Jean-Bosco Tagne, PhD

Assistant Professor, Medicine

Jean-Bosco Tagne
72 E. Concord St Housman (R)


Research Special Interests/Projects:

One of the main goals of the research in our lab is to identify, characterize and understand the mechanisms of target gene regulation during lung development and lung diseases (Cao et al, J. Biol. Chem. 2010). We have used genome-wide approaches (Lee et al, Science. 2002 298 (5594), Harbison CT et al, Nature. 2004 431(7004), Workman C et al, Science 2006 312: 1054) to identify and map targets of the key lung epithelial transcription factor Nkx2.1 in the developing lung. This factor and some of their major targets are being altered in lung diseases such as cancer (Tagne et al, PLoS ONE, 2012, Varma et al, J. Biol. Chem. 2012). Potential links between development and cancer is now being evaluated as related genes may also uncover novel regulatory mechanisms for therapeutic targeting not only during development but also in other diseases associated with altered levels of Nkx2-1 such as neonatal respiratory distress, Brain-Lung-Thyroid syndrome, and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Many miRNAs are important in modulating lung gene expression and differentiation of progenitor cell populations. We are currently evaluating and characterizing potential Nkx2.1-regulated miRNAs identified in microRNA arrays by determining their patterns of expression and their effect in both cell proliferation and differentiation in lung development. We are also manipulating their expression in vitro and in vivo to validate their role in regulating lung genes and correlating their expression patterns and downstream targets in development and diseases because of the evidence that these genes may contribute to the abnormal lung phenotypes in Nkx2-1 mutant mouse models we are using and in cancer with the expectation that the ongoing analyses will reveal the underlying mechanisms driving cell proliferation, survival and differentiation in lung development and in lung diseases in which Nkx2-1 levels are altered. As the regulatory mechanisms to be studied in this project are also linked to tumor suppression our findings have the potential to contribute to the understanding and the control of lung tumor formation.

Major challenges for development of a delivery system for miRNAs are the instability and their short biological half-life. To overcome this, one needs to optimize the formulation with smart drug delivery systems made up of complexes particles size of molecules in the sub-micron range referred to as nanoparticles suitable for the treatment of patients.

Using this technology, we have developed a novel Nano emulsion technology drug delivery platform that can deliver a medication contained within these compositions. Our composition is either a liposomal or non-liposomal, stable Nano emulsion selectively taken up by cells by exploiting the aspect that the Nano-delivery system is made of natural substances such as oil, surfactants and water, natural non viral gene vector such as chitosan a promising delivery tools for polymer-based nanoparticles or the highly efficient catalyst gold nanoparticles because of their potential applications in biology and medicine. We have successfully used this system to introduce Tamoxifen and Dacarbazine into human cancer cells (Tagne et al, Mol. Pharm. 2008 5(2): 280-6), (Tagne et al, Mol. Pharm. 2008 5(6): 1055-63)) and are currently expanding these technologies to facilitate introduction of genes and microRNAs into lung cells.

Our lab is currently using this technology to deliver Hydroxyurea for Sickle cell disease (SCD) a complex disorder characterized by clinical heterogeneity and pathologic evidence of intimal hyperplasia, proliferative changes and internal elastic lamina disruption across vascular beds so do Pulmonary hypertension (PH), an independent risk factor for mortality in the suffering patients and other growth factors. We plan to utilize this technology with our endothelial cell cultures. This represents the first attempt at direct gene manipulation of the endothelium using Nano-technology and promises to advance the therapeutic options for these patients.

Our design Nano emulsion based technology is capable of selectively targeting the cells/organ and delivering a combination of active miRs molecules with some tagged with fluorescent reporter or imaging agent(s) for live imaging.

NB: Our lab is part of the NANOTHERANOSTIC PLATFORMS FOR CANCER AND VASCULAR DISEASE Boston University ARC with multiple projects.

