All Publications

  • LZTS2 is a novel beta-catenin-interacting protein and regulates the nuclear export of beta-catenin MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY Thyssen, G., Li, T., Lehmann, L., Zhuo, M., Sharma, M., Sun, Z. 2006; 26 (23): 8857-8867


    Beta-catenin plays multiple roles in cell-cell adhesion and Wnt signal transduction. Through the Wnt signal, the cellular level of beta-catenin is constitutively regulated by the multicomponent destruction complex containing glycogen synthase kinase 3beta, axin, and adenomatous polyposis coli. Here, we present multiple lines of evidence to demonstrate that LZTS2 (lucine zipper tumor suppressor 2) interacts with beta-catenin, represses the transactivation of beta-catenin, and affects the subcellular localization of beta-catenin. The LZTS2 gene is located at 10q24.3, which is frequently lost in a variety of human tumors. A functional nuclear export signal (NES) was identified in the C terminus of the protein (amino acids 631 to 641). Appending this motif to green fluorescent protein (GFP) induced nuclear exclusion of the GFP fusion protein. However, introducing point mutations in either one or two leucine residues of this NES sequence abolished the nuclear exclusion of the LZTS2 protein. The nuclear export of LZTS2 can be blocked by leptomycin B (LMB), an inhibitor of the CRM1/exportin-alpha pathway. Intriguingly, beta-catenin colocalizes with LZTS2 in the cytoplasm of cells in the absence of LMB but in the nuclei of cells in the presence of LMB. Increasing the LZTS2 protein in cells reduces the level of nuclear beta-catenin in SW480 cells. Taken together, these data demonstrate that LZTS2 is a beta-catenin-interacting protein that can modulate beta-catenin signaling and localization.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/MCB.01031-06

    View details for Web of Science ID 000242203700016

    View details for PubMedID 17000760

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC1636836

  • hZimp7, a novel PIAS-like protein, enhances androgen receptor-mediated transcription and interacts with SWI/SNF-like BAF complexes MOLECULAR ENDOCRINOLOGY Huang, C. Y., Beliakoff, J., Li, X. Y., Lee, J., Li, X. M., Sharma, M., Lim, B., Sun, Z. J. 2005; 19 (12): 2915-2929


    Members of the PIAS (protein inhibitor of activated signal transducer and activator of transcription) family are negative regulators of the Janus family of tyrosine kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription pathway. Recently, PIAS proteins have been shown to interact with multiple signaling pathways in various cellular processes, and it has been demonstrated that PIAS and PIAS-like proteins interact with nuclear hormone receptors. In this study, we have identified a novel human PIAS-like protein, provisionally termed hZimp7, which shares a high degree of sequence similarity with hZimp10 (human zinc finger-containing, Miz1, PIAS-like protein on chromosome 10). hZimp7 (human zinc finger-containing, Miz1, PIAS-like protein on chromosome 7) possesses a molecular mass of approximately 100 kDa and contains a conserved Miz (msx-interacting zinc finger) domain, a nuclear translocation signal sequence, and a C-terminal transactivation domain. Northern blot analysis revealed that hZimp7 is predominantly expressed in testis, heart, brain, prostate, and ovary. Moreover, immunohistochemical staining of prostate tissues revealed that endogenous hZimp7 protein localizes to the nuclei of prostate epithelial cells and costains with the androgen receptor (AR). Further analysis of hZimp7 subcellular localization revealed that hZimp7 and the AR colocalize within the nucleus and form a protein complex at replication foci. Transient transfection experiments showed that hZimp7 augments the transcriptional activity of the AR and other nuclear hormone receptors. In contrast, reduction of endogenous hZimp7 protein expression by RNA interference decreased AR-mediated transcription. Finally, we determined that hZimp7 physically associates with Brg1 and BAF57, components of the ATP-dependent mammalian SWI/SNF-like BAF chromatin-remodeling complexes. The above data illustrate a potential role for hZimp7 in modulation of AR and/or other nuclear receptor-mediated transcription, possibly through alteration of chromatin structure by SWI/SNF-like BAF complexes.

