Heide L. Ford

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The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a critical developmental process from the earliest events of embryogenesis to later morphogenesis and organ formation. EMT contributes to the complex architecture of the embryo by permitting the progression of embryogenesis from a simple single-cell layer epithelium to a complex three-dimensional organism(More)
From the earliest stages of embryonic development, cells of epithelial and mesenchymal origin contribute to the structure and function of developing organs. However, these phenotypes are not always permanent, and instead, under the appropriate conditions, epithelial and mesenchymal cells convert between these two phenotypes. These processes, termed(More)
Homeobox genes constitute a large family of transcription factors that are essential during normal development and are often dysregulated in cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms by which homeobox genes influence cancer remain largely unknown. Here we show that the tissue-restricted cyclin A1 is a transcriptional target of the Six1 homeoprotein. Both(More)
Human SIX1 (HSIX1) is a member of the Six class of homeodomain proteins implicated in muscle, eye, head, and brain development. To further understand the role of HSIX1 in the cell cycle and cancer, we developed an HSIX1-specific antibody to study protein expression at various stages of the cell cycle. Our previous work demonstrated that HSIX1 mRNA(More)
Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) receptors are attractive therapeutic targets in cancer because agents that activate these receptors directly induce tumor cell apoptosis and have low toxicity to normal tissues. Consequently, several different drugs that target these receptors (recombinant TRAIL and various agonistic antibodies(More)
While conducting a search for cell cycle-regulated genes in human mammary carcinoma cells, we identified HSIX1, a recently discovered member of a new homeobox gene subfamily. HSIX1 expression was absent at the onset of and increased toward the end of S phase. Since its expression pattern is suggestive of a role after S phase, we investigated the effect of(More)
The role of TGF-β signaling in tumorigenesis is paradoxical: it can be tumor suppressive or tumor promotional, depending on context. The metastatic regulator, Six1, was recently shown to mediate this switch, providing a novel means to explain this elusive ‘TGF-β paradox’. Herein, we identify a mechanism by which Six1 activates the tumor promotional arm of(More)
A gene related to cell differentiation was identified by differential display as a candidate suppressor of metastases in colon cancer. This gene, with a full-length cDNA of 3 kb, is expressed in normal colon and primary colon cancer tissues and cell lines but not in their metastatic counterparts. A GenBank search found that it is identical to a recently(More)
Inappropriate activation of developmental pathways is a well-recognized tumor-promoting mechanism. Here we show that overexpression of the homeoprotein Six1, normally a developmentally restricted transcriptional regulator, increases TGF-beta signaling in human breast cancer cells and induces an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) that is in part(More)
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in carcinoma cells enhances malignant progression by promoting invasion and survival. EMT is induced by microenvironmental factors, including TGF-β and Wnt agonists, and by the E-box-binding transcription factors Twist, Snail, and ZEB. Grainyhead-like-2 (GRHL2), a member of the mammalian Grainyhead family of(More)