Goutagny S, Yang HW, Zucman-Rossi J, Chan J, Dreyfuss JM, Park PJ, Black PM, Giovannini M, Carroll RS, Kalamarides M. Genomic profiling reveals alternative genetic pathways of meningioma malignant progression dependent on the underlying NF2 status. Clin Cancer Res 2010;16(16):4155-64.Abstract

PURPOSE: Meningiomas are the most common central nervous system tumors in the population of age 35 and older. WHO defines three grades predictive of the risk of recurrence. Clinical data supporting histologic malignant progression of meningiomas are sparse and underlying molecular mechanisms are not clearly depicted. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We identified genetic alterations associated with histologic progression of 36 paired meningioma samples in 18 patients using 500K SNP genotyping arrays and NF2 gene sequencing. RESULTS: The most frequent chromosome alterations observed in progressing meningioma samples are early alterations (i.e., present both in lower- and higher-grade samples of a single patient). In our series, NF2 gene inactivation was an early and frequent event in progressing meningioma samples (73%). Chromosome alterations acquired during progression from grade I to grade II meningioma were not recurrent. Progression to grade III was characterized by recurrent genomic alterations, the most frequent being CDKN2A/CDKN2B locus loss on 9p. CONCLUSION: Meningiomas displayed different patterns of genetic alterations during progression according to their NF2 status: NF2-mutated meningiomas showed higher chromosome instability during progression than NF2-nonmutated meningiomas, which had very few imbalanced chromosome segments. This pattern of alterations could thus be used as markers in clinical practice to identify tumors prone to progress among grade I meningiomas.

Balakrishnan A, Stearns AT, Park PJ, Dreyfuss JM, Ashley SW, Rhoads DB, Tavakkolizadeh A. MicroRNA mir-16 is anti-proliferative in enterocytes and exhibits diurnal rhythmicity in intestinal crypts. Exp Cell Res 2010;316(20):3512-21.Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The intestine exhibits profound diurnal rhythms in function and morphology, in part due to changes in enterocyte proliferation. The regulatory mechanisms behind these rhythms remain largely unknown. We hypothesized that microRNAs are involved in mediating these rhythms, and studied the role of microRNAs specifically in modulating intestinal proliferation. METHODS: Diurnal rhythmicity of microRNAs in rat jejunum was analyzed by microarrays and validated by qPCR. Temporal expression of diurnally rhythmic mir-16 was further quantified in intestinal crypts, villi, and smooth muscle using laser capture microdissection and qPCR. Morphological changes in rat jejunum were assessed by histology and proliferation by immunostaining for bromodeoxyuridine. In IEC-6 cells stably overexpressing mir-16, proliferation was assessed by cell counting and MTS assay, cell cycle progression and apoptosis by flow cytometry, and cell cycle gene expression by qPCR and immunoblotting. RESULTS: mir-16 peaked 6 hours after light onset (HALO 6) with diurnal changes restricted to crypts. Crypt depth and villus height peaked at HALO 13-14 in antiphase to mir-16. Overexpression of mir-16 in IEC-6 cells suppressed specific G1/S regulators (cyclins D1-3, cyclin E1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 6) and produced G1 arrest. Protein expression of these genes exhibited diurnal rhythmicity in rat jejunum, peaking between HALO 11 and 17 in antiphase to mir-16. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of circadian rhythmicity of specific microRNAs in rat jejunum. Our data provide a link between anti-proliferative mir-16 and the intestinal proliferation rhythm and point to mir-16 as an important regulator of proliferation in jejunal crypts. This function may be essential to match proliferation and absorptive capacity with nutrient availability.

Tolstorukov MY, Kharchenko PV, Park PJ. Analysis of primary structure of chromatin with next-generation sequencing. Epigenomics 2010;2(2):187-197.Abstract

The recent development of next-generation sequencing technology has enabled significant progress in chromatin structure analysis. Here, we review the experimental and bioinformatic approaches to studying nucleosome positioning and histone modification profiles on a genome scale using this technology. These studies advanced our knowledge of the nucleosome positioning patterns of both epigenetically modified and bulk nucleosomes and elucidated the role of such patterns in regulation of gene expression. The identification and analysis of large sets of nucleosome-bound DNA sequences allowed better understanding of the rules that govern nucleosome positioning in organisms of various complexity. We also discuss the existing challenges and prospects of using next-generation sequencing for nucleosome positioning analysis and outline the importance of such studies for the entire chromatin structure field.