    View details for DOI 10.1210/me.2005-0097

    View details for Web of Science ID 000233460500003

    View details for PubMedID 16051670

  • An Hsp27-related, dominant-negative-acting intracellular estradiol-binding protein JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Chen, H., Hewison, M., Hu, B., Sharma, M., Sun, Z. J., Adams, J. S. 2004; 279 (29): 29944-29951


    New World primates (NWPs) exhibit a compensated form of resistance to gonadal steroid hormones. We demonstrated recently that estrogen resistance in NWP cells was associated with the overexpression of two proteins, a nonreceptor-related, dominant-negative-acting estrogen response element (ERE)-binding protein (ERE-BP) and an intracellular estradiol-binding protein (IEBP). Based on the N-terminal sequences of tryptic fragments of IEBP isolated from a 17beta-estradiol (E2) affinity column we cloned a full-length cDNA for IEBP from the estrogen-resistant NWP cell line, B95-8. Subsequent sequence analysis revealed 87% sequence identity between the deduced peptide for IEBP and human Hsp27. When hormone-responsive, wild-type Old World primate (OWP) cells were transiently transfected with IEBP cDNA, E2-directed ERE reporter luciferase activity was reduced by 50% compared with vector only-transfected OWP cells (p < 0.0018). When IEBP and ERE-BP were cotransfected, ERE promoter-reporter activity was reduced by a further 60% (p < 0.0001). Electrophoresis mobility shift analyses showed that IEBP neither bound to ERE nor competed with the estrogen receptor (ER) for binding to ERE. However, there was evidence of protein-protein interaction of IEBP and ERalpha; IEBP was coimmunoprecipitated with anti-ERalpha antibody in wild-type cells stably transfected with IEBP. A specific interaction between ERalpha and IEBP was confirmed in glutathione S-transferase pull-down and yeast two-hybrid assays. Data indicate that the Hsp27-related IEBP interacts with the ligand binding domain of the ERalpha. In summary, by inhibiting the ERalpha-E2 interaction, IEBP acts to squelch ERalpha-directed ERE-regulated transactivation and promote estrogen resistance in NWP cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M401317200

    View details for Web of Science ID 000222531900011

    View details for PubMedID 15123601

  • hZimp10 is an androgen receptor co-activator and forms a complex with SUMO-1 at replication foci EMBO JOURNAL Sharma, M. J., Li, X. Y., Wang, Y. Z., Zarnegar, M., Huang, C. Y., PALVIMO, J. J., Lim, B., Sun, Z. J. 2003; 22 (22): 6101-6114


    The androgen receptor (AR) plays a central role in male sexual development and in normal and malignant prostate cell growth and survival. It has been shown that transcriptional activation of AR is regulated through interaction with various co-factors. Here we identify a novel PIAS-like protein, hZimp10, as an AR-interacting protein. The transactivation domain (TAD) of AR and the central region of hZimp10 were found to be responsible for the interaction. A strong intrinsic transactivation domain was identified in the C-terminal, proline-rich region of hZimp10. Endogenous AR and hZimp10 proteins were co-stained in the nuclei of prostate epithelial cells from human tissue samples. In human prostate cancer cells, hZimp10 augmented the transcriptional activity of AR. Moreover, hZimp10 co-localized with AR and SUMO-1 at replication foci throughout S phase, and it was capable of enhancing sumoylation of AR in vivo. Studies using sumoylation deficient AR mutants suggested that the augmentation of AR activity by hZimp10 is dependent on the sumoylation of the receptor. Taken together, these data demonstrate that hZimp10 is a novel AR co-regulator.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000186579300014

    View details for PubMedID 14609956

  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt stimulates androgen pathway through GSK3 beta inhibition and nuclear beta-catenin accumulation JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Sharma, M., Chuang, W. W., Sun, Z. J. 2002; 277 (34): 30935-30941


