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Articles by S Liang
Total Records ( 3 ) for S Liang
  S Maegawa , G Hinkal , H. S Kim , L Shen , L Zhang , J Zhang , N Zhang , S Liang , L. A Donehower and J. P. J. Issa

Aberrant methylation of promoter CpG islands in cancer is associated with silencing of tumor-suppressor genes, and age-dependent hypermethylation in normal appearing mucosa may be a risk factor for human colon cancer. It is not known whether this age-related DNA methylation phenomenon is specific to human tissues. We performed comprehensive DNA methylation profiling of promoter regions in aging mouse intestine using methylated CpG island amplification in combination with microarray analysis. By comparing C57BL/6 mice at 3-mo-old versus 35-mo-old for 3627 detectable autosomal genes, we found 774 (21%) that showed increased methylation and 466 (13%) that showed decreased methylation. We used pyrosequencing to quantitatively validate the microarray data and confirmed linear age-related methylation changes for all 12 genomic regions examined. We then examined 11 changed genomic loci for age-related methylation in other tissues. Of these, three of 11 showed similar changes in lung, seven of 11 changed in liver, and six of 11 changed in spleen, though to a lower degree than the changes seen in colon. There was partial conservation between age-related hypermethylation in human and mouse intestines, and Polycomb targets in embryonic stem cells were enriched among the hypermethylated genes. Our findings demonstrate a surprisingly high rate of hyper- and hypomethylation as a function of age in normal mouse small intestine tissues and a strong tissue-specificity to the process. We conclude that epigenetic deregulation is a common feature of aging in mammals.

  M. R. H Estecio , J Gallegos , C Vallot , R. J Castoro , W Chung , S Maegawa , Y Oki , Y Kondo , J Jelinek , L Shen , H Hartung , P. D Aplan , B. A Czerniak , S Liang and J. P. J. Issa

Epigenetic silencing plays an important role in cancer development. An attractive hypothesis is that local DNA features may participate in differential predisposition to gene hypermethylation. We found that, compared with methylation-resistant genes, methylation-prone genes have a lower frequency of SINE and LINE retrotransposons near their transcription start site. In several large testing sets, this distribution was highly predictive of promoter methylation. Genome-wide analysis showed that 22% of human genes were predicted to be methylation-prone in cancer; these tended to be genes that are down-regulated in cancer and that function in developmental processes. Moreover, retrotransposon distribution marks a larger fraction of methylation-prone genes compared to Polycomb group protein (PcG) marking in embryonic stem cells; indeed, PcG marking and our predictive model based on retrotransposon frequency appear to be correlated but also complementary. In summary, our data indicate that retrotransposon elements, which are widespread in our genome, are strongly associated with gene promoter DNA methylation in cancer and may in fact play a role in influencing epigenetic regulation in normal and abnormal physiological states.

  L Li , S Liang , M. M Pilcher and S. O. Meroueh

The success of antibody-based pharmaceuticals has led to a resurgence in interest in computational structure-based design. Most efforts to date have been on the redesign of existing interfaces. These efforts have mostly neglected the inherent flexibility of the receptor that is critical for binding. In this work, we extend on a previous study to perform a series of designs of protein binding interfaces by incorporating receptor flexibility using an ensemble of conformers collected from explicit-solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. All designer complexes are subjected to 30 ns of MD in explicit solvent to assess for stability for a total of 480 ns of dynamics. This is followed by end-point free energy calculations whereby intermolecular potential energy, polar and non-polar solvation energy and entropy of ligand and receptor are subtracted from that of the complex and averaged over 320 snapshots collected from each of the 30 ns MD simulations. Our initial effort consisted of redesigning the interface of three well-studied complexes, namely barnase–barstar, lysozyme–antibody D1.3 and trypsin–BPTI. The design was performed with flexible backbone approach. MD simulations revealed that all three complexes remained stable. Interestingly, the redesigned trypsin–BPTI complex was significantly more favorable than the native complex. This was attributed to the favorable electrostatics and entropy that complemented the already favorable non-polar component. Another aspect of this work consisted of grafting the surface of three proteins, namely tenascin, CheY and MBP1 to bind to barnase, trypsin and lysozyme. The process was initially performed using fixed backbone, and more than 300 ns of the explicit-solvent MD simulation revealed some of the complexes to dissociate over the course of the trajectories, whereas others remained stable. Free energy calculations confirmed that the non-polar component of the free energy as computed by summing the van der Waals energy and the non-polar solvation energy was a strong predictor of stability. Four complexes (two stable and two unstable) were selected, and redesigned using multiple conformers collected from the MD simulation. The resulting designer systems were then immersed in explicit solvent and 30 ns of MD was carried out on each. Interestingly, those complexes that were initially stable remained stable, whereas one of the unstable complexes became stable following redesign with flexible backbone. Free energy calculations showed significant improvements in the affinity for most complexes, revealing that the use of multiple conformers in protein design may significantly enhance such efforts.

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