Current Role at Stanford

Program manager for SPARK Translational Science Program overseeing educational seminar series, managing projects and facilitating SPARK global operations.

Education & Certifications

  • Post-doctoral fellow, Stanford School of Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology
  • PhD, UC Berkeley, Molecular and Biochemical Nutrition and Metabolism

All Publications

  • N6-Methyladenosine Modification Controls Circular RNA Immunity. Molecular cell Chen, Y. G., Chen, R., Ahmad, S., Verma, R., Kasturi, S. P., Amaya, L., Broughton, J. P., Kim, J., Cadena, C., Pulendran, B., Hur, S., Chang, H. Y. 2019


    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are prevalent in eukaryotic cells and viral genomes. Mammalian cells possess innate immunity to detect foreign circRNAs, but the molecular basis of self versus foreign identity in circRNA immunity is unknown. Here, we show that N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA modification on human circRNAs inhibits innate immunity. Foreign circRNAs are potent adjuvants to induce antigen-specific Tcell activation, antibody production, and anti-tumor immunity invivo, and m6A modification abrogates immune gene activation and adjuvant activity. m6A reader YTHDF2 sequesters m6A-circRNA and is essential for suppression of innate immunity. Unmodified circRNA, but not m6A-modified circRNA, directly activates RNA pattern recognition receptor RIG-I in the presence of lysine-63-linked polyubiquitin chain to cause filamentation of the adaptor protein MAVS and activation of the downstream transcription factor IRF3. CircRNA immunity has considerable parallel to prokaryotic DNA restriction modification system that transforms nucleic acid chemical modification into organismal innate immunity.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.07.016

    View details for PubMedID 31474572

  • Replication study: Melanoma exosomes educate bone marrow progenitor cells toward a pro-metastatic phenotype through MET. eLife Kim, J., Afshari, A., Sengupta, R., Sebastiano, V., Gupta, A., Kim, Y. H., Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology, Iorns, E., Tsui, R., Denis, A., Perfito, N., Errington, T. M., Iorns, E., Tsui, R., Denis, A., Perfito, N., Errington, T. M. 2018; 7


    As part of the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology we published a Registered Report (Lesnik et al., 2016) that described how we intended to replicate selected experiments from the paper 'Melanoma exosomes educate bone marrow progenitor cells toward a pro-metastatic phenotype through MET' (Peinado et al., 2012). Here we report the results. We regenerated tumor cells stably expressing a short hairpin to reduce Met expression (shMet) using the same highly metastatic mouse melanoma cell line (B16-F10) as the original study, which efficiently downregulated Met in B16F10 cells similar to the original study (Supplementary Figure 5A; Peinado et al., 2012). Exosomes from control cells expressed Met, which was reduced in exosomes from shMet cells; however, we were unable to reliably detect phosphorylated Met in exosomes. We tested the effect of exosome-dependent Met signaling on primary tumor growth and metastasis. Similar to the results in the original study, we did not find a statistically significant change in primary tumor growth. Measuring lung and femur metastases, we found a small increase in metastatic burden with exosomes from control cells that was diminished when Met expression was reduced; however, while the effects were in the same direction as the original study (Figure 4E; Peinado et al., 2012), they were not statistically significant. Differences between the original study and this replication attempt, such as level of knockdown efficiency, cell line genetic drift, sample sizes, study endpoints, and variability of observed metastatic burden, are factors that might have influenced the outcomes. Finally, we report meta-analyses for each result.

    View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.39944

    View details for PubMedID 30526855

  • Promoter of lncRNA Gene PVT1 Is a Tumor-Suppressor DNA Boundary Element. Cell Cho, S. W., Xu, J., Sun, R., Mumbach, M. R., Carter, A. C., Chen, Y. G., Yost, K. E., Kim, J., He, J., Nevins, S. A., Chin, S., Caldas, C., Liu, S. J., Horlbeck, M. A., Lim, D. A., Weissman, J. S., Curtis, C., Chang, H. Y. 2018; 173 (6): 1398