    PI3K/Akt plays a critical role in prostate cancer cell growth and survival. Recent studies have shown that the effect of PI3K/Akt in prostate cells is mediated through androgen signaling. The PI3K inhibitor, LY294002, and a tumor suppressor, PTEN, negatively regulate the PI3K/Akt pathway and repress AR activity. However, the molecular mechanisms whereby PI3K/Akt and PTEN regulate the androgen pathway are currently unclear. Here, we demonstrate that blocking the PI3K/Akt pathway reduces the expression of an endogenous AR target gene. Moreover, we show that the repression of AR activity by LY294002 is mediated through phosphorylation and inactivation of GSK3beta, a downstream substrate of PI3K/Akt, which results in the nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin. Given the recent evidence that beta-catenin acts as a coactivator of AR, our findings suggest a novel mechanism by which PI3K/Akt modulates androgen signaling. In a PTEN-null prostate cancer cell line, we show that PTEN expression reduces beta-catenin-mediated augmentation of AR transactivation. Using the mutants of beta-catenin, we further demonstrate that the repressive effect of PTEN is mediated by a GSK3beta-regulated degradation of beta-catenin. Our results delineate a novel link among the PI3K, wnt, and androgen pathways and provide fresh insights into the mechanisms of prostate tumor development and progression.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M201919200

    View details for Web of Science ID 000177579800069

    View details for PubMedID 12063252

  • Linking beta-catenin to androgen-signaling pathway JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Yang, F. J., Li, X. Y., Sharma, M., Sasaki, C. Y., Longo, D. L., Lim, B., Sun, Z. J. 2002; 277 (13): 11336-11344


    The androgen-signaling pathway is important for the growth and progression of prostate cancer cells. The growth-promoting effects of androgen on prostate cells are mediated mostly through the androgen receptor (AR). There is increasing evidence that transcription activation by AR is mediated through interaction with other cofactors. beta-Catenin plays a critical role in embryonic development and tumorigenesis through its effects on E-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion and Wnt-dependent signal transduction. Here, we demonstrate that a specific protein-protein interaction occurs between beta-catenin and AR. Unlike the steroid hormone receptor coactivator 1 (SRC1), beta-catenin showed a strong interaction with AR but not with other steroid hormone receptors such as estrogen receptor alpha, progesterone receptor beta, and glucocorticoid receptor. The ligand binding domain of AR and the NH(2) terminus combined with the first six armadillo repeats of beta-catenin were shown to be necessary for the interaction. Through this specific interaction, beta-catenin augments the ligand-dependent activity of AR in prostate cancer cells. Moreover, expression of E-cadherin in E-cadherin-negative prostate cancer cells results in redistribution of the cytoplasmic beta-catenin to the cell membrane and reduction of AR-mediated transcription. These data suggest that loss of E-cadherin can elevate the cellular levels of beta-catenin in prostate cancer cells, which may directly contribute to invasiveness and a more malignant tumor phenotype by augmenting AR activity during prostate cancer progression.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111962200

    View details for Web of Science ID 000174613100075

    View details for PubMedID 11792709

  • A novel zinc finger transcription factor with two isoforms that are differentially repressed by estrogen receptor-alpha JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Conroy, A. T., Sharma, M., Holtz, A. E., Wu, C. B., Sun, Z. J., Weigel, R. J. 2002; 277 (11): 9326-9334


    Estrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha) can induce the expression of genes in response to estrogen by binding to estrogen response elements in the promoters of target genes. There is growing evidence that ERalpha can alter patterns of gene expression in response to ligand by regulating the activity of other factors through a direct protein-protein interaction. To identify other factors that are regulated by ERalpha, a yeast two-hybrid screen was performed that identified a novel Cys(2)His(2) zinc finger protein named ZER6. The ZER6 protein contains a Kruppel-associated box domain and six Cys(2)His(2) zinc fingers. Transcripts from the ZER6 gene can have alternate 5' exons and encode either a p71 or p52 isoform. The p52-ZER6 protein interacts strongly with ERalpha in the presence of 17beta-estradiol, whereas the p71-ZER6 isoform has a HUB-1 amino-terminal domain that inhibits the interaction with ERalpha. A consensus ZER6 binding element was defined using PCR-assisted binding site selection. In COS-1 cells, both the p52 and p71 isoforms can activate transcription through the ZER6 binding element; however, in the presence of ERalpha, transactivation by the p52 isoform is specifically repressed. Overexpression of the p52 isoform was able to abrogate activation by p71-ZER6. Expression of ZER6 was largely restricted to the mammary gland with a lower level of expression in the kidney. We conclude that ZER6 is a novel zinc finger transcription factor in which regulation of transcription in hormone-responsive cells can be controlled by the relative level of expression of two distinct isoforms.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M107702200

