Yuanheng Ning

Tsinghua University, Peping, Beijing, China

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Publications (11)82.97 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is an intracellular degradation process to clear up aggregated proteins or aged and damaged organelles. The Beclin1-Vps34-Atg14L complex is essential for autophagosome formation. However, how the complex formation is regulated is unclear. Here, we show that Dapper1 (Dpr1) acts as a critical regulator of the Beclin1-Vps34-Atg14L complex to promote autophagy. Dpr1 ablation in the central nervous system results in motor coordination defect and accumulation of p62 and ubiquitinated proteins. Dpr1 increases autophagosome formation as indicated by elevated puncta formation of LC3, Atg14L and DFCP1 (Double FYVE-containing protein 1). Conversely, loss of Dpr1 impairs LC3 lipidation and causes p62/SQSTM1 accumulation. Dpr1 directly interacts with Beclin1 and Atg14L and enhances the Beclin1-Vps34 interaction and Vps34 activity. Together, our findings suggest that Dpr1 enhances the Atg14L-Beclin1-Vps34 complex formation to drive autophagy.Cell Research advance online publication 1 July 2014; doi:10.1038/cr.2014.84.
    Cell research. 07/2014;
  • Journal of Molecular Cell Biology 09/2012; · 7.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) plays a critical role in tissue fibrosis. The duration and intensity of TGF-β signaling are tightly regulated. Here we report that TSC-22 (TGF-β-stimulated clone 22) facilitates TGF-β signaling by antagonizing Smad7 activity to increase receptor stability. TSC-22 enhances TGF-β-induced Smad2/3 phosphorylation and transcriptional responsiveness. The stimulatory effect of TSC-22 is dependent on Smad7, as silencing Smad7 expression abolishes it. TSC-22 interacts with TGF-β type I receptor TβRI and Smad7 in mutually exclusive ways and disrupts the association of Smad7/Smurfs with TβRI, thereby preventing ubiquitination and degradation of the receptor. We also found that TSC-22 can promote the differentiation of cardiac myofibroblasts by increasing expression of the fibrotic genes for α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), PAI-1, fibronectin, and collagen I, which is consistent with upregulation of TSC-22, phospho-Smad2/3, and the fibrotic genes in isoproterenol-induced rat myocardial fibrotic hearts. Taken together with the notion that TGF-β induces TSC-22 expression, our findings suggest that TSC-22 regulates TGF-β signaling via a positive-feedback mechanism and may contribute to myocardial fibrosis.
    Molecular and cellular biology 07/2011; 31(18):3700-9. · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling plays a key role in embryogenesis and cancer development. Dvl (Dishevelled) is a central mediator for both the canonical and noncanonical Wnt pathways. Dact1 (Dapper1, Dpr1), a Dvl interactor, has been shown to negatively modulate Wnt signaling by promoting lysosomal degradation of Dvl. Here we report that Dact1-deficient mice have multiple physiological defects that resemble the human neonate disease congenital caudal regression syndrome, including caudal vertebrae agenesis, anorectal malformation, renal agenesis/dysplasia, fused kidneys, and loss of bladder. These urogenital defects can be traced to impaired hindgut formation starting at embryonic day 8.25. Examination of morphological changes and Wnt target gene expression revealed that the planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling is deregulated, whereas the canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is largely unaffected in mutant embryos. Consistently, the activity of the PCP signal mediators Rho GTPase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase is altered in Dact1(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts. We further observed alterations in the protein level and the cellular distribution of Dvl in the primitive streak of mutant embryos. An increased amount of Dvl2 tends to be accumulated in the cortical regions of the cells, especially at the primitive streak ectoderm close to the posterior endoderm that lately forms the hindgut diverticulum. Together, these data suggest that Dact1 may regulate vertebrate PCP by controlling the level and the cellular localization of Dvl protein.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2010; 285(14):11023-30. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) and related growth factors are essential regulators of embryogenesis and tissue homeostasis. The signaling pathways mediated by their receptors and Smad proteins are precisely modulated by various means. Xenopus BAMBI (bone morphogenic protein (BMP) and activin membrane-bound inhibitor) has been shown to function as a general negative regulator of TGF-beta/BMP/activin signaling. Here, we provide evidence that human BAMBI (hBAMBI), like its Xenopus homolog, inhibits TGF-beta- and BMP-mediated transcriptional responses as well as TGF-beta-induced R-Smad phosphorylation and cell growth arrest, whereas knockdown of endogenous BAMBI enhances the TGF-beta-induced reporter expression. Mechanistically, in addition to interfering with the complex formation between the type I and type II receptors, hBAMBI cooperates with Smad7 to inhibit TGF-beta signaling. hBAMBI forms a ternary complex with Smad7 and the TGF-beta type I receptor ALK5/TbetaRI and inhibits the interaction between ALK5/TbetaRI and Smad3, thus impairing Smad3 activation. These findings provide a novel insight to understand the molecular mechanism underlying the inhibitory effect of BAMBI on TGF-beta signaling.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2009; 284(44):30097-104. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The canonical Wnt/beta-catenin pathway plays a pivotal role in regulating embryogenesis and tumorigenesis by promoting cell proliferation. BAMBI (BMP and activin membrane-bound inhibitor) has previously been shown to negatively regulate the signaling activity of transforming growth factor-beta, activin, and BMP and was identified as a target of beta-catenin in colorectal and hepatocellular tumor cells. In this study, we provide evidence that BAMBI can promote the transcriptional activity of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. Overexpression of BAMBI enhances the expression of Wnt-responsive reporters, whereas knockdown of endogenous BAMBI attenuates them. Accordingly, BAMBI also promotes the nuclear translocation of beta-catenin. BAMBI interacts with Wnt receptor Frizzled5, coreceptor LRP6, and Dishevelled2 and increases the interaction between Frizzled5 and Dishevelled2. Finally we show that BAMBI promotes the expression of c-myc and cyclin D1 and increases Wnt-promoted cell cycle progression. Altogether, our data indicate that BAMBI can function as a positive regulator of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway to promote cell proliferation.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2008; 283(48):33053-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling, via the activation of the canonical beta-catenin and lymphoid enhancer factor (LEF)/T-cell factor pathway, plays an important role in embryogenesis and cancer development by regulating the expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. Dapper (Dpr), as a Dishevelled interactor, has been suggested to modulate Wnt signaling by promoting Dishevelled degradation. Here, we provide evidence that Dpr1 shuttles between the cytoplasm and the nucleus. Although overexpressed Dpr1 was mainly found in the cytoplasm, endogenous Dpr1 was localized over the cell, and Wnt1 induced its nuclear export. Treatment with leptomycin B induced nuclear accumulation of both endogenous and overexpressed Dpr1. We further identified the nuclear localization signal and the nuclear export signal within Dpr1. Using reporter assay and in vivo zebrafish embryo assay, we demonstrated that the forced nuclearly localized Dpr1 possessed the ability to antagonize Wnt signaling. Dpr1 interacted with beta-catenin and LEF1 and disrupted their complex formation. Furthermore, Dpr1 could associate with histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) and enhance the LEF1-HDAC1 interaction. Together, our findings suggest that Dpr1 negatively modulates the basal activity of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in the nucleus by keeping LEF1 in the repressive state. Thus, Dpr1 controls Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2008; 283(51):35679-88. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Smad7 plays an essential role in the negative-feedback regulation of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) signaling by inhibiting TGF-beta signaling at the receptor level. It can interfere with binding to type I receptors and thus activation of receptor-regulated Smads or recruit the E3 ubiquitin ligase Smurf to receptors and thus target them for degradation. Here, we report that Smad7 is predominantly localized in the nucleus of Hep3B cells. The targeted expression of Smad7 in the nucleus conferred superior inhibitory activity on TGF-beta signaling, as determined by reporter assay in mammalian cells and by its effect on zebrafish embryogenesis. Furthermore, Smad7 repressed Smad3/4-, Smad2/4-, and Smad1/4-enhanced reporter gene expression, indicating that Smad7 can function independently of type I receptors. An oligonucleotide precipitation assay revealed that Smad7 can specifically bind to the Smad-responsive element via its MH2 domain, and DNA-binding activity was further confirmed in vivo with the promoter of PAI-1, a TGF-beta target gene, by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Finally, we provide evidence that Smad7 disrupts the formation of the TGF-beta-induced functional Smad-DNA complex. Our findings suggest that Smad7 inhibits TGF-beta signaling in the nucleus by a novel mechanism.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 07/2007; 27(12):4488-99. · 5.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling plays pivotal roles in the regulation of embryogenesis and cancer development. Xenopus Dapper (Dpr) was identified as an interacting protein for Dishevelled (Dvl), a Wnt signaling mediator, and modulates Wnt signaling. However, it is largely unclear how Dpr regulates Wnt signaling. Here, we present evidence that human Dpr1, the ortholog of Xenopus Dpr, inhibits Wnt signaling. We have identified the regions responsible for the Dpr-Dvl interaction in both proteins and found that the interaction interface is formed between the DEP (Dishevelled, Egl-10, and pleckstrin) domain of Dvl and the central and the C-terminal regions of Dpr1. The inhibitory function of human Dpr1 requires both its N and C terminus. Overexpression of the C-terminal region corresponding to the last 225 amino acids of Dpr1, in contrast to wild-type Dpr1, enhances Wnt signaling, suggesting a dominant negative function of this region. Furthermore, we have shown that Dpr1 induces Dvl degradation via a lysosome inhibitor-sensitive and proteasome inhibitor-insensitive mechanism. Knockdown of Dpr1 by RNA interference up-regulates endogenous Dvl2 protein. Taken together, our data indicate that the inhibitory activity of Dpr on Wnt signaling is conserved from Xenopus to human and that Dpr1 antagonizes Wnt signaling by inducing Dvl degradation.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2006; 281(13):8607-12. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic studies in mouse and zebrafish have established the importance of activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1) in formation and remodeling of blood vessels. Single-allele mutations in the ALK1 gene have been linked to the human type 2 hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT2). However, how these ALK1 mutations contribute to this disorder remains unclear. To explore the mechanism underlying effect of the HHT-related ALK1 mutations on receptor activity, we generated 11 such mutants and investigated their signaling activities using reporter assay in mammalian cells and examined their effect on zebrafish embryogenesis. Here we show that some of the HHT2-related mutations generate a dominant-negative effect whereas the others give rise to a null phenotype via loss of protein expression or receptor activity. These data indicate that loss-of-function mutations in a single allele of the ALK1 locus are sufficient to contribute to defects in maintaining endothelial integrity.
    Blood 04/2006; 107(5):1951-4. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nodal proteins, members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) superfamily, have been identified as key endogenous mesoderm inducers in vertebrates. Precise control of Nodal signaling is essential for normal development of embryos. Here, we report that zebrafish dapper2 (dpr2) is expressed in mesoderm precursors during early embryogenesis and is positively regulated by Nodal signals. In vivo functional studies in zebrafish suggest that Dpr2 suppresses mesoderm induction activities of Nodal signaling. Dpr2 is localized in late endosomes, binds to the TGFbeta receptors ALK5 and ALK4, and accelerates lysosomal degradation of these receptors.
    Science 11/2004; 306(5693):114-7. · 31.20 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

351 Citations
82.97 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2014
    • Tsinghua University
      • School of Life Sciences
      Peping, Beijing, China
  • 2011
    • China-Japan Friendship Hospital
      Peping, Beijing, China
  • 2007
    • Baylor College of Medicine
      • Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology
      Houston, Texas, United States