes in all three pregnancy trimesters. Transcriptional reprogramming on a genome-wide scale underlies progesterone dependent decidualization of the human endometrial stromal cell (hESC). However, identification of the functionally essential signals encoded by these global transcriptional changes remains incomplete. Importantly, this knowledge-gap undercuts future efforts to improve diagnosis and treatment of implantation failure based on a dysfunctional endometrium. By integrating genome-wide datasets derived from decidualization of hESCs in culture, we reveal that the promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF) transcription factor is rapidly induced by progesterone and that this induction is indispensable for progesterone-dependent decidualization. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by next generation sequencing (ChIP-Seq) identified at least ten progesterone response elements within the PLZF gene, indicating that PLZF may act as a direct target of PGR signaling. The spatiotemporal expression profile for PLZF in both the human and mouse endometrium offers further support for stromal PLZF as a mediator of the progesterone decidual signal. To identify functional targets of PLZF, integration of PLZF ChIP-Seq and RNA Pol II RNA-Seq datasets revealed that the early growth response 1 (EGR1) transcription factor is a PLZF target for which its level of expression must be reduced to enable progesterone dependent hESC decidualization. Apart from furnishing essential insights into the molecular mechanisms by which progesterone drives hESC decidualization, our findings provide a new conceptual framework that could lead to new avenues for diagnosis and/or treatment of adverse reproductive outcomes associated with a dysfunctional uterus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1005937DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4817989PMC
April 2016

HER2 Signaling Drives DNA Anabolism and Proliferation through SRC-3 Phosphorylation and E2F1-Regulated Genes.

Cancer Res 2016 Mar 1;76(6):1463-75. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Approximately 20% of early-stage breast cancers display amplification or overexpression of the ErbB2/HER2 oncogene, conferring poor prognosis and resistance to endocrine therapy. Targeting HER2(+) tumors with trastuzumab or the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor lapatinib significantly improves survival, yet tumor resistance and progression of metastatic disease still develop over time. Although the mechanisms of cytosolic HER2 signaling are well studied, nuclear signaling components and gene regulatory networks that bestow therapeutic resistance and limitless proliferative potential are incompletely understood. Here, we use biochemical and bioinformatic approaches to identify effectors and targets of HER2 transcriptional signaling in human breast cancer. Phosphorylation and activity of the Steroid Receptor Coactivator-3 (SRC-3) is reduced upon HER2 inhibition, and recruitment of SRC-3 to regulatory elements of endogenous genes is impaired. Transcripts regulated by HER2 signaling are highly enriched with E2F1 binding sites and define a gene signature associated with proliferative breast tumor subtypes, cell-cycle progression, and DNA replication. We show that HER2 signaling promotes breast cancer cell proliferation through regulation of E2F1-driven DNA metabolism and replication genes together with phosphorylation and activity of the transcriptional coactivator SRC-3. Furthermore, our analyses identified a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) signaling node that, when targeted using the CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib, defines overlap and divergence of adjuvant pharmacologic targeting. Importantly, lapatinib and palbociclib strictly block de novo synthesis of DNA, mostly through disruption of E2F1 and its target genes. These results have implications for rational discovery of pharmacologic combinations in preclinical models of adjuvant treatment and therapeutic resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-2383DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4794399PMC
March 2016

Long Noncoding RNAs as Targets and Regulators of Nuclear Receptors.

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 2016 ;394:143-76

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Intensive research has been directed at the discovery, biogenesis, and expression patterns of long noncoding RNAs , yet their biochemical functions have remained elusive for the most part. Nuclear receptors that interpret signaling mediated by small molecule hormones play a role in regulating the expression of some long noncoding RNAs. More importantly, these RNAs have also been shown to effect hormone-affected gene transcription regulated by the nuclear receptors. In this chapter, we summarize the current knowledge that has been acquired on hormonal signaling inducing expression of long noncoding RNAs and how they then may act in trans or in cis to modulate gene transcription. We highlight a few of these noncoding RNA molecules in terms of how they may impact hormone-driven cancers. Future directions critical for moving this field forward are presented, with a clear emphasis on the need for better biochemical approaches to address the mechanism of action of these exciting RNAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/82_2015_465DOI Listing
July 2016

Progesterone receptor transcriptome and cistrome in decidualized human endometrial stromal cells.