Xi R, Kim T-M, Park PJ. Detecting structural variations in the human genome using next generation sequencing. Brief Funct Genomics 2010;9(5-6):405-15.Abstract

Structural variations are widespread in the human genome and can serve as genetic markers in clinical and evolutionary studies. With the advances in the next-generation sequencing technology, recent methods allow for identification of structural variations with unprecedented resolution and accuracy. They also provide opportunities to discover variants that could not be detected on conventional microarray-based platforms, such as dosage-invariant chromosomal translocations and inversions. In this review, we will describe some of the sequencing-based algorithms for detection of structural variations and discuss the key issues in future development.

Hodge JC, Park PJ, Dreyfuss JM, Assil-Kishawi I, Somasundaram P, Semere LG, Quade BJ, Lynch AM, Stewart EA, Morton CC. Identifying the molecular signature of the interstitial deletion 7q subgroup of uterine leiomyomata using a paired analysis. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2009;48(10):865-85.Abstract

Uterine leiomyomata (UL), the most common neoplasm in reproductive-age women, have recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities including interstitial deletion of 7q. To develop a molecular signature, matched del(7q) and non-del(7q) tumors identified by FISH or karyotyping from 11 women were profiled with expression arrays. Our analysis using paired t tests demonstrates this matched design is critical to eliminate the confounding effects of genotype and environment that underlie patient variation. A gene list ordered by genome-wide significance showed enrichment for the 7q22 target region. Modification of the gene list by weighting each sample for percent of del(7q) cells to account for the mosaic nature of these tumors further enhanced the frequency of 7q22 genes. Pathway analysis revealed two of the 19 significant functional networks were associated with development and the most represented pathway was protein ubiquitination, which can influence tumor development by stabilizing oncoproteins and destabilizing tumor suppressor proteins. Array CGH (aCGH) studies determined the only consistent genomic imbalance was deletion of 9.5 megabases from 7q22-7q31.1. Combining the aCGH data with the del(7q) UL mosaicism-weighted expression analysis resulted in a list of genes that are commonly deleted and whose copy number is correlated with significantly decreased expression. These genes include the proliferation inhibitor HPB1, the loss of expression of which has been associated with invasive breast cancer, as well as the mitosis integrity-maintenance tumor suppressor RINT1. This study provides a molecular signature of the del(7q) UL subgroup and will serve as a platform for future studies of tumor pathogenesis.

Park PJ, Manjourides J, Bonetti M, Pagano M. A permutation test for determining significance of clusters with applications to spatial and gene expression data. Comput Stat Data Anal 2009;53(12):4290-4300.Abstract

Hierarchical clustering is a common procedure for identifying structure in a data set, and this is frequently used for organizing genomic data. Although more advanced clustering algorithms are available, the simplicity and visual appeal of hierarchical clustering has made it ubiquitous in gene expression data analysis. Hence, even minor improvements in this framework would have significant impact. There is currently no simple and systematic way of assessing and displaying the significance of various clusters in a resulting dendrogram without making certain distributional assumptions or ignoring gene-specific variances. In this work, we introduce a permutation test based on comparing the within-cluster structure of the observed data with those of sample datasets obtained by permuting the cluster membership. We carry out this test at each node of the dendrogram using a statistic derived from the singular value decomposition of variance matrices. The p-values thus obtained provide insight into the significance of each cluster division. Given these values, one can also modify the dendrogram by combining non-significant branches. By adjusting the cut-off level of significance for branches, one can produce dendrograms with a desired level of detail for ease of interpretation. We demonstrate the usefulness of this approach by applying it to illustrative data sets.

