Cancer Institute

  • Yin-Yuan Mo

    mo_yin.jpgProfessor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
    Director, Cancer Genetics Program
    PhD, Plant Pathology, 1991, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
    Postdoc, 1991-94, Microbiology, Washington State University, Pullman

    Contact information
    2500 N State St., Room G651-3
    Jackson, MS 39216
    Phone: (601) 815-6849
    E-mail: ymo@umc.edu

    Research interests

    • Epigenetic regulation of genes involved in tumorigenesis and chemoresistance
    • Cancer susceptibility due to alterations of microRNA expression
    • Long non-coding RNA-mediated gene expression in cancer

    Research synopsis

    My laboratory has been focusing on understanding of epigenetic regulation of genes involved in tumorigenesis and chemoresistance.

    It is well known that only a small portion of the human genome codes for proteins; however, over 50% of the genome is actively transcribed into non-protein-coding RNAs which can be divided into at least two large groups based on their lengths: 1) small non-coding RNAs such as microRNAs and 2) long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) with >200 nucleotides in length. MicroRNAs represent a functional and well characterized group of small non-coding RNAs. On the other hand, lncRNAs are much less well characterized. In the past years, we have been actively working on both microRNAs and lncRNAs. For example, we have shown that miR-21 is overexpressed in several types of tumors compared to the matched normal tissues and that more importantly, suppression of miR-21 by a miR-21 inhibitor substantially reduces tumor growth in a xenograft carcinoma mouse model, suggesting that miR-21 is an oncogenic microRNA. On the other hand, miR-145 functions as a tumor suppressor. In particular, miR-145 plays a critical role in p53-mediated repression of c-Myc.

    More recently, we have expanded our research on regulation of gene expression by lncRNAs and their role in tumorigenesis. Therefore, further characterization of these non-coding genes in clinical specimens would help identify whether non-coding RNAs may serve potential biomarkers for high risk patient population. At the same time, this will also provide new insight into molecular mechanisms underlying non-coding RNA-mediated gene regulation, tumor growth and invasion, and chemoresistance. As a result, these studies will benefit cancer patient by providing cancer risk assessment and health management recommendations.

    Selected publications

    • Targeting non-coding RNAs with the CRISPR/Cas9 system in human cell lines. Ho TT, Zhou N, Huang J, Koirala P, Xu M, Fung R, Wu F, Mo YY.  Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Feb 18; 43(3):e17.
    • Roles of the cyclooxygenase 2 matrix metalloproteinase 1 pathway in brain metastasis of breast cancer.  Wu K, Fukuda K, Xing F, Zhang Y, Sharma S, Liu Y, Chan MD, Zhou X, Qasem SA, Pochampally R, Mo YY, Watabe K. J Biol Chem. 2015 Apr 10;290(15):9842-54. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.602185. Epub 2015 Feb 17.
    • Extracellular vesicles from bone marrow mesenchymal stem/stromal cells transport tumor regulatory microRNA, proteins, and metabolites. Vallabhaneni KC, Penfornis P, Dhule S, Guillonneau F, Adams KV, Mo YY, Xu R, Liu Y, Watabe K, Vemuri MC, Pochampally R1,. Oncotarget. 2015 Mar 10;6(7):4953-67.
    • Exosome-mediated transfer of miR-10b promotes cell invasion in breast cancer. Singh R, Pochampally R, Watabe K, Lu Z, Mo YY. Mol Cancer. 2014 Nov 26; 13:256. 
    • Acidosis promotes invasiveness of breast cancer cells through ROS-AKT-NF-κB pathway. Gupta SC, Singh R, Pochampally R, Watabe K, Mo YY.Oncotarget.2014 Dec 15; 5(23):12070-82.
    • Exosome-mediated transfer of miR-10b promotes cell invasion in breast cancer. Singh R, Pochampally R, Watabe K, Lu Z1, Mo YY. Mol Cancer. 2014 Nov 26;13:256. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-13-256.
    • Targeting non-coding RNAs with the CRISPR/Cas9 system in human cell lines. Ho TT, Zhou N, Huang J, Koirala P, Xu M, Fung R, Wu F, Mo YY. Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Nov 20. pii: gku1198.
    • Improving the specificity and efficacy of CRISPR/CAS9 and gRNA through target specific DNA reporter. Zhang JH, Pandey M, Kahler JF, Loshakov A, Harris B, Dagur PK, Mo YY, Simonds WF. J Biotechnol. 2014 Nov 10;189:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2014.08.033. Epub 2014 Sep 2.
    • Long non-coding RNA UCA1 promotes breast tumor growth by suppression of p27 (Kip1). Huang J, Zhou N, Watabe K, Lu Z, Wu F, Xu M, Mo YY.Cell Death Dis. 2014 Jan 23; 5:e1008.
    • Negative regulation of lncRNA GAS5 by miR-21. Zhang Z, Zhu Z, Watabe K, Zhang X, Bai C, Xu M, Wu F, Mo YY.Cell Death Differ. 2013 Nov; 20(11):1558-68.