Endocrinology 2015 Jun 17;156(6):2239-53. Epub 2015 Mar 17.

Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (E.C.M., E.K., W.E.G.), Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Texas Children's Hospital Pavilion for Women, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (Y.M.V., X.L., R.K., R.B.L., F.J.D.), and Department of Molecular and Human Genetics (L.J., R.C.), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.

Decidualization is a complex process involving cellular proliferation and differentiation of the endometrial stroma that is required to establish and support pregnancy. Progesterone acting via its nuclear receptor, the progesterone receptor (PGR), is a critical regulator of decidualization and is known to interact with certain members of the activator protein-1 (AP-1) family in the regulation of transcription. In this study, we identified the cistrome and transcriptome of PGR and identified the AP-1 factors FOSL2 and JUN to be regulated by PGR and important in the decidualization process. Direct targets of PGR were identified by integrating gene expression data from RNA sequencing with the whole-genome binding profile of PGR determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) in primary human endometrial stromal cells exposed to 17β-estradiol, medroxyprogesterone acetate, and cAMP to promote in vitro decidualization. Ablation of FOSL2 and JUN attenuates the induction of 2 decidual marker genes, IGFBP1 and PRL. ChIP-seq analysis of genomic binding revealed that FOSL2 is bound in proximity to 8586 distinct genes, including nearly 80% of genes bound by PGR. A comprehensive assessment of the PGR-dependent decidual transcriptome integrated with the genomic binding of PGR identified FOSL2 as a potentially important transcriptional coregulator of PGR via direct interaction with regulatory regions of genes actively regulated during decidualization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/en.2014-1566DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4430623PMC
June 2015

Structure of a biologically active estrogen receptor-coactivator complex on DNA.

Mol Cell 2015 Mar 26;57(6):1047-1058. Epub 2015 Feb 26.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Electronic address:

Estrogen receptor (ER/ESR1) is a transcription factor critical for development, reproduction, metabolism, and cancer. ER function hinges on its ability to recruit primary and secondary coactivators, yet structural information on the full-length receptor-coactivator complex to complement preexisting and sometimes controversial biochemical information is lacking. Here, we use cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) to determine the quaternary structure of an active complex of DNA-bound ERα, steroid receptor coactivator 3 (SRC-3/NCOA3), and a secondary coactivator (p300/EP300). Our structural model suggests the following assembly mechanism for the complex: each of the two ligand-bound ERα monomers independently recruits one SRC-3 protein via the transactivation domain of ERα; the two SRC-3s in turn bind to different regions of one p300 protein through multiple contacts. We also present structural evidence for the location of activation function 1 (AF-1) in a full-length nuclear receptor, which supports a role for AF-1 in SRC-3 recruitment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2015.01.025DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4369429PMC
March 2015

FOXO1 is required for binding of PR on IRF4, novel transcriptional regulator of endometrial stromal decidualization.

Mol Endocrinol 2015 Mar 13;29(3):421-33. Epub 2015 Jan 13.

Departments of Molecular and Cellular Biology (Y.M.V., X.L., R.K., R.B.L., F.J.D.) and Molecular and Human Genetics (L.J., R.C.), Baylor College of Medicine, and Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (E.C.M., E.K., W.E.G.), Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Texas Children's Hospital Pavilion for Women, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.

The forkhead box O1A (FOXO1) is an early-induced target of the protein kinase A pathway during the decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs). In this study we identified the cistrome and transcriptome of FOXO1 and its role as a transcriptional regulator of the progesterone receptor (PR). Direct targets of FOXO1 were identified by integrating RNA sequencing with chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing. Gene ontology analysis demonstrated that FOXO1 regulates a subset of genes in decidualization such as those involved in cancer, p53 signaling, focal adhesions, and Wnt signaling. An overlap of the FOXO1 and PR chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing intervals revealed the co-occupancy of FOXO1 in more than 75% of PR binding intervals. Among these intervals were highly enriched motifs for the interferon regulatory factor member 4 (IRF4). IRF4 was determined to be a genomic target of both FOXO1 and PR and also to be differentially regulated in HESCs treated with small interfering RNA targeting FOXO1 or PR prior to decidualization stimulus. Ablation of FOXO1 was found to abolish binding of PR to the shared binding interval downstream of the IRF4 gene. Finally, small interfering RNA-mediated ablation of IRF4 was shown to compromise morphological transformation of decidualized HESCs and to attenuate the expression of the decidual markers IGFBP1, PRL, and WNT4. These results provide the first evidence that FOXO1 is functionally required for the binding of PR to genomic targets. Most notably, FOXO1 and PR are required for the regulation of IRF4, a novel transcriptional regulator of decidualization in HESCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/me.2014-1292DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4347287PMC
March 2015

GATA2 facilitates steroid receptor coactivator recruitment to the androgen receptor complex.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Dec 8;111(51):18261-6. Epub 2014 Dec 8.

Departments of Medicine, Molecular and Cellular Biology,

The androgen receptor (AR) is a key driver of prostate cancer (PC), even in the state of castration-resistant PC (CRPC) and frequently even after treatment with second-line hormonal therapies such as abiraterone and enzalutamide. The persistence of AR activity via both ligand-dependent and ligand-independent mechanisms (including constitutively active AR splice variants) highlights the unmet need for alternative approaches to block AR signaling in CRPC. We investigated the transcription factor GATA-binding protein 2 (GATA2) as a regulator of AR signaling and an actionable therapeutic target in PC. We demonstrate that GATA2 directly promotes expression of both full-length and splice-variant AR, resulting in a strong positive correlation between GATA2 and AR expression in both PC cell lines and patient specimens. Conversely, GATA2 expression is repressed by androgen and AR, suggesting a negative feedback regulatory loop that, upon androgen deprivation, derepresses GATA2 to contribute to AR overexpression in CRPC. Simultaneously, GATA2 is necessary for optimal transcriptional activity of both full-length and splice-variant AR. GATA2 colocalizes with AR and Forkhead box protein A1 on chromatin to enhance recruitment of steroid receptor coactivators and formation of the transcriptional holocomplex. In agreement with these important functions, high GATA2 expression and transcriptional activity predicted worse clinical outcome in PC patients. A GATA2 small molecule inhibitor suppressed the expression and transcriptional function of both full-length and splice-variant AR and exerted potent anticancer activity against PC cell lines. We propose pharmacological inhibition of GATA2 as a first-in-field approach to target AR expression and function and improve outcomes in CRPC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1421415111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4280633PMC
December 2014

Androgen deprivation-induced NCoA2 promotes metastatic and castration-resistant prostate cancer.

J Clin Invest 2014 Nov 8;124(11):5013-26. Epub 2014 Oct 8.

A major clinical hurdle for the management of advanced prostate cancer (PCa) in patients is the resistance of tumors to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and their subsequent development into castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). While recent studies have identified potential pathways involved in CRPC development, the drivers of CRPC remain largely undefined. Here we determined that nuclear receptor coactivator 2 (NCoA2, also known as SRC-2), which is frequently amplified or overexpressed in patients with metastatic PCa, mediates development of CRPC. In a murine model, overexpression of NCoA2 in the prostate epithelium resulted in neoplasia and, in combination with Pten deletion, promoted the development of metastasis-prone cancer. Moreover, depletion of NCoA2 in PTEN-deficient mice prevented the development of CRPC. In human androgen-sensitive prostate cancer cells, androgen signaling suppressed NCoA2 expression, and NCoA2 overexpression in murine prostate tumors resulted in hyperactivation of PI3K/AKT and MAPK signaling, promoting tumor malignance. Analysis of PCa patient samples revealed a strong correlation among NCoA2-mediated signaling, disease progression, and PCa recurrence. Taken together, our findings indicate that androgen deprivation induces NCoA2, which in turn mediates activation of PI3K signaling and promotes PCa metastasis and CRPC development. Moreover, these results suggest that the inhibition of NCoA2 has potential for PCa therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI76412DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4347241PMC
November 2014

The epidermal growth factor receptor critically regulates endometrial function during early pregnancy.