    View details for Web of Science ID 000174400600080

    View details for PubMedID 11779858

  • 5 ' TG3 ' interacting factor interacts with Sin3A and represses AR-mediated transcription MOLECULAR ENDOCRINOLOGY Sharma, M., Sun, Z. 2001; 15 (11): 1918-1928


    Like other nuclear receptors, the AR exerts its transcriptional function by binding to cis elements upstream of promoters and interacting with other transcriptional factors (e.g. activators, repressors, and modulators). Among them, histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs) play critical roles in altering the acetylation state of core histones, thereby regulating nuclear hormone receptor-mediated transcription. The nuclear receptor corepressor can repress the TR and RAR in the absence of ligand through either a Sin3A-dependent or -independent manner by recruiting HDACs. AR and some other steroid hormone receptors cannot silence transcription through a similar mechanism in that they are located in the cytoplasm as complexes with heat-shock proteins before exposure to ligand. It has been shown that AR can bind to p160/SRC, cAMP response element-binding protein-binding protein (CBP)/P300 and other coactivators to increase the AR-mediated transcription. However, the molecular mechanism for turning AR from transcriptionally active into silent states is unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that the transcription repressor, 5'TG3' interacting factor (TGIF), selectively represses AR-mediated transcription from several AR-responsive promoters. The repression is mediated through binding of TGIF to the DNA binding domain of AR and is trichostatin sensitive. We also identified a direct protein-protein interaction between TGIF and a transcription corepressor, Sin3A, which suggests a novel pathway for TGIF recruiting HDAC1 to the repression complex. These results provide fresh insight into understanding the mechanism for repressing AR-, and perhaps other steroid hormone receptor-, mediated transcriptions.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171821200007

    View details for PubMedID 11682623

  • Ligand-dependent interaction of estrogen receptor-alpha with members of the forkhead transcription factor family JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Schuur, E. R., Loktev, A. V., Sharma, M., Sun, Z. J., Roth, R. A., Weigel, R. J. 2001; 276 (36): 33554-33560


    Estrogen acting through the estrogen receptor (ER) is able to regulate cell growth and differentiation of a variety of normal tissues and hormone-responsive tumors. Ligand-activated ER binds DNA and transactivates the promoters of estrogen target genes. In addition, ligand-activated ER can interact with other factors to alter the physiology and growth of cells. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we have identified an interaction between ER alpha and the proapoptotic forkhead transcription factor FKHR. The ER alpha-FKHR interaction depends on beta-estradiol and is reduced significantly in the absence of hormone or the presence of Tamoxifen. A glutathione S-transferase pull-down assay was used to confirm the interaction and localized two interaction sites, one in the forkhead domain and a second in the carboxyl terminus. The FKHR interaction was specific to ER alpha and was not detected with other ligand-activated steroid receptors. The related family members, FKHRL1 and AFX, also bound to ER alpha in the presence of beta-estradiol. FKHR augmented ER alpha transactivation through an estrogen response element. Conversely, ER alpha repressed FKHR-mediated transactivation through an insulin response sequence, and cell cycle arrest induced by FKHRL1 in MCF7 cells was abrogated by estradiol. These results suggest a novel mechanism of estrogen action that involves regulation of the proapoptotic forkhead transcription factors.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000170910200037

    View details for PubMedID 11435445

  • Androgen receptor specifically interacts with a novel p21-activated kinase, PAK6 JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Yang, F., Lio, X. Y., Sharma, M. J., Zarnegar, M., Lim, B., Sun, Z. 2001; 276 (18): 15345-15353