    Noncoding mutations in cancer genomes are frequentbut challenging to interpret. PVT1 encodes an oncogenic lncRNA, but recurrent translocations and deletions in human cancers suggest alternative mechanisms. Here, we show that the PVT1 promoter has a tumor-suppressor function that is independent of PVT1 lncRNA. CRISPR interference of PVT1 promoter enhances breast cancer cell competition and growth invivo. The promoters of the PVT1 and the MYC oncogenes, located 55 kb apart on chromosome 8q24, compete for engagement with four intragenic enhancers in the PVT1 locus, thereby allowing the PVT1 promoter to regulate pause release of MYC transcription. PVT1 undergoes developmentally regulated monoallelic expression, and the PVT1 promoter inhibits MYC expression only from the same chromosome via promoter competition. Cancer genome sequencing identifies recurrent mutations encompassing the human PVT1 promoter, and genome editing verified that PVT1 promoter mutation promotes cancer cell growth. These results highlight regulatory sequences of lncRNA genes as potential disease-associated DNA elements.

    View details for PubMedID 29731168

  • Targeting aldehyde dehydrogenase activity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with a novel small molecule inhibitor. Oncotarget Kim, J., Shin, J. H., Chen, C. H., Cruz, L., Farnebo, L., Yang, J., Borges, P., Kang, G., Mochly-Rosen, D., Sunwoo, J. B. 2017; 8 (32): 52345-52356


    Chemoresistant cancer cells express high levels of aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs), particularly in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The ALDH family of enzymes detoxify both exogenous and endogenous aldehydes. Since many chemotherapeutic agents, such as cisplatin, result in the generation of cytotoxic aldehydes and oxidative stress, we hypothesized that cells expressing high levels of ALDH may be more chemoresistant due to their increased detoxifying capacity and that inhibitors of ALDHs may sensitize them to these drugs. Here, we show that overall ALDH activity is increased with cisplatin treatment of HNSCC and that ALDH3A1 protein expression is particularly enriched in cells treated with cisplatin. Activation of ALDH3A1 by a small molecule activator (Alda-89) increased survival of HNSCC cells treated with cisplatin. Conversely, treatment with a novel small molecule ALDH inhibitor (Aldi-6) resulted in a marked decrease in cell viability, and the combination of Aldi-6 and cisplatin resulted in a more pronounced reduction of cell viability and a greater reduction in tumor burden in vivo than what was observed with cisplatin alone. These data indicate that ALDH3A1 contributes to cisplatin resistance in HNSCC and that the targeting of ALDH, specifically, ALDH3A1, appears to be a promising strategy in this disease.

    View details for DOI 10.18632/oncotarget.17017

    View details for PubMedID 28881734

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5581033

  • Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2*2 knock-in mice show increased reactive oxygen species production in response to cisplatin treatment. Journal of biomedical science Kim, J., Chen, C., Yang, J., Mochly-Rosen, D. 2017; 24 (1): 33-?


    The aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzyme family metabolizes and detoxifies both exogenous and endogenous aldehydes. Since chemotherapeutic agents, such as cisplatin, generate cytotoxic aldehydes and oxidative stress, and chemoresistant cancer cells express high levels of ALDH enzymes, we hypothesized that different ALDH expression within cells may show different chemosensitivity. ALDH2 has the lowest Km for acetaldehyde among ALDH isozymes and detoxifies acetaldehydes in addition to other reactive aldehydes, such as 4-hydroxy-nonenal, malondialdehyde and acrolein produced from lipid peroxidation by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Thus, cells with an ALDH2 variant may sensitize them to these ROS-inducing chemotherapy drugs.Here, we used wild type C57BL/6 mice and ALDH2*2 knock-in mutant mice and compared the basal level of ROS in different tissues. Then, we treated the mice with cisplatin, isolated cells from organs and fractionated them into lysates containing mitochondrial and cytosolic fractions, treated with cisplatin again in vitro, and compared the level of ROS generated.We show that overall ROS production increases with cisplatin treatment in cells with ALDH2 mutation. The treatment of cisplatin in the wild type mice did not change the level of ROS compared to PBS treated controls. In contrast, ALDH2*2 knock-in mutant mice showed a significantly increased level of ROS compared to wild type mice in tongue, lung, kidney and brain tissues without any treatment. ALDH2*2 mutant mice showed 20% of the ALDH2 activity in the kidney compared to wild type mice. Treatment of ALDH2*2 mutant mice with cisplatin showed increased ROS levels in the mitochondrial fraction of kidney. In the cytosolic fraction, treatment of mutant mice with cisplatin increased ROS levels in lung and brain compared to PBS treated controls. Furthermore, ALDH2*2 mutant mice treated with cisplatin showed increased cytotoxicity in the kidney cells compared to PBS treated mutant controls.These data indicate that deficiency in ALDH2 activity may contribute to increased cisplatin sensitivity and cytotoxicity by producing more ROS by the treatment. Based on these data, the amount of cisplatin used in patients may need to be adjusted based on their ALDH2 variant profile.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12929-017-0338-8