Pihlajamäki J, Boes T, Kim E-Y, Dearie F, Kim BW, Schroeder J, Mun E, Nasser I, Park PJ, Bianco AC, Goldfine AB, Patti ME. Thyroid hormone-related regulation of gene expression in human fatty liver. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2009;94(9):3521-9.Abstract

CONTEXT: Fatty liver is an important complication of obesity; however, regulatory mechanisms mediating altered gene expression patterns have not been identified. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to identify novel transcriptional changes in human liver that could contribute to hepatic lipid accumulation and associated insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. DESIGN: We evaluated gene expression in surgical liver biopsies from 13 obese (nine with type 2 diabetes) and five control subjects using Affymetrix U133A microarrays. PCR validation was performed in liver biopsies using an additional 16 subjects. We also tested thyroid hormone responses in mice fed chow or high-fat diet. SETTING: Recruitment was performed in an academic medical center. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals undergoing elective surgery for obesity or gallstones participated in the study. RESULTS: The top-ranking gene set, down-regulated in obese subjects, was comprised of genes previously demonstrated to be positively regulated by T(3) in human skeletal muscle (n = 399; P < 0.001; false discovery rate = 0.07). This gene set included genes related to RNA metabolism (SNRPE, HNRPH3, TIA1, and SFRS2), protein catabolism (PSMA1, PSMD12, USP9X, IBE2B, USP16, and PCMT1), and energy metabolism (ATP5C1, COX7C, UQCRB). We verified thyroid hormone regulation of these genes in the liver after injection of C57BL/6J mice with T(3) (100 microg/100 g body weight); furthermore, T(3)-induced increases in expression of these genes were abolished by high-fat diet. In agreement, expression of these genes inversely correlated with liver fat content in humans. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that impaired thyroid hormone action may contribute to altered patterns of gene expression in fatty liver.

Yoon SS, Stangenberg L, Lee Y-J, Rothrock C, Dreyfuss JM, Baek K-H, Waterman PR, Nielsen PG, Weissleder R, Mahmood U, Park PJ, Jacks T, Dodd RD, Fisher CJ, Ryeom S, Kirsch DG. Efficacy of sunitinib and radiotherapy in genetically engineered mouse model of soft-tissue sarcoma. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2009;74(4):1207-16.Abstract

PURPOSE: Sunitinib (SU) is a multitargeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor of the vascular endothelial growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor receptors. The present study examined SU and radiotherapy (RT) in a genetically engineered mouse model of soft tissue sarcoma (STS). METHODS AND MATERIALS: Primary extremity STSs were generated in genetically engineered mice. The mice were randomized to treatment with SU, RT (10 Gy x 2), or both (SU+RT). Changes in the tumor vasculature before and after treatment were assessed in vivo using fluorescence-mediated tomography. The control and treated tumors were harvested and extensively analyzed. RESULTS: The mean fluorescence in the tumors was not decreased by RT but decreased 38-44% in tumors treated with SU or SU+RT. The control tumors grew to a mean of 1378 mm(3) after 12 days. SU alone or RT alone delayed tumor growth by 56% and 41%, respectively, but maximal growth inhibition (71%) was observed with the combination therapy. SU target effects were confirmed by loss of target receptor phosphorylation and alterations in SU-related gene expression. Cancer cell proliferation was decreased and apoptosis increased in the SU and RT groups, with a synergistic effect on apoptosis observed in the SU+RT group. RT had a minimal effect on the tumor microvessel density and endothelial cell-specific apoptosis, but SU alone or SU+RT decreased the microvessel density by >66% and induced significant endothelial cell apoptosis. CONCLUSION: SU inhibited STS growth by effects on both cancer cells and tumor vasculature. SU also augmented the efficacy of RT, suggesting that this combination strategy could improve local control of STS.