Other Positions

  • Member, BU-BMC Cancer Center, Boston University
  • Member, Pulmonary Center, Boston University
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Member, Genome Science Institute, Boston University


  • University of Massachusetts Lowell, PhD
  • University of Massachusetts Boston, MS


  • Published on 2/11/2019

    D'Almeida O, Mothar O, Bondzie EA, Lieumo Y, Tagne L, Gupta S, Volkert T, Levine S, Tagne JB. Encapsulated miR-200c and Nkx2.1 in a nuclear/mitochondria transcriptional regulatory network of non-metastatic and metastatic lung cancer cells. BMC Cancer. 2019 Feb 11; 19(1):136. PMID: 30744585.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/26/2018

    Kathuria H, Millien G, McNally L, Gower AC, Tagne JB, Cao Y, Ramirez MI. NKX2-1-AS1 negatively regulates CD274/PD-L1, cell-cell interaction genes, and limits human lung carcinoma cell migration. Sci Rep. 2018 09 26; 8(1):14418. PMID: 30258080.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/16/2018

    Millien G, Cao Y, O'Hara CJ, Tagne JB, Hinds A, Williams MC, Ramirez MI, Kathuria H. ETS1 regulates Twist1 transcription in a KrasG12D/Lkb1-/- metastatic lung tumor model of non-small cell lung cancer. Clin Exp Metastasis. 2018 03; 35(3):149-165. PMID: 29909489.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/13/2015

    Tagne JB, Mohtar OR, Campbell JD, Lakshminarayanan M, Huang J, Hinds AC, Lu J, Ramirez MI. Transcription factor and microRNA interactions in lung cells: an inhibitory link between NK2 homeobox 1, miR-200c and the developmental and oncogenic factors Nfib and Myb. Respir Res. 2015; 16:22. PMID: 25763778.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/6/2012

    Varma S, Cao Y, Tagne JB, Lakshminarayanan M, Li J, Friedman TB, Morell RJ, Warburton D, Kotton DN, Ramirez MI. The transcription factors Grainyhead-like 2 and NK2-homeobox 1 form a regulatory loop that coordinates lung epithelial cell morphogenesis and differentiation. J Biol Chem. 2012 Oct 26; 287(44):37282-95. PMID: 22955271.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/5/2012

    Tagne JB, Gupta S, Gower AC, Shen SS, Varma S, Lakshminarayanan M, Cao Y, Spira A, Volkert TL, Ramirez MI. Genome-wide analyses of Nkx2-1 binding to transcriptional target genes uncover novel regulatory patterns conserved in lung development and tumors. PLoS One. 2012; 7(1):e29907. PMID: 22242187.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/5/2011

    Kakumanu S, Tagne JB, Wilson TA, Nicolosi RJ. A nanoemulsion formulation of dacarbazine reduces tumor size in a xenograft mouse epidermoid carcinoma model compared to dacarbazine suspension. Nanomedicine. 2011 Jun; 7(3):277-83. PMID: 21215333.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/10/2009

    Cao Y, Vo T, Millien G, Tagne JB, Kotton D, Mason RJ, Williams MC, Ramirez MI. Epigenetic mechanisms modulate thyroid transcription factor 1-mediated transcription of the surfactant protein B gene. J Biol Chem. 2010 Jan 15; 285(3):2152-64. PMID: 19906647.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/1/2008

    Tagne JB, Kakumanu S, Nicolosi RJ. Nanoemulsion preparations of the anticancer drug dacarbazine significantly increase its efficacy in a xenograft mouse melanoma model. Mol Pharm. 2008 Nov-Dec; 5(6):1055-63. PMID: 19434855.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/3/2008

    Tagne JB, Kakumanu S, Ortiz D, Shea T, Nicolosi RJ. A nanoemulsion formulation of tamoxifen increases its efficacy in a breast cancer cell line. Mol Pharm. 2008 Mar-Apr; 5(2):280-6. PMID: 18171014.

    Read at: PubMed

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