Hawkins RD et al. (OCT 2011)
Cell Research 21 10 1393--1409
Dynamic chromatin states in human ES cells reveal potential regulatory sequences and genes involved in pluripotency.
Pluripotency, the ability of a cell to differentiate and give rise to all embryonic lineages, defines a small number of mammalian cell types such as embryonic stem (ES) cells. While it has been generally held that pluripotency is the product of a transcriptional regulatory network that activates and maintains the expression of key stem cell genes, accumulating evidence is pointing to a critical role for epigenetic processes in establishing and safeguarding the pluripotency of ES cells, as well as maintaining the identity of differentiated cell types. In order to better understand the role of epigenetic mechanisms in pluripotency, we have examined the dynamics of chromatin modifications genome-wide in human ES cells (hESCs) undergoing differentiation into a mesendodermal lineage. We found that chromatin modifications at promoters remain largely invariant during differentiation, except at a small number of promoters where a dynamic switch between acetylation and methylation at H3K27 marks the transition between activation and silencing of gene expression, suggesting a hierarchy in cell fate commitment over most differentially expressed genes. We also mapped over 50 000 potential enhancers, and observed much greater dynamics in chromatin modifications, especially H3K4me1 and H3K27ac, which correlate with expression of their potential target genes. Further analysis of these enhancers revealed potentially key transcriptional regulators of pluripotency and a chromatin signature indicative of a poised state that may confer developmental competence in hESCs. Our results provide new evidence supporting the role of chromatin modifications in defining enhancers and pluripotency.
Lin YG et al. ( 2008)
Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 14 17 5437--5446
Targeting aurora kinase with MK-0457 inhibits ovarian cancer growth.
PURPOSE: The Aurora kinase family plays pivotal roles in mitotic integrity and cell cycle. We sought to determine the effects of inhibiting Aurora kinase on ovarian cancer growth in an orthotopic mouse model using a small molecule pan-Aurora kinase inhibitor, MK-0457. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We examined cell cycle regulatory effects and ascertained the therapeutic efficacy of Aurora kinase inhibition both alone and combined with docetaxel using both in vitro and in vivo ovarian cancer models. RESULTS: In vitro cytotoxicity assays with HeyA8 and SKOV3ip1 cells revealed textgreater10-fold greater docetaxel cytotoxicity in combination with MK-0457. After in vivo dose kinetics were determined using phospho-histone H3 status, therapy experiments with the chemosensitive HeyA8 and SKOV3ip1 as well as the chemoresistant HeyA8-MDR and A2780-CP20 models showed that Aurora kinase inhibition alone significantly reduced tumor burden compared with controls (P valuestextless0.01). Combination treatment with docetaxel resulted in significantly improved reduction in tumor growth beyond that afforded by docetaxel alone (P textlessor= 0.03). Proliferating cell nuclear antigen immunohistochemistry revealed that MK-0457 alone and in combination with docetaxel significantly reduced cellular proliferation (P valuestextless0.001). Compared with controls, treatment with MK-0457 alone and in combination with docetaxel also significantly increased tumor cell apoptosis by approximately 3-fold (Ptextless0.01). Remarkably, compared with docetaxel monotherapy, MK-0457 combined with docetaxel resulted in significantly increased tumor cell apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS: Aurora kinase inhibition significantly reduces tumor burden and cell proliferation and increases tumor cell apoptosis in this preclinical orthotopic model of ovarian cancer. The role of Aurora kinase inhibition in ovarian cancer merits further investigation in clinical trials.