Chenji Wang

State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics of China, Ch’ang-sha-shih, Hunan, China

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Publications (15)71.82 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: ASPP2 is an important tumor suppressor protein promoting p53-dependent and-independent apoptosis. However, it has been unclear how ASPP2 protein is regulated. Here, we identified Itch as the E3 ubiquitin ligase for ASPP2. Itch interacts with ASPP2 and mediates its degradation and ubiquitination in vivo. The PPXY motif of ASPP2 interacts with the WW domains of Itch. Yap1 competes with Itch for binding to ASPP2, and prevents Itch-mediated degradation and ubiquitination of ASPP2. Together, these observations reveal that Itch and Yap1 have antagonistic roles in the regulation of ASPP2 protein stability through competing post-translational regulatory mechanism of ASPP2. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    FEBS letters. 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Characterization of the exome and genome of prostate cancers by next-generation sequencing has identified numerous genetic alternations. SPOP (Speckle-type POZ Protein) was identified as one of the most frequently affected genes by somatic point mutations in prostate cancer, suggesting SPOP is potentially a key driver for prostate cancer development and progression. However, how SPOP mutations contribute to prostate cancer remains to be elucidated. SPOP acts as an adaptor protein of the CUL3-RBX1 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, selectively recruits substrates for their ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. DDIT3 is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-responsive transcription factor playing essential role in apoptotic execution pathways triggered by ER stress. Here, we identified DDIT3/CHOP as a bona fide substrate for the SPOP-CUL3-RBX1 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. SPOP recognizes a Ser/Thr (S/T)-rich degron in the transactivation domain of DDIT3 and triggers DDIT3 degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Strikingly, prostate cancer-associated mutants of SPOP are defective in promoting DDIT3 degradation. This study reveals novel molecular events underlying the regulation of DDIT3 protein homeostasis and provides insight in understanding the relationship between SPOP mutations and ER stress dysregulation in prostate cancer. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Human Mutation 07/2014; · 5.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The SPOP E3 ubiquitin ligase gene is frequently mutated in human prostate cancers. Here, we demonstrate that SPOP recognizes a Ser/Thr-rich degron in the hinge domain of androgen receptor (AR) and induces degradation of full-length AR and inhibition of AR-mediated gene transcription and prostate cancer cell growth. AR splicing variants, most of which lack the hinge domain, escape SPOP-mediated degradation. Prostate-cancer-associated mutants of SPOP cannot bind to and promote AR destruction. Furthermore, androgens antagonize SPOP-mediated degradation of AR, whereas antiandrogens promote this process. This study identifies AR as a bona fide substrate of SPOP and elucidates a role of SPOP mutations in prostate cancer, thus implying the importance of this pathway in resistance to antiandrogen therapy of prostate cancer.
    Cell Reports 02/2014; · 7.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rap1GAP is a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) that specifically stimulates the GTP hydrolysis of Rap1 GTPase. Although Rap1GAP is recognized as a tumor suppressor gene and downregulated in various cancers, little is known regarding the regulation of Rap1GAP ubiquitination and degradation under physiological conditions. Here, we demonstrated that Rap1GAP is ubiquitinated and degraded through proteasome pathway in mitosis. Proteolysis of Rap1GAP requires the PLK1 kinase and β-TrCP ubiquitin ligase complex. We revealed that PLK1 interacts with Rap1GAP in vivo through recognition of an SSP motif within Rap1GAP. PLK1 phosphorylates Ser525 in conserved 524DSGHVS529 degron of Rap1GAP and promotes its interaction with β-TrCP. We also showed that Rap1GAP was a cell cycle regulator and that tight regulation of the Rap1GAP degradation in mitosis is required for cell proliferation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(10):e110296. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide and typically has poor prognosis. Like most cancers, altered gene expression was always associated with the induction and maintenance of HCC. Here, we reported that the expression level of T-LAK cell-originated protein kinase (TOPK) is significantly up-regulated in human HCC samples and cell lines. The suppression of TOPK by short hairpin RNA in HCC cell line SMMC-7721 caused cell cycle arrest and reduced cell growth and colony formation ability. Moreover, the tumor formation ability of the TOPK-suppression cells was significantly impaired compared with the control cells in nude mice. In addition, the knockdown expression of TOPK reduced the AKT phosphorylation. Taken together, we unveiled a novel role of TOPK which acts as an important positive regulator in human HCC cell proliferation. