Dan Shao

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey, United States

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Publications (13)146.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The Hippo pathway is an evolutionarily conserved regulator of organ size and tumorigenesis that negatively regulates cell growth and survival. Here we report that Yes-associated protein (YAP), the terminal effector of the Hippo pathway, interacts with FoxO1 in the nucleus of cardiomyocytes, thereby promoting survival. YAP and FoxO1 form a functional complex on the promoters of the catalase and manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) antioxidant genes and stimulate their transcription. Inactivation of YAP, induced by Hippo activation, suppresses FoxO1 activity and decreases antioxidant gene expression, suggesting that Hippo signalling modulates the FoxO1-mediated antioxidant response. In the setting of ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) in the heart, activation of Hippo antagonizes YAP-FoxO1, leading to enhanced oxidative stress-induced cell death through downregulation of catalase and MnSOD. Conversely, restoration of YAP activity protects against I/R injury. These results suggest that YAP is a nuclear co-factor of FoxO1 and that the Hippo pathway negatively affects cardiomyocyte survival by inhibiting the function of YAP-FoxO1.
    Nature Communications 02/2014; 5:3315. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a key regulator of metabolism and survival during energy stress. Dysregulation of AMPK is strongly associated with oxidative-stress-related disease. However, whether and how AMPK is regulated by intracellular redox status remains unknown. Here we show that the activity of AMPK is negatively regulated by oxidation of Cys130 and Cys174 in its α subunit, which interferes with the interaction between AMPK and AMPK kinases (AMPKK). Reduction of Cys130/Cys174 is essential for activation of AMPK during energy starvation. Thioredoxin1 (Trx1), an important reducing enzyme that cleaves disulfides in proteins, prevents AMPK oxidation, serving as an essential cofactor for AMPK activation. High-fat diet consumption downregulates Trx1 and induces AMPK oxidation, which enhances cardiomyocyte death during myocardial ischemia. Thus, Trx1 modulates activation of the cardioprotective AMPK pathway during ischemia, functionally linking oxidative stress and metabolism in the heart.
    Cell metabolism 02/2014; 19(2):232-45. · 17.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: Autophagy is an essential survival mechanism during energy stress in the heart. Oxidative stress is activated by energy stress, but its role in mediating autophagy is poorly understood. Nox4 is an enzyme that generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) at intracellular membranes. Whether Nox4 acts as a sensor of energy stress to mediate activation of autophagy is unknown. Objective: We investigated whether Nox4 is involved in the regulation of autophagy and cell survival during energy stress in cardiomyocytes (CMs). Methods and Results: Production of ROS in CMs was increased during glucose deprivation (GD) in a Nox4-dependent manner. Protein levels and the ROS-producing activity of Nox4 were increased in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but not in mitochondria, in response to GD. Selective knockdown of Nox4, but not Nox2, or selective reduction of ROS in the ER with ER-targeted catalase, but not mitochondria-targeted perioxiredoxin3, abrogated GD-induced autophagy. Nox4 promoted autophagy during GD through activation of the PKR-like ER kinase (PERK) pathway by suppression of prolyl hydroxylase4 (PHD4). The decrease in cell survival during GD in the presence of Nox4 knockdown was rescued by reactivation of autophagy by Atg7 overexpression, indicating that the effect of Nox4 upon cell survival is critically mediated through regulation of autophagy. Nox4 was activated during fasting and prolonged ischemia in the mouse heart, where Nox4 is also required for autophagy activation and cardioprotection. Conclusions: Nox4 critically mediates autophagy in response to energy stress in CMs by eliciting ROS in the ER and stimulating the PERK signaling pathway.