    View details for PubMedID 28532411

  • Registered report: Melanoma exosomes educate bone marrow progenitor cells toward a pro-metastatic phenotype through MET. eLife Lesnik, J. n., Antes, T. n., Kim, J. n., Griner, E. n., Pedro, L. n. 2016; 5: e07383


    The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology seeks to address growing concerns about reproducibility in scientific research by conducting replications of selected experiments from a number of high-profile papers in the field of cancer biology. The papers, which were published between 2010 and 2012, were selected on the basis of citations and Altmetric scores (Errington et al., 2014). This Registered Report describes the proposed replication plan of key experiments from "Melanoma exosomes educate bone marrow progenitor cells toward a pro-metastatic phenotype through MET" by Peinado and colleagues, published in Nature Medicine in 2012 (Peinado et al., 2012). The key experiments being replicated are from Figures 4E, as well as Supplementary Figures 1C and 5A. In these experiments, Peinado and colleagues show tumor exosomes enhance metastasis to bones and lungs, which is diminished by reducing Met expression in exosomes (Peinado et al., 2012). The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology is a collaboration between the Center for Open Science and Science Exchange and the results of the replications will be published in eLife.

    View details for PubMedID 26826285

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4749561

  • Boosting Cancer Immunotherapy with Anti-CD137 Antibody Therapy CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Yonezawa, A., Dutt, S., Chester, C., Kim, J., Kohrt, H. E. 2015; 21 (14): 3113-3120


    In the past 5 years, immunomodulatory antibodies have revolutionized cancer immunotherapy. CD137, a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, represents a promising target for enhancing antitumor immune responses. CD137 helps regulate the activation of many immune cells, including CD4(+) T cells, CD8(+) T cells, dendritic cells, and natural killer cells. Recent studies indicate that the antitumor efficacy of therapeutic tumor-targeting antibodies can be augmented by the addition of agonistic antibodies targeting CD137. As ligation of CD137 provides a costimulatory signal in multiple immune cell subsets, combination therapy of CD137 antibody with therapeutic antibodies and/or vaccination has the potential to improve cancer treatment. Recently, clinical trials of combination therapies with agonistic anti-CD137 mAbs have been launched. In this review, we discuss the recent advances and clinical promise of agonistic anti-CD137 monoclonal antibody therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-0263

    View details for Web of Science ID 000359324000005

    View details for PubMedID 25908780

  • In vivo demonstration of enhanced radiotherapy using rare earth doped titania nanoparticles NANOSCALE Townley, H. E., Kim, J., Dobson, P. J. 2012; 4 (16): 5043-5050


    Radiation therapy is often limited by damage to healthy tissue and associated side-effects; restricting radiation to ineffective doses. Preferential incorporation of materials into tumour tissue can enhance the effect of radiation. Titania has precedent for use in photodynamic therapy (PDT), generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon photoexcitation, but is limited by the penetration depth of UV light. Optimization of a nanomaterial for interaction with X-rays could be used for deep tumour treatment. As such, titania nanoparticles were doped with gadolinium to optimize the localized energy absorption from a conventional medical X-ray, and further optimized by the addition of other rare earth (RE) elements. These elements were selected due to their large X-ray photon interaction cross-section, and potential for integration into the titania crystal structure. Specific activation of the nanoparticles by X-ray can result in generation of ROS leading to cell death in a tumour-localized manner. We show here that intratumoural injection of RE doped titania nanoparticles can enhance the efficacy of radiotherapy in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c2nr30769c

