Yiping He

Positions:

Associate Professor in Pathology

Pathology
School of Medicine

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute
School of Medicine

Education:

Ph.D. 2002

University of Pennsylvania

Post-doctoral Fellow, Pathology

Johns Hopkins University

Howard Hughes Researcher, Pathology

Johns Hopkins University

Research Associate, Pathology

Johns Hopkins University

Grants:

Exploiting MTAP deletion for GBM therapeutics

Administered By
Pathology
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Exploiting MTAP for more effective treatment of glioblastoma with temozolomide

Administered By
Pathology
Awarded By
Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Developing novel mouse models for medulloblastoma

Administered By
Pathology
Awarded By
Circle of Service Foundation
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Repurposing Remyelination Drugs for Oligodendroglioma Therapeutics

Administered By
Pathology
Awarded By
American Brain Tumor Association
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Exploiting MTAP deletion for GBM therapeutics

Administered By
Pathology
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Publications:

Purine Synthesis Inhibitor L-Alanosine Impairs Mitochondrial Function and Stemness of Brain Tumor Initiating Cells.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a lethal brain cancer exhibiting high levels of drug resistance, a feature partially imparted by tumor cell stemness. Recent work shows that homozygous MTAP deletion, a genetic alteration occurring in about half of all GBMs, promotes stemness in GBM cells. Exploiting MTAP loss-conferred deficiency in purine salvage, we demonstrate that purine blockade via treatment with L-Alanosine (ALA), an inhibitor of de novo purine synthesis, attenuates stemness of MTAP-deficient GBM cells. This ALA-induced reduction in stemness is mediated in part by compromised mitochondrial function, highlighted by ALA-induced elimination of mitochondrial spare respiratory capacity. Notably, these effects of ALA are apparent even when the treatment was transient and with a low dose. Finally, in agreement with diminished stemness and compromised mitochondrial function, we show that ALA sensitizes GBM cells to temozolomide (TMZ) in vitro and in an orthotopic GBM model. Collectively, these results identify purine supply as an essential component in maintaining mitochondrial function in GBM cells and highlight a critical role of mitochondrial function in sustaining GBM stemness. We propose that purine synthesis inhibition can be beneficial in combination with the standard of care for MTAP-deficient GBMs, and that it may be feasible to achieve this benefit without inflicting major toxicity.
Authors
Singh, SX; Yang, R; Roso, K; Hansen, LJ; Du, C; Chen, LH; Greer, PK; Pirozzi, CJ; He, Y
MLA Citation
Singh, Simranjit X., et al. “Purine Synthesis Inhibitor L-Alanosine Impairs Mitochondrial Function and Stemness of Brain Tumor Initiating Cells.Biomedicines, vol. 10, no. 4, Mar. 2022. Pubmed, doi:10.3390/biomedicines10040751.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1517788
PMID
35453502
Source
pubmed
Published In
Biomedicines
Volume
10
Published Date
DOI
10.3390/biomedicines10040751

MTAP loss correlates with an immunosuppressive profile in GBM and its substrate MTA stimulates alternative macrophage polarization.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a lethal brain cancer known for its potent immunosuppressive effects. Loss of Methylthioadenosine Phosphorylase (MTAP) expression, via gene deletion or epigenetic silencing, is one of the most common alterations in GBM. Here we show that MTAP loss in GBM cells is correlated with differential expression of immune regulatory genes. In silico analysis of gene expression profiles in GBM samples revealed that low MTAP expression is correlated with an increased proportion of M2 macrophages. Using in vitro macrophage models, we found that methylthioadenosine (MTA), the metabolite that accumulates as a result of MTAP loss in GBM cells, promotes the immunosuppressive alternative activation (M2) of macrophages. We show that this effect of MTA on macrophages is independent of IL4/IL3 signaling, is mediated by the adenosine A2B receptor, and can be pharmacologically reversed. This study suggests that MTAP loss in GBM cells may contribute to the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, and that MTAP status should be considered for characterizing GBM immune states and devising immunotherapy-based approaches for treating MTAP-null GBM.
Authors
Hansen, LJ; Yang, R; Roso, K; Wang, W; Chen, L; Yang, Q; Pirozzi, CJ; He, Y
MLA Citation
Hansen, Landon J., et al. “MTAP loss correlates with an immunosuppressive profile in GBM and its substrate MTA stimulates alternative macrophage polarization.Sci Rep, vol. 12, no. 1, Mar. 2022, p. 4183. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/s41598-022-07697-0.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1512643
PMID
35264604
Source
pubmed
Published In
Scientific Reports
Volume
12
Published Date
Start Page
4183
DOI
10.1038/s41598-022-07697-0

Joint gene network construction by single-cell RNA sequencing data.