Park PJ. Epigenetics meets next-generation sequencing. Epigenetics 2008;3(6):318-21.Abstract

Next-generation sequencing is poised to unleash dramatic changes in every area of molecular biology. In the past few years, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) on tiled microarrays (ChIP-chip) has been an important tool for genome-wide mapping of DNA-binding proteins or histone modifications. Now, ChIP followed by direct sequencing of DNA fragments (ChIP-seq) offers superior data with less noise and higher resolution and is likely to replace ChIP-chip in the near future. We will describe advantages of this new technology and outline some of the issues in dealing with the data. ChIP-seq generates considerably larger quantities of data and the most challenging aspect for investigators will be computational and statistical analysis necessary to uncover biological insights hidden in the data.

Park PJ. Experimental design and data analysis for array comparative genomic hybridization. Cancer Invest 2008;26(9):923-8.Abstract

Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) is a technique for measuring chromosomal aberrations in genomic DNA. With the availability of high-resolution microarrays, detailed characterization of the cancer genome has become possible. In this review, we discuss several issues in the generation and interpretation of aCGH data, including array platforms, experimental design, and data analysis. Due to the complexity of the data, application of appropriate statistical methods is crucial for avoiding false positive findings. We also describe integration of copy number data with other types of data to identify functional significance of observed aberrations.

Dermody JL, Dreyfuss JM, Villén J, Ogundipe B, Gygi SP, Park PJ, Ponticelli AS, Moore CL, Buratowski S, Bucheli ME. Unphosphorylated SR-like protein Npl3 stimulates RNA polymerase II elongation. PLoS One 2008;3(9):e3273.Abstract

The production of a functional mRNA is regulated at every step of transcription. An area not well-understood is the transition of RNA polymerase II from elongation to termination. The S. cerevisiae SR-like protein Npl3 functions to negatively regulate transcription termination by antagonizing the binding of polyA/termination proteins to the mRNA. In this study, Npl3 is shown to interact with the CTD and have a direct stimulatory effect on the elongation activity of the polymerase. The interaction is inhibited by phosphorylation of Npl3. In addition, Casein Kinase 2 was found to be required for the phosphorylation of Npl3 and affect its ability to compete against Rna15 (Cleavage Factor I) for binding to polyA signals. Our results suggest that phosphorylation of Npl3 promotes its dissociation from the mRNA/RNAP II, and contributes to the association of the polyA/termination factor Rna15. This work defines a novel role for Npl3 in elongation and its regulation by phosphorylation.

Larschan E, Alekseyenko AA, Lai WR, Park PJ, Kuroda MI. MSL complex associates with clusters of actively transcribed genes along the Drosophila male X chromosome. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol 2006;71:385-94.Abstract

Dosage compensation in Drosophila serves as a model system for understanding the targeting of chromatin-modifying complexes to their sites of action. The MSL (male-specific lethal) complex up-regulates transcription of the single male X chromosome, thereby equalizing levels of transcription of X-linked genes between the sexes. Recruitment of the MSL complex to its binding sites on the male X chromosome requires each of the MSL proteins and at least one of the two large noncoding roX RNAs. To better understand how the MSL complex specifically targets the X chromosome, we have defined the binding using high-resolution genomic tiling arrays. Our results indicate that the MSL complex largely associates with transcribed genes that are present in clusters along the X chromosome. We hypothesize that after initial recruitment of the MSL complex to the X chromosome by unknown mechanisms, nascent transcripts or chromatin marks associated with active transcription attract the MSL complex to its final targets. Defining MSL-complex-binding sites will provide a tool for understanding functions of large noncoding RNAs that have remained elusive.

Namekawa SH, Park PJ, Zhang L-F, Shima JE, McCarrey JR, Griswold MD, Lee JT. Postmeiotic sex chromatin in the male germline of mice. Curr Biol 2006;16(7):660-7.Abstract

In mammals, the X and Y chromosomes are subject to meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI) during prophase I in the male germline, but their status thereafter is currently unclear. An abundance of X-linked spermatogenesis genes has spawned the view that the X must be active . On the other hand, the idea that the imprinted paternal X of the early embryo may be preinactivated by MSCI suggests that silencing may persist longer . To clarify this issue, we establish a comprehensive X-expression profile during mouse spermatogenesis. Here, we discover that the X and Y occupy a novel compartment in the postmeiotic spermatid and adopt a non-Rabl configuration. We demonstrate that this postmeiotic sex chromatin (PMSC) persists throughout spermiogenesis into mature sperm and exhibits epigenetic similarity to the XY body. In the spermatid, 87% of X-linked genes remain suppressed postmeiotically, while autosomes are largely active. We conclude that chromosome-wide X silencing continues from meiosis to the end of spermiogenesis, and we discuss implications for proposed mechanisms of imprinted X-inactivation.

