Yuanyuan

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Modulation of miRNA activity in breast cancer
Breast cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide, must be treated by drugs with multiple activities due to its complex nature. Disregulated in many types of cancer, miRNAs are being studied intensively as targets for breast cancer therapeutics.
Breast cancer cells typically display reduced levels of tumor suppressor proteins such as PDCD4, TPM1, Maspin and PTEN. Loss of suppressor activity allows increased breast cancer cell proliferation, survival, microfilament destabilization, metastatic transformation, and invasion of surrounding tissues and blood vessels. miR-21 is a microRNA that inhibits the translation of PDCD4, TPM1, Maspin and PTEN mRNAs. Knockdown of elevated miR-21 by a systemic drug that targets breast cancer cells specifically would offer a novel therapy for disseminated drug-resistant disease. I hypothesize that reduction of miR-21 activity by delivering an oligonucleotide-based miR-21 inhibitor to breast cancer cells via receptor-mediated endocytosis will restore normal levels of tumor suppressor proteins and reduce breast tumor cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis.
Peptide nucleic acid (PNA) is a neutral polyamide derivative that resists nucleases and proteases, yet binds tightly to RNA targets with single mismatch specificity. Thus, PNA would be a powerful anti-miR agent if it could enter the cytoplasm of breast cancer cells. Most breast cancer cells overexpress insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) receptor and epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor. My lab has shown that PNA-IGF1 analogs are endocytosed specifically into breast cancer cells. Hence, a small EGF analog might target PNA oligomers for EGFR internalization by diseased cells, bypassing normal cells. I have designed a 12-mer anti-miR-21 PNA with a small cyclized EGF peptide or IGF1 analog. This design provides a dramatic innovation for breast cancer therapy.

Education and Employment

2016-present: Chief Operating Officer, Bound Therapeutics LLC, Philadelphia, PA
2008-2016: Ph.D. Molecular Pharmacology and Structural Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
2007-2008: Quality control chemist, Baxter Health Care, Cherry Hill, NJ
2003-2007: Bachelor of Sciences with Honor, Biochemistry, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ

Awards

May 2007: Medallion Award: Ethel F. Brannan/George Geng World Education Award
May 2007: Chemistry/Biochemistry Department Research Award

Presentations

Oral Presentations
Jin, Y.-Y., Chen, C.-P., and Wickstrom, E. (2016) Short peptide nucleic acid-IGF1 tetrapeptides enable specific microRNA blockade in triple negative breast cancer cells without passenger strand side effects, 252nd American Chemical Society National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, August 21-25
Jin, Y.-Y., Chen, C.-P., and Wickstrom, E. (2016) Triple negative breast cancer therapy by microRNA blockade with PNA-peptides, without passenger strand side effects, #442, 22nd International Round Table on Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids, Paris, France, July 18-22
Jin, Y.-Y., and Wickstrom, E. (2015) Triple negative breast cancer therapy by specific blocking of microRNA 17. Life Sciences Future, Pennsylvania Biotechnology Industry Organization, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 29
Jin, Y.-Y., Chen, C.-P., Thakur, M. L., and Wickstrom, E. (2012) Directing miRNA-regulatory PNAs to breast cancer cells with synthetic targeting peptides, Division of Biological Chemistry, American Chemical Society 244th Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 19-23
Yuan-Yuan Jin, Chang-Po Chen, Rui-Yan Jing, Eric Wickstrom (2010) Directing miRNA-Regulatory PNAs to Breast Cancer Cells with EGF Analogs, RNA & Oligonucleotide Therapeutics, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, April 21-25
Poster Presentations
Jin, Y.-Y., and Wickstrom, E. (2015) Specific blocking of miR-17-5p guide strand in triple negative breast cancer cells, without amplifying passenger strand activity, 4th American Association for Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Basic Cancer Research, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 23-26
Jin, Y.-Y., Simone, N.L., and Wickstrom, E. (2015) Antisense agents and RNA mimics for miR-17-5p guide strand and miR-17-3p passenger strand differentiate the strength of guide and passenger strand targets in PDCD4 and PTEN mRNA 3’UTRs in MDA-MB-231 triple negative breast cancer cells. American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 18-22
Jin, Y.-Y., Andrade, J., Simone, N.L., and Wickstrom, E. (2014) Antisense DNA-LNA targeting miR-17-5p guide strand unexpectedly lowers PDCD4 and PTEN protein levels in MDA-MB-231 triple negative breast cancer cells, apparently by mimicking miR-17-3p passenger strand. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Meeting on Regulatory & Non-Coding RNAs, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, August 26-30
Jin, Y.-Y., Sonar, M., Liu, Y., Merry, D., and Wickstrom, E. (2014) Fluorescence imaging of Huntingtin mRNA in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. 9th Milton Wexler Celebration of Life Symposium, Hereditary Disease Foundation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 6-9
Jin, Y.-Y., Chen, C.-P., Thakur, M. L., and Wickstrom, E. (2012) Directing miRNA-regulatory PNAs to breast cancer cells with synthetic targeting peptides, American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, November 6-10
Jin, Y.-Y., Chen, C.-P., Thakur, M. L., and Wickstrom, E. (2011) Directing miRNA-regulatory PNAs to breast cancer cells with synthetic targeting peptides. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Meeting on RNA and Oligonucleotide Therapeutics, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, December 4-7
Chen, C.-P., Sethi, D., Jin, Y.-Y., and Wickstrom, E. (2011) EGFR-targeting peptide as ligand to direct peptide nucleic acid (PNA) for imaging oncogene mutations. 22nd American Peptide Symposium, San Diego, California, June 25-30
Yuanyuan Jin, Patricia Jackson, and Catherine Yang, Kinetic Study of Prostate Specific Antigen, STEM Symposium, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ, April 2007
Yuanyuan Jin, Jennifer Magurno, Janette Young, Danielle Crispin, and Gregory B. Hecht, Linkage of Lead Hyper-Precipitation and Non-Precipitation Loci in Caulobacter crescentus, American Society of Microbiology, Orlando, FL, May 2006

Publications

Jin, Y.-Y., J. Andrade, and E. Wickstrom (2015) Non-specific blocking of miR-17-5p guide strand in triple negative breast cancer cells by amplifying passenger strand activity. PLoS One 10(12):e0142574
Sonar, M.V., M.E. Wampole, Y.-Y. Jin, C.-P. Chen, M.L. Thakur, and E. Wickstrom. (2014) Fluorescence detection of KRAS2 mRNA hybridization in lung cancer cells with PNA-peptides containing an internal thiazole orange. Bioconjugate Chemistry 25(9):1697-1708