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306855500029

    View details for PubMedID 22767269

  • Discovery of a Novel Class of Covalent Inhibitor for Aldehyde Dehydrogenases JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Khanna, M., Chen, C., Kimble-Hill, A., Parajuli, B., Perez-Miller, S., Baskaran, S., Kim, J., Dria, K., Vasiliou, V., Mochly-Rosen, D., Hurley, T. D. 2011; 286 (50): 43486-43494


    Human aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) comprise a family of 17 homologous enzymes that metabolize different biogenic and exogenic aldehydes. To date, there are relatively few general ALDH inhibitors that can be used to probe the contribution of this class of enzymes to particular metabolic pathways. Here, we report the discovery of a general class of ALDH inhibitors with a common mechanism of action. The combined data from kinetic studies, mass spectrometric measurements, and crystallographic analyses demonstrate that these inhibitors undergo an enzyme-mediated β-elimination reaction generating a vinyl ketone intermediate that covalently modifies the active site cysteine residue present in these enzymes. The studies described here can provide the basis for rational approach to design ALDH isoenzyme-specific inhibitors as research tools and perhaps as drugs, to address diseases such as cancer where increased ALDH activity is associated with a cellular phenotype.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111.293597

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298351300068

    View details for PubMedID 22021038

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3234859

  • Discovery and Preclinical Validation of Drug Indications Using Compendia of Public Gene Expression Data SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Sirota, M., Dudley, J. T., Kim, J., Chiang, A. P., Morgan, A. A., Sweet-Cordero, A., Sage, J., Butte, A. J. 2011; 3 (96)


    The application of established drug compounds to new therapeutic indications, known as drug repositioning, offers several advantages over traditional drug development, including reduced development costs and shorter paths to approval. Recent approaches to drug repositioning use high-throughput experimental approaches to assess a compound's potential therapeutic qualities. Here, we present a systematic computational approach to predict novel therapeutic indications on the basis of comprehensive testing of molecular signatures in drug-disease pairs. We integrated gene expression measurements from 100 diseases and gene expression measurements on 164 drug compounds, yielding predicted therapeutic potentials for these drugs. We recovered many known drug and disease relationships using computationally derived therapeutic potentials and also predict many new indications for these 164 drugs. We experimentally validated a prediction for the antiulcer drug cimetidine as a candidate therapeutic in the treatment of lung adenocarcinoma, and demonstrate its efficacy both in vitro and in vivo using mouse xenograft models. This computational method provides a systematic approach for repositioning established drugs to treat a wide range of human diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001318

    View details for PubMedID 21849665

  • PKC delta Activation Mediates Angiogenesis via NADPH Oxidase Activity in PC-3 Prostate Cancer Cells PROSTATE Kim, J., Koyanagi, T., Mochly-Rosen, D. 2011; 71 (9): 946-954


    PKCδ is generally known as a pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative enzyme in human prostate cancer cells.Here, we investigated the role of PKCδ on the growth of PC-3 human prostate cancer cells in vivo and in vitro.We found that sustained treatment with a specific PKCδ activator (ψδ receptor for active C kinase, ψδRACK) increased growth of PC-3 xenografts. There was increased levels of HIF-1α, vascular endothelial growth factor and CD31-positive cells in PC-3 xenografts, representative of increased tumor angiogenesis. Mechanistically, PKCδ activation increased the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by binding to and phosphorylating NADPH oxidase, which induced its activity. Also, PKCδ-induced activation of NADPH oxidase increased the level of HIF-1α.Our results using tumors from the PC-3 xenograft model suggest that PKCδ activation increases angiogenic activity in androgen-independent PC-3 prostate cancer cells by increasing NADPH oxidase activity and HIF-1α levels and thus may partly be responsible for increased angiogenesis in advanced prostate cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pros.21310