Yoon SS, Segal NH, Park PJ, Detwiller KY, Fernando NT, Ryeom SW, Brennan MF, Singer S. Angiogenic profile of soft tissue sarcomas based on analysis of circulating factors and microarray gene expression. J Surg Res 2006;135(2):282-90.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Broader understanding of diverse angiogenic pathways in a particular cancer can lead to better utilization of anti-angiogenic therapies. The aim of this study was to develop profiles of angiogenesis-related gene and protein expression for various histologic subtypes of soft tissue sarcomas (STS) growing in different sites. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Plasma levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), angiopoietin 2 (Ang2), and leptin were determined in 108 patients with primary STS. Gene expression patterns were analyzed in 38 STS samples and 13 normal tissues using oligonucleotide microarrays. RESULTS: VEGF and bFGF plasma levels were elevated 10-13 fold in STS patients compared to controls. VEGF levels were broadly elevated while bFGF levels were higher in patients with fibrosarcomas and leiomyosarcomas. Ang2 levels correlated with tumor size and were most elevated for tumors located in the trunk, while leptin levels were highest in patients with liposarcomas. Hierarchical clustering of microarray data based on angiogenesis-related gene expression demonstrated that histologic subtypes of STS often shared similar expression patterns, and these patterns were distinctly different from those of normal tissues. Matrix metalloproteinase 2, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, alpha and Notch 4 were among several genes that were up-regulated at least 7-fold in STS. CONCLUSIONS: STS demonstrate significant heterogeneity in their angiogenic profiles based on size, histologic subtype, and location of tumor growth, which may have implications for anti-angiogenic strategies. Comparison of STS to normal tissues reveals a panel of upregulated genes that may be targets for future therapies.

Park PJ. Gene Expression Data and Survival Analysis. In: Shoemaker JS, Lin SM Methods of Microarray Data Analysis IV. New York City, New York: Springer US; 2005
Park PJ, Hou TY. Multiscale Numerical Methods for Singularly Perturbed Convection-Diffusion Equations. International Journal of Computational Methods 2004;1(1):17-65.Abstract

We present an efficient and robust approach in the finite element framework for numerical solutions that exhibit multiscale behavior, with applications to singularly perturbed convection-diffusion problems. The first type of equation we study is the convection-dominated convection-diffusion equation, with periodic or random coefficients; the second type of equation is an elliptic equation with singularities due to discontinuous coefficients and non-smooth boundaries. In both cases, standard methods for purely hyperbolic or elliptic problems perform poorly due to sharp boundary and internal layers in the solution.

We propose a framework in which the finite element basis functions are designed to capture the local small-scale behavior correctly. When the structure of the layers can be determined locally, we apply the multiscale finite element method, in which we solve the corresponding homogeneous equation on each element to capture the small scale features of the differential operator. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this method by computing the enhanced diffusivity scaling for a passive scalar in the cellular flow. We also carry out the asymptotic error analysis for its convergence rate and perform numerical experiments for verification. For a random flow with nonlocal layer structure, we use a variational principle to gain additional information in our attempt to design asymptotic basis functions. We also apply the same framework for elliptic equations with discontinuous coefficients or non-smooth boundaries. In that case, we construct local basis function near singularities using infinite element method in order to resolve extreme singularity. Numerical results on problems with various singularities confirm the efficiency and accuracy of this approach.