In contrast to differential gene expression analysis at the single-gene level, gene regulatory network (GRN) analysis depicts complex transcriptomic interactions among genes for better understandings of underlying genetic architectures of human diseases and traits. Recent advances in single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) allow constructing GRNs at a much finer resolution than bulk RNA-seq and microarray data. However, scRNA-seq data are inherently sparse, which hinders the direct application of the popular Gaussian graphical models (GGMs). Furthermore, most existing approaches for constructing GRNs with scRNA-seq data only consider gene networks under one condition. To better understand GRNs across different but related conditions at single-cell resolution, we propose to construct Joint Gene Networks with scRNA-seq data (JGNsc) under the GGMs framework. To facilitate the use of GGMs, JGNsc first proposes a hybrid imputation procedure that combines a Bayesian zero-inflated Poisson model with an iterative low-rank matrix completion step to efficiently impute zero-inflated counts resulted from technical artifacts. JGNsc then transforms the imputed data via a nonparanormal transformation, based on which joint GGMs are constructed. We demonstrate JGNsc and assess its performance using synthetic data. The application of JGNsc on two cancer clinical studies of medulloblastoma and glioblastoma gains novel insights in addition to confirming well-known biological results.
Authors
Dong, M; He, Y; Jiang, Y; Zou, F
MLA Citation
Dong, Meichen, et al. “Joint gene network construction by single-cell RNA sequencing data.Biometrics, Feb. 2022. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/biom.13645.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1510645
PMID
35184277
Source
pubmed
Published In
Biometrics
Published Date
DOI
10.1111/biom.13645

Targeting glutamine metabolism network for the treatment of therapy-resistant prostate cancer.

Advanced and aggressive prostate cancer (PCa) depends on glutamine for survival and proliferation. We have previously shown that inhibition of glutaminase 1, which catalyzes the rate-limiting step of glutamine catabolism, achieves significant therapeutic effect; however, therapy resistance is inevitable. Here we report that while the glutamine carbon is critical to PCa survival, a parallel pathway of glutamine nitrogen catabolism that actively contributes to pyrimidine assembly is equally important for PCa cells. Importantly, we demonstrate a reciprocal feedback mechanism between glutamine carbon and nitrogen pathways which leads to therapy resistance when one of the two pathways is inhibited. Combination treatment to inhibit both pathways simultaneously yields better clinical outcome for advanced PCa patients.
Authors
Xu, L; Zhao, B; Butler, W; Xu, H; Song, N; Chen, X; Spencer Hauck, J; Gao, X; Zhang, H; Groth, J; Yang, Q; Zhao, Y; Moon, D; George, D; Zhou, Y; He, Y; Huang, J
MLA Citation
Xu, Lingfan, et al. “Targeting glutamine metabolism network for the treatment of therapy-resistant prostate cancer.Oncogene, vol. 41, no. 8, Feb. 2022, pp. 1140–54. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/s41388-021-02155-z.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1506441
PMID
35046532
Source
pubmed
Published In
Oncogene
Volume
41
Published Date
Start Page
1140
End Page
1154
DOI
10.1038/s41388-021-02155-z

Epigenetic Regulation of Fanconi Anemia Genes Implicates PRMT5 Blockage as a Strategy for Tumor Chemosensitization.

Strengthened DNA repair pathways in tumor cells contribute to the development of resistance to DNA-damaging agents. Consequently, targeting proteins in these pathways is a promising strategy for tumor chemosensitization. Here, we show that the expression of a subset of Fanconi anemia (FA) genes is attenuated in glioblastoma tumor cells deficient in methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP), a common genetic alteration in a variety of cancers. Subsequent experiments in cell line models of different cancer types illustrate that this reduced transcription of FA genes can be recapitulated by blockage of Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5), a promising therapeutically targetable epigenetic regulator whose enzymatic activity is compromised in MTAP-deficient cells. Further analyses provide evidence to support that PRMT5 can function as an epigenetic regulator that contributes to the increased expression of FA genes in cancer cells. Most notably and consistent with the essential roles of FA proteins in resolving DNA damage elicited by interstrand crosslinking (ICL) agents, PRMT5 blockage, as well as MTAP loss, sensitizes tumor cells to ICL agents both in vitro and in xenografts. Collectively, these findings reveal a novel epigenetic mechanism underlying the upregulated expression of FA genes in cancer cells and suggest that therapeutically targeting PRMT5 can have an additional benefit of chemosensitizing tumor cells to ICL agents. IMPLICATIONS: PRMT5 positively regulates the expression of FA genes. Inhibition of PRMT5 attenuates FA-dependent DNA repair pathway and sensitizes tumor cells to ICL agents.
Authors
Du, C; Li, SW; Singh, SX; Roso, K; Sun, MA; Pirozzi, CJ; Yang, R; Li, J-L; He, Y
MLA Citation
Du, Changzheng, et al. “Epigenetic Regulation of Fanconi Anemia Genes Implicates PRMT5 Blockage as a Strategy for Tumor Chemosensitization.Mol Cancer Res, vol. 19, no. 12, Dec. 2021, pp. 2046–56. Pubmed, doi:10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-21-0093.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1497059
PMID
34521764
Source
pubmed
Published In
Mol Cancer Res
Volume
19
Published Date
Start Page
2046
End Page
2056
DOI
10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-21-0093