    View details for PubMedID 21541971

  • Sustained inhibition of PKC alpha reduces intravasation and lung seeding during mammary tumor metastasis in an in vivo mouse model ONCOGENE Kim, J., Thorne, S. H., Sun, L., Huang, B., Mochly-Rosen, D. 2011; 30 (3): 323-333


    Metastasis is the major reason for breast cancer-related deaths. Although there is a host of indirect evidence for a role of protein kinase C (PKC) α in primary breast cancer growth, its role in the molecular pathways leading to metastasis has not been studied comprehensively. By treating mice with αV5-3, a novel peptide inhibitor selective for PKCα, we were able to determine how PKCα regulates metastasis of mammary cancer cells using a syngeneic and orthotopic model. The primary tumor growth was not affected by αV5-3 treatment. However, the mortality rate was reduced and metastasis in the lung decreased by more than 90% in the αV5-3-treated mice relative to the control-treated mice. αV5-3 treatment reduced intravasation by reducing matrix metalloproteinase-9 activities. αV5-3 treatment also reduced lung seeding of tumor cells and decreased cell migration, effects that were accompanied by a reduction in nuclear factor kappa B activity and cell surface levels of the CXCL12 receptor, CXCR4. αV5-3 treatment caused no apparent toxicity in non-tumor-bearing naïve mice. Rather, inhibiting PKCα protected against liver damage and increased the number of immune cells in tumor-bearing mice. Importantly, αV5-3 showed superior efficacy relative to anti-CXCR4 antibody in reducing metastasis in vivo. Together, these data show that pharmacological inhibition of PKCα effectively reduces mammary cancer metastasis by targeting intravasation and lung seeding steps in the metastatic process and suggest that PKCα-specific inhibitors, such as αV5-3, can be used to study the mechanistic roles of PKCα specifically and may provide a safe and effective treatment for the prevention of lung metastasis of breast cancer patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/onc.2010.415

    View details for Web of Science ID 000286418800007

    View details for PubMedID 20856202

  • Long non-coding RNA HOTAIR reprograms chromatin state to promote cancer metastasis NATURE Gupta, R. A., Shah, N., Wang, K. C., Kim, J., Horlings, H. M., Wong, D. J., Tsai, M., Hung, T., Argani, P., Rinn, J. L., Wang, Y., Brzoska, P., Kong, B., Li, R., West, R. B., van de Vijver, M. J., Sukumar, S., Chang, H. Y. 2010; 464 (7291): 1071-U148


    Large intervening non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) are pervasively transcribed in the genome yet their potential involvement in human disease is not well understood. Recent studies of dosage compensation, imprinting, and homeotic gene expression suggest that individual lincRNAs can function as the interface between DNA and specific chromatin remodelling activities. Here we show that lincRNAs in the HOX loci become systematically dysregulated during breast cancer progression. The lincRNA termed HOTAIR is increased in expression in primary breast tumours and metastases, and HOTAIR expression level in primary tumours is a powerful predictor of eventual metastasis and death. Enforced expression of HOTAIR in epithelial cancer cells induced genome-wide re-targeting of Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) to an occupancy pattern more resembling embryonic fibroblasts, leading to altered histone H3 lysine 27 methylation, gene expression, and increased cancer invasiveness and metastasis in a manner dependent on PRC2. Conversely, loss of HOTAIR can inhibit cancer invasiveness, particularly in cells that possess excessive PRC2 activity. These findings indicate that lincRNAs have active roles in modulating the cancer epigenome and may be important targets for cancer diagnosis and therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature08975

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276635000045

    View details for PubMedID 20393566

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3049919

  • Dehydroepiandrosterone supplement increases malate dehydrogenase activity and decreases NADPH-dependent antioxidant enzyme activity in rat hepatocellular carcinogenesis. Nutrition research and practice Kim, J., Kim, S. H., Choi, H. 2008; 2 (2): 80-4