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Cell Biochemistry and Function 03/2013; · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RLIM acts as a negative regulator of LIM-Homeodomain proteins either by recruiting Sin3A/Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) co-repressor complex or through degradation of CLIM coactivator, thus playing an important role in embryonic development. Recent studies by different research groups have shown that RLIM acts as an X-encoded, dose-dependent inducer of X chromosome inactivation in mouse embryonic stem cells. However, until now, very little is known about the expression regulation of RLIM gene, and we tried to study the transctriptional regulation of RLIM gene. In the present study, we identified RLIM as a novel target of p53 and demonstrated that p53 repressed both mRNA and protein levels of RLIM. Expression of wild type p53, but not p53 mutants, led to repression of the RLIM promoter activity. We further identified four putative Sp1 elements (S1 to S4) on the RLIM promoter that are essential for p53-mediated repression of RLIM. Although p53 does not directly bind to the RLIM promoter, it physically interacts with and prevents the binding of Sp1 to the RLIM promoter. Thus, RLIM is a novel target of p53, and p53 exerts its inhibitory effect on RLIM expression by interfering with Sp1-mediated transcriptional activation on RLIM. Our results provided data to enlarge the knowledge of transcriptional regulation of RLIM and suggested a new pathway by which physiological and pathological activators of p53 may affect development.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e62832. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polycomb group protein PHF1 is well known as a component of a novel EED-EZH2/PRC2 complex and plays important roles in H3K27 methylation and Hox gene silencing. PHF1 is also involved in the response to DNA double-strand breaks in human cells, promotes nonhomologous end-joining processes through interaction with Ku70/Ku80. Here, we identified another function of PHF1 as a potential p53 pathway activator in a pathway screen using luminescence reporter assay. Subsequent studies showed PHF1 directly interacts with p53 proteins both in vivo and in vitro and co-localized in nucleus. PHF1 binds to the C-terminal regulatory domain of p53. Overexpression of PHF1 elevated p53 protein level and prolonged its turnover. Knockdown of PHF1 reduced p53 protein level and its target gene expression both in normal state and DNA damage response. Mechanically, PHF1 protects p53 proteins from MDM2-mediated ubiquitination and degradation. Furthermore, we showed that PHF1 regulates cell growth arrest and etoposide-induced apoptosis in a p53-dependent manner. Finally, PHF1 expression was significantly downregulated in human breast cancer samples. Taken together, we establish PHF1 as a novel positive regulator of p53 pathway. These data shed light on the potential roles of PHF1 in tumorigenesis and/or tumor progression.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2012; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Members of the metallothionein (MT) family are short, cysteine-rich proteins involved in metal metabolism and detoxification, suggesting that MT proteins protect cells from damage caused by electrophilic carcinogens and thereby constitute a critical surveillance system against carcinogenesis. However, the roles of MT proteins in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are not fully understood. We identified a member of the MT family, termed MT1M. MT1M is expressed in various normal tissues with the highest level in the liver. MT1M expression can be induced by heavy metals and protect Escherichia coli from heavy metal toxicity. However, MT1M expression markedly decreased in human HCC specimens. A methylation profiling analysis indicated that the MT1M promoter is methylated in the majority of HCC tumors examined. Moreover, restored expression of MT1M in the HCC cell line Hep3B, which lacks endogenous MT1M expression, suppressed cell growth in vitro and in vivo and augmented apoptosis induced by tumor necrosis factor α. Furthermore, stable expression of MT1M in Hep3B cells blocked tumor necrosis factor α-induced degradation of IκBα and transactivation of NF-κB. We conclude that MT1M is a novel member of the MT family. Frequent downregulation of MT1M in human HCC may contribute to liver tumorigenesis by increasing cellular NF-κB activity.