PLoS Genet 2014 Jun 19;10(6):e1004451. Epub 2014 Jun 19.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America.

Infertility and adverse gynecological outcomes such as preeclampsia and miscarriage represent significant female reproductive health concerns. The spatiotemporal expression of growth factors indicates that they play an important role in pregnancy. The goal of this study is to define the role of the ERBB family of growth factor receptors in endometrial function. Using conditional ablation in mice and siRNA in primary human endometrial stromal cells, we identified the epidermal growth factor receptor (Egfr) to be critical for endometrial function during early pregnancy. While ablation of Her2 or Erbb3 led to only a modest reduction in litter size, mice lacking Egfr expression are severely subfertile. Pregnancy demise occurred shortly after blastocyst implantation due to defects in decidualization including decreased proliferation, cell survival, differentiation and target gene expression. To place Egfr in a genetic regulatory hierarchy, transcriptome analyses was used to compare the gene signatures from mice with conditional ablation of Egfr, wingless-related MMTV integration site 4 (Wnt4) or boneless morphogenic protein 2 (Bmp2); revealing that not only are Bmp2 and Wnt4 key downstream effectors of Egfr, but they also regulate distinct physiological functions. In primary human endometrial stromal cells, marker gene expression, a novel high content image-based approach and phosphokinase array analysis were used to demonstrate that EGFR is a critical regulator of human decidualization. Furthermore, inhibition of EGFR signaling intermediaries WNK1 and AKT1S1, members identified in the kinase array and previously unreported to play a role in the endometrium, also attenuate decidualization. These results demonstrate that EGFR plays an integral role in establishing the cellular context necessary for successful pregnancy via the activation of intricate signaling and transcriptional networks, thereby providing valuable insight into potential therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1004451DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4063709PMC
June 2014

Novel DNA motif binding activity observed in vivo with an estrogen receptor α mutant mouse.

Mol Endocrinol 2014 Jun 8;28(6):899-911. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Receptor Biology (S.C.H., W.W., K.J.H., B.P., K.S.K.), Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology, Biostatistics Branch (L.L.), Integrative Bioinformatics (S.A.G., D.F.), Laboratory of Structural Biology (L.C.P.), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709; Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (C.A.R., R.B.L., F.J.D.), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030; and Department of Molecular Biology of the Cell (G.S.), German Cancer Research Center, 69121 Heidelberg, Germany.

Estrogen receptor α (ERα) interacts with DNA directly or indirectly via other transcription factors, referred to as "tethering." Evidence for tethering is based on in vitro studies and a widely used "KIKO" mouse model containing mutations that prevent direct estrogen response element DNA- binding. KIKO mice are infertile, due in part to the inability of estradiol (E2) to induce uterine epithelial proliferation. To elucidate the molecular events that prevent KIKO uterine growth, regulation of the pro-proliferative E2 target gene Klf4 and of Klf15, a progesterone (P4) target gene that opposes the pro-proliferative activity of KLF4, was evaluated. Klf4 induction was impaired in KIKO uteri; however, Klf15 was induced by E2 rather than by P4. Whole uterine chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing revealed enrichment of KIKO ERα binding to hormone response elements (HREs) motifs. KIKO binding to HRE motifs was verified using reporter gene and DNA-binding assays. Because the KIKO ERα has HRE DNA-binding activity, we evaluated the "EAAE" ERα, which has more severe DNA-binding domain mutations, and demonstrated a lack of estrogen response element or HRE reporter gene induction or DNA-binding. The EAAE mouse has an ERα null-like phenotype, with impaired uterine growth and transcriptional activity. Our findings demonstrate that the KIKO mouse model, which has been used by numerous investigators, cannot be used to establish biological functions for ERα tethering, because KIKO ERα effectively stimulates transcription using HRE motifs. The EAAE-ERα DNA-binding domain mutant mouse demonstrates that ERα DNA-binding is crucial for biological and transcriptional processes in reproductive tissues and that ERα tethering may not contribute to estrogen responsiveness in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/me.2014-1051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4042070PMC
June 2014

SRC-2 is an essential coactivator for orchestrating metabolism and circadian rhythm.