    Beneficial effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplement on age-associated chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and diabetes, have been reported. However, its mechanism of action in hepatocellular carcinoma in vivo has not been investigated in detail. We have previously shown that during hepatocellular carcinogenesis, DHEA treatment decreases formation of preneoplastic glutathione S-transferase placental form-positive foci in the liver and has antioxidant effects. Here we aimed to determine the mechanism of actions of DHEA, in comparison to vitamin E, in a chemically-induced hepatocellular carcinoma model in rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were administered with control diet without a carcinogen, diets with 1.5% vitamin E, 0.5% DHEA and both of the compounds with a carcinogen for 6 weeks. The doses were previously reported to have anti-cancer effects in animals without known toxicities. With DHEA treatment, cytosolic malate dehydrogenase activities were significantly increased by ~5 fold and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase activities were decreased by ~25% compared to carcinogen treated group. Activities of Se-glutathione peroxidase in the cytotol was decreased significantly with DHEA treatment, confirming its antioxidative effect. However, liver microsomal cytochrome P-450 content and NADPH-dependent cytochrome P-450 reductase activities were not altered with DHEA treatment. Vitamin E treatment decreased cytosolic Se-glutathione peroxidase activities in accordance with our previous reports. However, vitamin E did not alter glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase or malate dehydrogenase activities. Our results suggest that DHEA may have decreased tumor nodule formation and reduced lipid peroxidation as previously reported, possibly by increasing the production of NADPH, a reducing equivalent for NADPH-dependent antioxidant enzymes. DHEA treatment tended to reduce glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase activities, which may have resulted in limited supply for de novo synthesis of DNA via inhibiting the hexose monophophaste pathway. Although both DHEA and vitamin E effectively reduced preneoplastic foci in this model, they seemed to function in different mechanisms. In conclusion, DHEA may be used to reduce hepatocellular carcinoma growth by targeting NADPH synthesis, cell proliferation and anti-oxidant enzyme activities during tumor growth.

    View details for DOI 10.4162/nrp.2008.2.2.80

    View details for PubMedID 20126370

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2815321

  • Pharmacological doses of dietary curcumin increase colon epithelial cell proliferation in vivo in rats. Phytotherapy research : PTR Kim, S. J., Hellerstein, M. K. 2007; 21 (10): 995-8


    Although curcumin has preventive actions in animal models of colon cancer, whether the mechanism of action is through anti-proliferation in normal environment is not clearly understood. Here, we studied the effects of chemopreventive doses of curcumin on the proliferation rate of colon epithelial cells (CEC), using a recently developed stable isotope-mass spectrometric method for measuring DNA synthesis rate. Adult male F344 rats were given diets containing 0, 2 and 4% curcumin for 5 weeks. 4% (2)H(2)O was given in drinking water to label DNA, after a priming bolus, for 4 days prior to sacrifice. The isotopic enrichment of the deoxyribose moiety of deoxyadenosine from DNA was measured by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry. Cell cycle analysis was performed after propidium iodide staining of CECs. Curcumin administration did not reduce but instead resulted in dose-dependent increases in CEC proliferation rate (p < 0.05) for 2% and 4% curcumin vs 0%). The length of the colon crypts and the fraction of cells in S-phase were also increased in the 2% and 4% curcumin groups (p < 0.05). Thus, pharmacological doses of curcumin increase CEC proliferation rate and pool size in normal rats. Reduction of CEC proliferation therefore cannot explain the proposed chemopreventive actions of curcumin in colon cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/ptr.2053

    View details for PubMedID 17582595

  • In vivo measurement of DNA synthesis rates of colon epithelial cells in carcinogenesis. Biochemical and biophysical research communications Kim, S. J., Turner, S., Killion, S., Hellerstein, M. K. 2005; 331 (1): 203-9


    We describe here a highly sensitive technique for measuring DNA synthesis rates of colon epithelial cells in vivo. Male SD rats were given (2)H(2)O (heavy water). Colon epithelial cells were isolated, DNA was extracted, hydrolyzed to deoxyribonucleosides, and the deuterium enrichment of the deoxyribose moiety was determined by gas chromatographic/mass spectrometry. Turnover time of colon crypts and the time for migration of cells from basal to top fraction of the crypts were measured. These data were consistent with cell cycle analysis and bromodeoxyuridine labeling. By giving different concentrations of a promoter, dose-dependent increases in DNA synthesis rates were detected, demonstrating the sensitivity of the method. Administration of a carcinogen increased DNA synthesis rates cell proliferation in all fractions of the crypt. In conclusion, DNA synthesis rates of colon epithelial cells can be measured directly in vivo using stable-isotope labeling. Potential applications in humans include use as a biomarker for cancer chemoprevention studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.02.195

