A pinboard by
Qi Ma

Postdoc fellow, University of California, San Diego


The estrogen receptor a (ERa)-regulated enhancers characterization in breast cancer transcriptional program and the molecular mechanisms underlying the repressive functions of glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) in ERa regulated breast cancer development remain poorly understood. Here I analyze and integrate the ChIP-seqs/GRO-seq sequencing data to study the genome-wide characterization of ERa-regulated enhancers and report the repressive role of GR on these enhancers and their cognate target genes by inhibiting binding of MegaTrans complex. GR SUMOlation plays the role of leading stable trans-recruitment of the GR-N-CoR/SMRT-HDAC3 co-repressor complex on these enhancers. Together, these results delineate active enhancers in a transcriptional program and uncover a mechanism that DNA-binding nuclear receptors recruitment in trans act effectively repressive role in regulation of target enhancers’ biological function, with clear implications for breast cancer and other diseases.


Histone demethylase LSD1 regulates hematopoietic stem cells homeostasis and protects from death by endotoxic shock

Abstract: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) maintain a quiescent state during homeostasis, but with acute infection, they exit the quiescent state to increase the output of immune cells, the so-called “emergency hematopoiesis.” However, HSCs’ response to severe infection during septic shock and the pathological impact remain poorly elucidated. Here, we report that the histone demethylase KDM1A/LSD1, serving as a critical regulator of mammalian hematopoiesis, is a negative regulator of the response to inflammation in HSCs during endotoxic shock typically observed during acute bacterial or viral infection. Inflammation-induced LSD1 deficiency results in an acute expansion of a pathological population of hyperproliferative and hyperinflammatory myeloid progenitors, resulting in a septic shock phenotype and acute death. Unexpectedly, in vivo administration of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to wild-type mice results in acute suppression of LSD1 in HSCs with a septic shock phenotype that resembles that observed following induced deletion of LSD1. The suppression of LSD1 in HSCs is caused, at least in large part, by a cohort of inflammation-induced microRNAs. Significantly, reconstitution of mice with bone marrow progenitor cells expressing inhibitors of these inflammation-induced microRNAs blocked the suppression of LSD1 in vivo following acute LPS administration and prevented mortality from endotoxic shock. Our results indicate that LSD1 activators or miRNA antagonists could serve as a therapeutic approach for life-threatening septic shock characterized by dysfunction of HSCs.

Pub.: 20 Dec '17, Pinned: 25 Jun '18

Required enhancer-matrin-3 network interactions for a homeodomain transcription program.

Abstract: Homeodomain proteins, described 30 years ago, exert essential roles in development as regulators of target gene expression; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying transcriptional activity of homeodomain factors remain poorly understood. Here investigation of a developmentally required POU-homeodomain transcription factor, Pit1 (also known as Pou1f1), has revealed that, unexpectedly, binding of Pit1-occupied enhancers to a nuclear matrin-3-rich network/architecture is a key event in effective activation of the Pit1-regulated enhancer/coding gene transcriptional program. Pit1 association with Satb1 (ref. 8) and β-catenin is required for this tethering event. A naturally occurring, dominant negative, point mutation in human PIT1(R271W), causing combined pituitary hormone deficiency, results in loss of Pit1 association with β-catenin and Satb1 and therefore the matrin-3-rich network, blocking Pit1-dependent enhancer/coding target gene activation. This defective activation can be rescued by artificial tethering of the mutant R271W Pit1 protein to the matrin-3 network, bypassing the pre-requisite association with β-catenin and Satb1 otherwise required. The matrin-3 network-tethered R271W Pit1 mutant, but not the untethered protein, restores Pit1-dependent activation of the enhancers and recruitment of co-activators, exemplified by p300, causing both enhancer RNA transcription and target gene activation. These studies have thus revealed an unanticipated homeodomain factor/β-catenin/Satb1-dependent localization of target gene regulatory enhancer regions to a subnuclear architectural structure that serves as an underlying mechanism by which an enhancer-bound homeodomain factor effectively activates developmental gene transcriptional programs.

Pub.: 15 Aug '14, Pinned: 25 Jun '18

Pluripotency factors functionally premark cell-type-restricted enhancers in ES cells.

Abstract: Enhancers for embryonic stem (ES) cell-expressed genes and lineage-determining factors are characterized by conventional marks of enhancer activation in ES cells, but it remains unclear whether enhancers destined to regulate cell-type-restricted transcription units might also have distinct signatures in ES cells. Here we show that cell-type-restricted enhancers are 'premarked' and activated as transcription units by the binding of one or two ES cell transcription factors, although they do not exhibit traditional enhancer epigenetic marks in ES cells, thus uncovering the initial temporal origins of cell-type-restricted enhancers. This premarking is required for future cell-type-restricted enhancer activity in the differentiated cells, with the strength of the ES cell signature being functionally important for the subsequent robustness of cell-type-restricted enhancer activation. We have experimentally validated this model in macrophage-restricted enhancers and neural precursor cell (NPC)-restricted enhancers using ES cell-derived macrophages or NPCs, edited to contain specific ES cell transcription factor motif deletions. DNA hydroxyl-methylation of enhancers in ES cells, determined by ES cell transcription factors, may serve as a potential molecular memory for subsequent enhancer activation in mature macrophages. These findings suggest that the massive repertoire of cell-type-restricted enhancers are essentially hierarchically and obligatorily premarked by binding of a defining ES cell transcription factor in ES cells, dictating the robustness of enhancer activation in mature cells.

Pub.: 20 Apr '18, Pinned: 25 Jun '18