Cell Rep 2014 Feb 13;6(4):633-45. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Electronic address:

Synchrony of the mammalian circadian clock is achieved by complex transcriptional and translational feedback loops centered on the BMAL1:CLOCK heterodimer. Modulation of circadian feedback loops is essential for maintaining rhythmicity, yet the role of transcriptional coactivators in driving BMAL1:CLOCK transcriptional networks is largely unexplored. Here, we show diurnal hepatic steroid receptor coactivator 2 (SRC-2) recruitment to the genome that extensively overlaps with the BMAL1 cistrome during the light phase, targeting genes that enrich for circadian and metabolic processes. Notably, SRC-2 ablation impairs wheel-running behavior, alters circadian gene expression in several peripheral tissues, alters the rhythmicity of the hepatic metabolome, and deregulates the synchronization of cell-autonomous metabolites. We identify SRC-2 as a potent coregulator of BMAL1:CLOCK and find that SRC-2 targets itself with BMAL1:CLOCK in a feedforward loop. Collectively, our data suggest that SRC-2 is a transcriptional coactivator of the BMAL1:CLOCK oscillators and establish SRC-2 as a critical positive regulator of the mammalian circadian clock.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2014.01.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4096300PMC
February 2014

COUP-TFII regulates human endometrial stromal genes involved in inflammation.

Mol Endocrinol 2013 Dec 31;27(12):2041-54. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030.

Chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter-transcription factor II (COUP-TFII; NR2F2) is an orphan nuclear receptor involved in cell-fate specification, organogenesis, angiogenesis, and metabolism. Ablation of COUP-TFII in the mouse uterus causes infertility due to defects in embryo attachment and impaired uterine stromal cell decidualization. Although the function of COUP-TFII in uterine decidualization has been described in mice, its role in the human uterus remains unknown. We observed that, as in mice, COUP-TFII is robustly expressed in the endometrial stroma of healthy women, and its expression is reduced in the ectopic lesions of women with endometriosis. To interrogate the role of COUP-TFII in human endometrial function, we used a small interfering RNA-mediated loss of function approach in primary human endometrial stromal cells. Attenuation of COUP-TFII expression did not completely block decidualization; rather it had a selective effect on gene expression. To better elucidate the role of COUP-TFII in endometrial stroma cell biology, the COUP-TFII transcriptome was defined by pairing microarray comparison with chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing. Gene ontology analysis demonstrates that COUP-TFII regulates a subset of genes in endometrial stroma cell decidualization such as those involved in cell adhesion, angiogenesis, and inflammation. Importantly this analysis shows that COUP-TFII plays a role in controlling the expression of inflammatory cytokines. The determination that COUP-TFII plays a role in inflammation may add insight into the role of COUP-TFII in embryo implantation and in endometrial diseases such as endometriosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/me.2013-1191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3857200PMC
December 2013

Atrial identity is determined by a COUP-TFII regulatory network.

Dev Cell 2013 May;25(4):417-26

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Atria and ventricles exhibit distinct molecular profiles that produce structural and functional differences between the two cardiac compartments. However, the factors that determine these differences remain largely undefined. Cardiomyocyte-specific COUP-TFII ablation produces ventricularized atria that exhibit ventricle-like action potentials, increased cardiomyocyte size, and development of extensive T tubules. Changes in atrial characteristics are accompanied by alterations of 2,584 genes, of which 81% were differentially expressed between atria and ventricles, suggesting that a major function of myocardial COUP-TFII is to determine atrial identity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays using E13.5 atria identified classic atrial-ventricular identity genes Tbx5, Hey2, Irx4, MLC2v, MLC2a, and MLC1a, among many other cardiac genes, as potential COUP-TFII direct targets. Collectively, our results reveal that COUP-TFII confers atrial identity through direct binding and by modulating expression of a broad spectrum of genes that have an impact on atrial development and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2013.04.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3687546PMC
May 2013

RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) Proteins PACT, TRBP, and Dicer are SRA binding nuclear receptor coregulators.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2013 Apr 2;110(16):6536-41. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Laboratory for Cancer Medicine, University of Western Australia Centre for Medical Research, Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, Perth, WA, Australia.