    View details for PubMedID 15845379

  • Isolation of nuclei from label-retaining cells and measurement of their turnover rates in rat colon. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology Kim, S. J., Cheung, S., Hellerstein, M. K. 2004; 286 (6): C1464-73


    We describe here a new technique for isolating nuclei from long-term label-retaining cells (LRCs), a subpopulation enriched with stem cells from colon, and for measuring their proliferation rates in vivo. A double-label approach was developed, combining the use of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and (2)H(2)O. Male Fisher 344 rats were administered BrdU in drinking water continuously for 2-8 wk. BrdU was then discontinued (BrdU washout), and animals (n = 33) were switched to (2)H(2)O in drinking water and killed after 2, 4, and 8 wk. Nuclei from BrdU-positive cells (LRCs) were collected by flow cytometry. The percentages of LRCs were 7 and 3.8% after 4 and 8 wk of BrdU washout, respectively. Turnover rates of LRCs were measured on the basis of deuterium incorporation from (2)H(2)O into DNA of LRC nuclei, as determined by mass spectrometry. The proliferation rate of the LRCs collected was 0.33-0.90% per day (half-life of 77-210 days). Significant contamination from other potentially long-lived colon cells was excluded. In conclusion, this double-labeling method allows both physical isolation of nuclei from colon epithelial LRCs and measurement of their in vivo proliferation rates. Use of this approach may allow better understanding of mechanisms by which agents induce or protect against colon carcinogenesis.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpcell.00139.2003

    View details for PubMedID 14960413

  • Measurement in vivo of proliferation rates of slow turnover cells by 2H2O labeling of the deoxyribose moiety of DNA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Neese, R. A., Misell, L. M., Turner, S., Chu, A., Kim, J., Cesar, D., Hoh, R., Antelo, F., Strawford, A., McCune, J. M., Christiansen, M., Hellerstein, M. K. 2002; 99 (24): 15345-50


    We describe here a method for measuring DNA replication and, thus, cell proliferation in slow turnover cells that is suitable for use in humans. The technique is based on the incorporation of (2)H(2)O into the deoxyribose (dR) moiety of purine deoxyribonucleotides in dividing cells. For initial validation, rodents were administered 4% (2)H(2)O in drinking water. The proliferation rate of mammary epithelial cells in mice was 2.9% per day and increased 5-fold during pregnancy. Administration of estradiol pellets (0-200 microg) to ovariectomized rats increased mammary epithelial cell proliferation, according to a dose-response relationship up to the 100 microg dose. Similarly, proliferation of colon epithelial cells was stimulated in a dose-response manner by dietary cholic acid in rats. Bromodeoxyuridine labeling correlated with the (2)H(2)O results. Proliferation of slow turnover cells was then measured. Vascular smooth muscle cells isolated from mouse aorta divided with a half-life in the range of 270-400 days and die-away values after (2)H(2)O wash-out confirmed these slow turnover rates. The proliferation rate of an adipocyte-enriched fraction from mouse adipose tissue depots was 1-1.5% new cells per day, whereas obese ad libitum-fed obob mice exhibited markedly higher fractional and absolute proliferation rates. In humans, stable long-term (2)H(2)O enrichments in body water were achieved by daily (2)H(2)O intake, without toxicities. Labeled dR from fully turned-over blood cells (monocytes or granulocytes) exhibited a consistent amplification factor relative to body (2)H(2)O enrichment ( approximately 3.5-fold). The fraction of newly divided naive-phenotype T cells after 9 weeks of labeling with (2)H(2)O was 0.056 (CD4(+)) and 0.043 (CD8(+)) (replacement rate <0.1% per day). In summary, (2)H(2)O labeling of dR in DNA allows safe, convenient, reproducible, and inexpensive measurement of cell proliferation in humans and experimental animals and is well suited for slow turnover cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.232551499

    View details for PubMedID 12424339

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC137719