Professional Education

  • Master of Science, University of Oxford (2007)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Universitat Zurich (2012)

Stanford Advisors


Journal Articles

  • Epigenetics in hepatocellular carcinoma: An update and future therapy perspectives WORLD JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY Ma, L., Chua, M., Andrisani, O., So, S. 2014; 20 (2): 333-345
  • WNT/β-catenin pathway activation in hepatocellular carcinoma: a clinical perspective Gastrointestinal Cancer: Targets and Therapy Ma, L., et al 2014; 4

    View details for DOI 10.2147/GICTT.S44256

  • Regulation of the gene encoding the intestinal bile acid transporter ASBT by the caudal-type homeobox proteins CDX1 and CDX2. American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology Ma, L., Jüttner, M., Kullak-Ublick, G. A., Eloranta, J. J. 2012; 302 (1): G123-33


    The apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT) is expressed abundantly in the ileum and mediates bile acid absorption across the apical membranes. Caudal-type homeobox proteins CDX1 and CDX2 are transcription factors that regulate genes involved in intestinal epithelial differentiation and proliferation. Aberrant expression of both ASBT and CDXs in Barrett's esophagus (BE) prompted us to study, whether the expression of the ASBT gene is regulated by CDXs. Short interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of CDXs resulted in reduced ASBT mRNA expression in intestinal cells. CDXs strongly induced the activity of the ASBT promoter in reporter assays in esophageal and intestinal cells. Nine CDX binding sites were predicted in silico within the ASBT promoter, and binding of CDXs to six of them was verified in vitro and within living cells by electrophoretic mobility shift assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, respectively. RNAs were extracted from esophageal biopsies from 20 BE patients and analyzed by real-time PCR. Correlation with ASBT expression was found for CDX1, CDX2, and HNF-1? in BE biopsies. In conclusion, the human ASBT promoter is activated transcriptionally by CDX1 and CDX2. Our finding provides a possible explanation for the reported observation that ASBT is aberrantly expressed in esophageal metaplasia that also expresses CDX transcription factors.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpgi.00102.2011

    View details for PubMedID 22016432

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