The cytoplasmic RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) contains dsRNA binding proteins, including protein kinase RNA activator (PACT), transactivation response RNA binding protein (TRBP), and Dicer, that process pre-microRNAs into mature microRNAs (miRNAs) that target specific mRNA species for regulation. There is increasing evidence for important functional interactions between the miRNA and nuclear receptor (NR) signaling networks, with recent data showing that estrogen, acting through the estrogen receptor, can modulate initial aspects of nuclear miRNA processing. Here, we show that the cytoplasmic RISC proteins PACT, TRBP, and Dicer are steroid receptor RNA activator (SRA) binding NR coregulators that target steroid-responsive promoters and regulate NR activity and downstream gene expression. Furthermore, each of the RISC proteins, together with Argonaute 2, associates with SRA and specific pre-microRNAs in both the nucleus and cytoplasm, providing evidence for links between NR-mediated transcription and some of the factors involved in miRNA processing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1301620110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3631673PMC
April 2013

Feed-forward inhibition of androgen receptor activity by glucocorticoid action in human adipocytes.

Chem Biol 2012 Sep;19(9):1126-41

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

We compared transcriptomes of terminally differentiated mouse 3T3-L1 and human adipocytes to identify cell-specific differences. Gene expression and high content analysis (HCA) data identified the androgen receptor (AR) as both expressed and functional, exclusively during early human adipocyte differentiation. The AR agonist dihydrotestosterone (DHT) inhibited human adipocyte maturation by downregulation of adipocyte marker genes, but not in 3T3-L1. It is interesting that AR induction corresponded with dexamethasone activation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR); however, when exposed to the differentiation cocktail required for adipocyte maturation, AR adopted an antagonist conformation and was transcriptionally repressed. To further explore effectors within the cocktail, we applied an image-based support vector machine (SVM) classification scheme to show that adipocyte differentiation components inhibit AR action. The results demonstrate human adipocyte differentiation, via GR activation, upregulates AR but also inhibits AR transcriptional activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chembiol.2012.07.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4259876PMC
September 2012

Research resource: Genome-wide profiling of progesterone receptor binding in the mouse uterus.

Mol Endocrinol 2012 Aug 25;26(8):1428-42. Epub 2012 May 25.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.

Progesterone (P4) signaling through its nuclear transcription factor, the progesterone receptor (PR), is essential for normal uterine function. Although deregulation of PR-mediated signaling is known to underscore uterine dysfunction and a number of endometrial pathologies, the early molecular mechanisms of this deregulation are unclear. To address this issue, we have defined the genome-wide PR cistrome in the murine uterus using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq). In uteri of ovariectomized mice, we identified 6367 PR-binding sites in the absence of P4 ligand; however, this number increased at nearly 3-fold (18,432) after acute P4 exposure. Sequence analysis revealed that approximately 73% of these binding sites contain a progesterone response element or a half-site motif recognized by the PR. Many previously identified P4 target genes known to regulate uterine function were found to contain PR-binding sites, confirming the validity of our methodology. Interestingly, when the ChIP-seq data were coupled with our microarray expression data, we identified a novel regulatory role for uterine P4 in circadian rhythm gene expression, thereby uncovering a hitherto unexpected new circadian biology for P4 in this tissue. Further mining of the ChIP-seq data revealed Sox17 as a direct transcriptional PR target gene in the uterus. As a member of the Sox transcription factor family, Sox17 represents a potentially novel mediator of PR action in the murine uterus. Collectively, our first line of analysis of the uterine PR cistrome provides the first insights into the early molecular mechanisms that underpin normal uterine responsiveness to acute P4 exposure. Future analysis promises to reveal the PR interactome and, in turn, potential therapeutic targets for the diagnosis and/or treatment of endometrial dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/me.2011-1355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3404303PMC
August 2012