    The androgen receptor (AR) is a hormone-dependent transcription factor that plays important roles in male sexual differentiation and development. Transcription activation by steroid hormone receptors, such as the androgen receptor, is mediated through interaction with cofactors. We recently identified a novel AR-interacting protein, provisionally termed PAK6, that shares a high degree of sequence similarity with p21-activated kinases (PAKs). PAK6 is a 75-kDa protein that contains a putative amino-terminal Cdc42/Rac interactive binding motif and a carboxyl-terminal kinase domain. A domain-specific and ligand-dependent interaction between AR and PAK6 was further confirmed in vivo and in vitro. Northern blot analysis revealed that PAK6 is highly expressed in testis and prostate tissues. Most importantly, immunofluorescence studies showed that PAK6 cotranslocates into the nucleus with AR in response to androgen. Transient transfection experiments showed that PAK6 specifically repressed AR-mediated transcription. This report identifies a novel function for a PAK-homologous protein and suggests a potential unique mechanism by which other signal transduction pathways may cross-talk with AR pathways to regulate AR function in normal and malignant prostate cells.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000168528800109

    View details for PubMedID 11278661

  • SMAD3 represses androgen receptor-mediated transcription CANCER RESEARCH Hayes, S. A., Zarnegar, M., Sharma, M., Yang, F. J., Peehl, D. M., ten Dijke, P., Sun, Z. J. 2001; 61 (5): 2112-2118


    The androgen-signaling pathway is important in the growth and progression of prostate cancer. Androgen ablation therapy, which may result in programmed cell death, is often used to treat advanced prostate cancer. The growth-promoting effects of androgen are mediated mostly through the androgen receptor (AR). Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) plays critical roles in controlling prostate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Normal transcripts and proteins of TGF-beta receptors are frequently lost in prostate cancer cells, especially in advanced stages of the disease. However, the mechanisms by which TGF-beta inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in prostate cancer cells is not clear. We investigated the molecular mechanism by which TGF-beta inhibits transcriptional activation mediated by AR. Using transient transfection systems, we demonstrated that Smad3 specifically represses transcriptional activation mediated by AR on two natural androgen-responsive promoters. This repression is transmitted through TGF-beta signaling and can be regulated by other Smad proteins. A protein-protein interaction between AR and Smad3 was identified in vitro and in vivo, and the transcription activation domain of AR and the MH2 of Smad3 were identified as being responsible for binding. Additional functional experiments showed that the repression of AR by Smad3 is mediated solely through the MH2 domain. These results provide fresh insight for understanding the mechanism by which TGF-beta regulates the androgen-signaling pathway in prostate cancer cells.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000167568100056

    View details for PubMedID 11280774

  • Androgen receptor interacts with a novel MYST protein, HBO1 JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Sharma, M., Zarnegar, M., Li, X. Y., Lim, B., Sun, Z. J. 2000; 275 (45): 35200-35208


    The androgen receptor (AR), a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily, plays a central role in male sexual differentiation and prostate cell proliferation. Results of treating prostate cancer by androgen ablation indicate that signals mediated through AR are critical for the growth of these tumors. Like other nuclear receptors, AR exerts its transcriptional function by binding to cis-elements upstream of promoters and interacting with other transcriptional factors (e.g. activators, repressors and modulators). To determine the mechanism of AR-regulated transcription, we used the yeast two-hybrid system to identify AR-associated proteins. One of the proteins we identified is identical to the human origin recognition complex-interacting protein termed HBO1. A ligand-enhanced interaction between AR and HBO1 was further confirmed in vivo and in vitro. Immunofluorescence experiments showed that HBO1 is a nuclear protein, and Northern blot analysis revealed that it is ubiquitously expressed, with the highest levels present in human testis. HBO1 belongs to the MYST family, which is characterized by a highly conserved C2HC zinc finger and a putative histone acetyltransferase domain. Surprisingly, two yeast members of the MYST family, SAS2 and SAS3, have been shown to function as transcription silencers, despite the presence of the histone acetyltransferase domain. Using a GAL4 DNA-binding domain assay, we mapped a transcriptional repression domain within the N-terminal region of HBO1. Transient transfection experiments revealed that HBO1 specifically repressed AR-mediated transcription in both CV-1 and PC-3 cells. These results indicate that HBO1 is a new AR-interacting protein capable of modulating AR activity. It could play a significant role in regulating AR-dependent genes in normal and prostate cancer cells.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000165422800051

    View details for PubMedID 10930412