Park PJ, Cao YA, Lee SY, Kim J-W, Chang MS, Hart R, Choi S. Current issues for DNA microarrays: platform comparison, double linear amplification, and universal RNA reference. J Biotechnol 2004;112(3):225-45.Abstract

DNA microarray technology has been widely used to simultaneously determine the expression levels of thousands of genes. A variety of approaches have been used, both in the implementation of this technology and in the analysis of the large amount of expression data. However, several practical issues still have not been resolved in a satisfactory manner, and among the most critical is the lack of agreement in the results obtained in different array platforms. In this study, we present a comparison of several microarray platforms [Affymetrix oligonucleotide arrays, custom complementary DNA (cDNA) arrays, and custom oligo arrays printed with oligonucleotides from three different sources] as well as analysis of various methods used for microarray target preparation and the reference design. The results indicate that the pairwise correlations of expression levels between platforms are relative low overall but that the log ratios of the highly expressed genes are strongly correlated, especially between Affymetrix and cDNA arrays. The microarray measurements were compared with quantitative real-time-polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR) results for 23 genes, and the varying degrees of agreement for each platform were characterized. We have also developed and tested a double amplification method which allows the use of smaller amounts of starting material. The added round of amplification produced reproducible results as compared to the arrays hybridized with single round amplified targets. Finally, the reliability of using a universal RNA reference for two-channel microarrays was tested and the results suggest that comparisons of multiple experimental conditions using the same control can be accurate.

Kulldorff M, Tango M, Park PJ. Power Comparisons for Disease Clustering Tests. Computational Statistics and Data Analysis 2003;42(4):665-684.Abstract

Many different methods have been proposed to test for geographical disease clustering, and more generally, for spatial clustering of any type of observations while adjusting for an inhomogeneous background population generating the observations. Despite the many proposed test statistics, there has been few formal comparisons conducted. We present a collection of 1,220,000 simulated benchmark data sets generated under 51 different cluster models and the null hypothesis, to be used for power evaluations. We then use these data sets to compare the power of the spatial scan statistic, the maximized excess events test and the nonparametric M statistic. All have good power, the first having an advantage for localized hot-spot type clusters and the second for global clustering where randomly located cases generate other cases close by. By making the simulated data sets publicly available, new tests can easily be compared with previously evaluated tests by analyzing the same benchmark data.

Park PJ, Kahane IS, Kim JH. Rank-Based Nonlinear Normalization of Oligonucleotide Arrays. Genomics & Informatics 2003;1(2):94-100.Abstract

MOTIVATION: Many have observed a nonlinear relationship between the signal intensity and the transcript abundance in microarray data. The first step in analyzing the data is to normalize it properly, and this should include a correction for the nonlinearity. The commonly used linear normalization schemes do not address this problem. RESULTS: Nonlinearity is present in both cDNA and oligonucleotide arrays, but we concentrate on the latter in this paper. Across a set of chips, we identify those genes whose within-chip ranks are relatively constant compared to other genes of similar intensity. For each gene, we compute the sum of the squares of the differences in its within-chip ranks between every pair of chips as our statistic and we select a small fraction of the genes with the minimal changes in ranks at each intensity level. These genes are most likely to be non-differentially expressed and are subsequently used in the normalization procedure. This method is a generalization of the rank-invariant normalization (Li and Wong, 2001), using all available chips rather than two at a time to gather more information, while using the chip that is least likely to be affected by nonlinear effects as the reference chip. The assumption in our method is that there are at least a small number of nondifferentially expressed genes across the intensity range. The normalized expression values can be substantially different from the unnormalized values and may result in altered down-stream analysis.

Kuo WP, Mendez E, Chen C, Whipple ME, Farell G, Agoff N, Park PJ. Functional relationships between gene pairs in oral squamous cell carcinoma. AMIA Annu Symp Proc 2003;:371-5.Abstract

We developed a novel method for the discovery of functional relationships between pairs of genes based on gene expression profiles generated from microarrays. This approach examines all possible pairs of genes and identifies those in which the relationship between the two genes changes in different diseases or conditions. In contrast to previous methods that have focused on differentially expressed genes, this method attempts to find changes in the correlation between genes. These changes may be indicative of the functional relationships related to a disease mechanism. We demonstrate the utility of this approach by applying it to an oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) microarray data set. Our results suggest new directions for future experimental investigations.