    Carcinogenesis 09/2012; · 5.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF)-related proteins (HRPs) comprise a family of six members and are characterised by a conserved HATH domain. Among the family members, HDGF was the first to be identified as a mitogenic factor and shown to play an important role in hepatocellular carcinoma pathogenesis. The aim of the present study is to examine the relevance of HDGF-related protein-3 (HRP-3), another member of the HRP family in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). DESIGN: HRP-3 expression in HCC tissues was measured by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry analysis. The biological consequences of overexpression and knockdown of HRP-3 in HCC cell lines were studied in vitro and in vivo. RESULTS: Expression of HRP-3 mRNA and protein was shown to be highly upregulated in HCC tissues. While knockdown of HRP-3 by small interference RNAs failed to affect anchorage-dependent growth of HCC cells, it inhibited anchorage-independent growth of HCC cells in vitro and xenograft tumour growth in vivo. Further, knockdown of HRP-3 was shown to sensitise HCC cells to anoikis. Moreover, HRP-3 specifically activated the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway without affecting c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), p38, AKT and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). Importantly, inhibition of the ERK pathway diminished HRP-3-mediated protection of HCC cells from anoikis. Finally, knockdown of HRP-3 was shown to enhance apoptosis of HCC cells induced by multiple chemotherapeutic drugs. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that HRP-3 plays an essential role in HCC pathogenesis and suggest that it may serve as a novel prognostic marker and molecular target for development of drugs for treatment of HCC.
    Gut 04/2012; · 10.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AMOT (angiomotin) is a membrane-associated protein that is expressed in ECs (endothelial cells) and controls migration, TJ (tight junction) formation, cell polarity and angiogenesis. Recent studies have revealed that AMOT and two AMOT-like proteins, AMOTL1 and AMOTL2, play critical roles in the Hippo pathway by regulating the subcellular localization of the co-activators YAP (Yes-associated protein) and TAZ (transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif). However, it has been unclear how AMOT is regulated. In the present study, we report that AMOT undergoes proteasomal degradation. We identify three members of Nedd4 (neural-precursor-cell-expressed developmentally down-regulated)-like ubiquitin E3 ligases, Nedd4, Nedd4-2 and Itch, as the ubiquitin E3 ligases for the long isoform of AMOT, AMOT/p130. We demonstrate that Nedd4, Nedd4-2 and Itch mediate poly-ubiquitination of AMOT/p130 in vivo. Overexpression of Nedd4, Nedd4-2 or Itch leads to AMOT/p130 proteasomal degradation. Knockdown of Nedd4, Nedd4-2 and Itch causes an accumulation of steady-state level of AMOT/p130. We also show that three L/P-PXY motifs of AMOT/p130 and the WW domains of Nedd4 mediate their interaction. Furthermore, Nedd4-like ubiquitin E3 ligases might compete with YAP for the binding to AMOT/p130, and subsequently targeting AMOT/p130 for ubiquitin-dependent degradation. Together, these observations reveal a novel post-translational regulatory mechanism of AMOT/p130.
    Biochemical Journal 03/2012; 444(2):279-89. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the last 10 years, more and more attention has been focused on SNIP1 (Smad nuclear interacting protein 1), which functions as a transcriptional coactivator. We report here that through quantitative real-time PCR analysis in 18 different human tissues, SNIP1 was found to be expressed ubiquitously. When overexpressed in HeLa cells, SNIP1-EGFP fused protein exhibited a nuclear localization with a characteristic subnuclear distribution in speckles or formed larger discrete nuclear bodies in some cells. Reporter gene assay showed that overexpression of SNIP1 in HEK 293 cells or H1299 cells strongly activated the HSE signaling pathway. Moreover, SNIP1 could selectively regulate the transcription of HSP70A1A and HSP27. Taken together, our findings suggest that SNIP1 might also be a positive regulator of HSE signaling pathway.
    Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 03/2012; 362(1-2):1-6. · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of β-catenin, the central effector of the canonical wingless-type (Wnt) pathway, has been implicated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the transcription regulation mechanism of the β-catenin gene in HCC remains unknown. Here we report that human zinc finger protein 191 (ZNF191) is a potential regulator of β-catenin transcription. ZNF191, a Krüppel-like protein, specifically interacts with the TCAT motif, which constitutes the HUMTH01 microsatellite in the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene ex vivo. We demonstrate that ZNF191 is significantly overexpressed in human HCC specimens and is associated with growth of human HCC cells. Global profiling of gene expression in ZNF191 knockdown human hepatic L02 cells revealed that the important Wnt signal pathway genes β-catenin and cyclin D1 messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are significantly down-regulated. In agreement with transcription level, β-catenin and cyclin D1 proteins are also down-regulated in transient and stable ZNF191 knockdown L02 and hepatoma Hep3B cell lines. Moreover, significant correlation between ZNF191 and β-catenin mRNA expression was detected in human HCCs. Promoter luciferase assay indicated that ZNF191 can increase transcription activity of the full-length β-catenin (CTNNB1) promoter, and nucleotide (nt)-1407/-907 of the CTNNB1 promoter exhibited the maximum transcriptional activity. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay showed that purified ZNF191 protein can directly bind to the CTNNB1 promoter, and the binding region is located at nt-1254/-1224. Finally, we demonstrate that the key binding sequence of ZNF191 in vivo is ATTAATT. Conclusion: ZNF191 can directly bind to the CTNNB1 promoter and activate the expression of β-catenin and its downstream target genes such as cyclin D1 in hepatoma cell lines. This study uncovers a new molecular mechanism of transcription regulation of the β-catenin gene in HCC.
    Hepatology 12/2011; 55(6):1830-9. · 12.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: TGF-β (transforming growth factor-β), a pleiotropic cytokine that regulates diverse cellular processes, has been suggested to play critical roles in cell proliferation, migration, and carcinogenesis. Here we found a novel E3 ubiquitin ligase RLIM which can directly bind to Smurf2, enhancing TGF-β responsiveness in osteosarcoma U2OS cells. We constructed a U2OS cell line stably over-expressing RLIM and demonstrated that RLIM promoted TGF-β-driven migration of U2OS cells as tested by wound healing assay. Our results indicated that RLIM is an important positive regulator in TGF-β signaling pathway and cell migration.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 09/2011; 414(1):181-5. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B viral X protein (HBx) is a multifunctional transactivator and implicated in hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication and hepatocarcinogenesis. HBx can be ubiquitinated and degraded through ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. However, the E3 ubiquitin ligase regulating HBx ubiquitin-dependent degradation is still unknown. In this study, we identified Siah-1 as a novel E3 ubiquitin ligase for HBx, which interacted with HBx and facilitated HBx poly-ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation. Co-expression of Siah-1 attenuated the transcriptional transactivation of HBx on glucocorticoid response element (GRE), heat shock response element (HSE) and cAMP response element (CRE) signal pathways. Moreover, Siah-1 participated in p53-mediated HBx degradation. Therefore, Siah-1 may play important roles in ubiquitin-dependent degradation of HBx and may be involved in suppressing the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
    FEBS letters 08/2011; 585(19):2943-50. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP) was originally characterized as an endogenous inhibitor of thioredoxin, a key regulator in cellular redox homeostasis. TXNIP is also known to play important roles in tumor growth and metastasis, glucose and lipid metabolism. TXNIP expression is induced by various stress stimuli. However, it has been unclear how TXNIP is down-regulated. Here, we report that TXNIP undergoes proteasomal degradation in cells. We identify Itch as the E3 ubiquitin ligase for TXNIP. We demonstrate that Itch mediates polyubiquitination of TXNIP both in vitro and in vivo. Overexpression of Itch leads to TXNIP proteasomal degradation. Knockdown of Itch by small interfering RNA causes an accumulation of the steady-state level of TXNIP. We also show that the PPXY motifs of TXNIP and the WW domains of Itch mediate their interaction. Furthermore, the Itch-TXNIP interaction regulates intracellular reactive oxygen species levels and apoptosis. These findings establish a new mechanism for the negative regulation of TXNIP by Itch and shed new light on the regulation of cellular redox homeostasis.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2010; 285(12):8869-79. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

78 Citations
71.82 Total Impact Points


  • 2011–2014
    • State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics of China
      Ch’ang-sha-shih, Hunan, China
  • 2010–2014
    • Fudan University
      • Institute of Genetics
      Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
  • 2012
    • Government of the People's Republic of China
      Peping, Beijing, China