Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, California Institute of Technology (2010)

Stanford Advisors


Journal Articles

  • Ikaros represses and activates PU.1 cell-type-specifically through the multifunctional Sfpi1 URE and a myeloid specific enhancer ONCOGENE Zarnegar, M. A., Rothenberg, E. V. 2012; 31 (43): 4647-4654


    Generation of myeloid and lymphoid cells from progenitors involves dynamic changes in transcription factor expression and use, and disruption of hematopoietic transcription factor function and expression can contribute to leukemic transformation. PU.1 and Ikaros are pivotal factors whose expression and utilization are dynamically altered during hematopoietic development. Here, we demonstrate that expression of PU.1, encoded by the Sfpi1 gene, is divergently regulated by Ikaros in distinct cell type-specific contexts. Chromatin immune precipitation analysis and functional perturbations revealed that Ikaros can directly repress or activate Sfpi1 transcription via different PU.1 cis-elements, with PU.1 and Ikaros collaborating at myeloid-specific elements but not at other elements. Our results thus shed light on how PU.1 and Ikaros can act as lineage competency factors to facilitate both myeloid and lymphoid developmental programs.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/onc.2011.597

    View details for Web of Science ID 000310528200008

    View details for PubMedID 22231443

  • Cell-Type-Specific Activation and Repression of PU.1 by a Complex of Discrete, Functionally Specialized cis-Regulatory Elements MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY Zarnegar, M. A., Chen, J., Rothenberg, E. V. 2010; 30 (20): 4922-4939


    The transcription factor PU.1 is critical for multiple hematopoietic lineages, but different leukocyte types require strictly distinct patterns of PU.1 regulation. PU.1 is required early for T-cell lineage development but then must be repressed by a stage-specific mechanism correlated with commitment. Other lineages require steady, low expression or upregulation. Until now, only the promoter plus a distal upstream regulatory element (URE) could be invoked to explain nearly all Sfpi1 (PU.1) activation and repression, including bifunctional effects of Runx1. However, the URE is dispensable for most Sfpi1 downregulation in early T cells, and we show that it retains enhancer activity in immature T-lineage cells even where endogenous Sfpi1 is repressed. We now present evidence for another complex of conserved noncoding elements that mediate discrete, cell-type-specific regulatory features of Sfpi1, including a myeloid cell-specific activating element and a separate, pro-T-cell-specific silencer element. These elements yield opposite, cell-type-specific responses to Runx1. T-cell-specific repression requires Runx1 acting through multiple nonconsensus sites in the silencer core. These newly characterized sites recruit Runx1 binding in early T cells in vivo and define a functionally specific scaffold for dose-dependent, Runx-mediated repression.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/MCB.00354-10

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282099300014

    View details for PubMedID 20696839

  • 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

  • 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

Stanford Medicine Resources: