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Articles by T. H Lee
Total Records ( 4 ) for T. H Lee
  T. H Lee , J Chen and J. M. Miano

Rationale: We previously identified a novel serine carboxypeptidase, SCPEP1, that undergoes cleavage across all tissues where it is expressed. SCPEP1 bears the signature catalytic triad found in all serine carboxypeptidases, but its biological function is completely unknown.

Objective: To begin elucidating the functions of SCPEP1 in vitro and in the vessel wall after injury.

Methods and Results: Cultured smooth muscle cells were transduced with adenovirus carrying wild-type Scpep1, a short hairpin RNA to Scpep1, or variants of Scpep1 with mutations that disrupt the catalytic triad domain or SCPEP1 cleavage. Western blotting of key growth regulators or growth and migratory responses were assessed following SCPEP1 gain- or loss-of-function in smooth muscle cells. Vascular injury-induced remodeling and cell proliferation were evaluated in wild-type or newly created Scpep1 knockout mice. Overexpression of wild-type or cleavage-defective SCPEP1, but not a catalytic triad mutant SCPEP1, promotes smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration in vitro. A short hairpin RNA to Scpep1 blunts endogenous growth, which is rescued on concurrent expression of Scpep1 carrying silent mutations that evade knockdown. SCPEP1 protein is highly expressed in the neointima of 2 models of vascular remodeling. Scpep1-null mice show decreases in medial and intimal cell proliferation as well as vessel remodeling following arterial injury.

Conclusions: SCPEP1 promotes smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration in a catalytic triad-dependent, cleavage-independent manner. SCPEP1 represents a new mediator of vascular remodeling and a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of vascular occlusive diseases.

  T. H Lee , S. H Song , K. L Kim , J. Y Yi , G. H Shin , J. Y Kim , J Kim , Y. M Han , S. H Lee , S. H Shim and W. Suh

Rationale: Generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells has been intensively studied by a variety of reprogramming methods, but the molecular and functional properties of the cells differentiated from iPS cells have not been well characterized.

Objective: To address this issue, we generated iPS cells from human aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (HASMCs) using lentiviral transduction of defined transcription factors and differentiated these iPS cells back into smooth muscle cells (SMCs).

Methods and Results: Established iPS cells were shown to possess properties equivalent to human embryonic stem cells, in terms of the cell surface markers, global mRNA and microRNA expression patterns, epigenetic status of OCT4, REX1, and NANOG promoters, and in vitro/in vivo pluripotency. The cells were differentiated into SMCs to enable a direct, comparative analysis with HASMCs, from which the iPS cells originated. We observed that iPS cell–derived SMCs were very similar to parental HASMCs in gene expression patterns, epigenetic modifications of pluripotency-related genes, and in vitro functional properties. However, the iPS cells still expressed a significant amount of lentiviral transgenes (OCT4 and LIN28) because of partial gene silencing.

Conclusions: Our study reports, for the first time, the generation of iPS cells from HASMCs and their differentiation into SMCs. Moreover, a parallel comparative analysis of human iPS cell–derived SMCs and parental HASMCs revealed that iPS-derived cells possessed representative molecular and in vitro functional characteristics of parental HASMCs, suggesting that iPS cells hold great promise as an autologous cell source for patient-specific cell therapy.

  Y. K Gupta , T. H Lee , T. A Edwards , C. R Escalante , L. Y Kadyrova , R. P Wharton and A. K. Aggarwal

Pumilio controls a number of processes in eukaryotes, including the translational repression of hunchback (hb) mRNA in early Drosophila embryos. The Pumilio Puf domain binds to a pair of 32 nucleotide (nt) Nanos response elements (NRE1 and NRE2) within the 3' untranslated region of hb mRNA. Despite the elucidation of structures of human Pumilio Puf domain in complex with hb RNA elements, the nature of hb mRNA recognition remains unclear. In particular, the site that mediates regulation in vivo is significantly larger than the 8–10-nt RNA elements bound to single Puf molecules in crystal structures. Here we present biophysical and biochemical data that partially resolve the paradox. We show that each NRE is composed of two binding sites (Box A and Box B) and that two Puf domains can co-occupy a single NRE. The Puf domains have a higher affinity for the 3' Box B site than the 5' Box A site; binding to the intact NRE appears to be cooperative (at least in some experiments). We suggest that the 2 Pumilio:1 NRE complex is the functional regulatory unit in vivo.

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