    Circulation Research 09/2013; · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Significance: Many cardiovascular disorders are accompanied by a deregulated cellular redox balance resulting in elevated levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). One major antioxidative cellular molecule is thioredoxin-1 (Trx-1). Its indispensability is demonstrated by the embryonic lethality of Trx-1 deficient mice. Trx-1 is ubiquitously expressed in cells and has numerous, diverse functions. It not only reduces oxidized proteins or, together with peroxiredoxins, detoxifies H(2)O(2), but also binds to several proteins and thereby regulates their functions. The interaction partners of Trx-1 differ depending on its localization in the cytosol or in the nucleus. Recent Advances/Critical Issues: Over the past decade it has become clear that Trx-1 is not only critical for tumor functions, which has resulted in therapeutic approaches targeting this protein, but also essential for proper functions of the vasculature and the heart. Changes in post-translational modifications of Trx-1 or in its interactions with other proteins can lead to a switch from a physiologic state of cells and organs to diverse pathologies. This review provides insights into the role of Trx-1 in different physiological situations and cardiac hypertrophy, ischemia reperfusion injury, heart failure, atherosclerosis, and diabetes mellitus type 2, underscoring the central role of Trx-1 in cardiovascular health and disease. Future Directions: Thus, the manipulation of Trx-1 activity in the heart and/or vasculature, for example, by small molecules, seems to be a promising therapeutic option in cardiovascular diseases, as general anti-oxidant treatments would not take into account interactions of Trx-1 with other proteins and also eliminate vital ROS. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.
    Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 08/2012; · 8.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rheb is a GTP-binding protein that promotes cell survival and mediates the cellular response to energy deprivation (ED). The role of Rheb in the regulation of cell survival during ED has not been investigated in the heart. Rheb is inactivated during cardiomyocyte (CM) glucose deprivation (GD) in vitro, and during acute myocardial ischemia in vivo. Rheb inhibition causes mTORC1 inhibition, because forced activation of Rheb, through Rheb overexpression in vitro and through inducible cardiac-specific Rheb overexpression in vivo, restored mTORC1 activity. Restoration of mTORC1 activity reduced CM survival during GD and increased infarct size after ischemia, both of which were accompanied by inhibition of autophagy, whereas Rheb knockdown increased autophagy and CM survival. Rheb inhibits autophagy mostly through Atg7 depletion. Restoration of autophagy, through Atg7 reexpression and inhibition of mTORC1, increased cellular ATP content and reduced endoplasmic reticulum stress, thereby reducing CM death induced by Rheb activation. Mice with high-fat diet-induced obesity and metabolic syndrome (HFD mice) exhibited deregulated cardiac activation of Rheb and mTORC1, particularly during ischemia. HFD mice presented inhibition of cardiac autophagy and displayed increased ischemic injury. Pharmacological and genetic inhibition of mTORC1 restored autophagy and abrogated the increase in infarct size observed in HFD mice, but they failed to protect HFD mice in the presence of genetic disruption of autophagy. Inactivation of Rheb protects CMs during ED through activation of autophagy. Rheb and mTORC1 may represent therapeutic targets to reduce myocardial damage during ischemia, particularly in obese patients.
    Circulation 03/2012; 125(9):1134-46. · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High energy production in mitochondria is essential for maintaining cardiac contraction in the heart. Genes regulating mitochondrial function are commonly downregulated during heart failure. Here we show that both PPARα and Sirt1 are upregulated by pressure overload in the heart. Haploinsufficiency of either PPARα or Sirt1 attenuated pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy and failure, whereas simultaneous upregulation of PPARα and Sirt1 exacerbated the cardiac dysfunction. PPARα and Sirt1 coordinately suppressed genes involved in mitochondrial function that are regulated by estrogen-related receptors (ERRs). PPARα bound and recruited Sirt1 to the ERR response element (ERRE), thereby suppressing ERR target genes in an RXR-independent manner. Downregulation of ERR target genes was also observed during fasting, and this appeared to be an adaptive response of the heart. These results suggest that suppression of the ERR transcriptional pathway by PPARα/Sirt1, a physiological fasting response, is involved in the progression of heart failure by promoting mitochondrial dysfunction.
    Cell metabolism 11/2011; 14(5):598-611. · 17.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress is presumed to be involved in the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease. However, oxidants are also generated in healthy cells, and increasing evidence suggests that they can act as signaling molecules. The intracellular reduction-oxidation (redox) status is tightly regulated by oxidant and antioxidant systems. Imbalance between them causes oxidative or reductive stress which triggers cellular damage or aberrant signaling, leading to dysregulation. In this review, we will briefly summarize the aspects of ROS generation and neutralization mechanisms in the cardiovascular system. ROS can regulate cell signaling through oxidation and reduction of specific amino acids within proteins. Structural changes during post-translational modification allow modification of protein activity which can result in altered cellular function. We will focus on the molecular basis of redox protein modification and how this regulatory mechanism affects signal transduction in the cardiovascular system. Finally, we will discuss some techniques applied to monitoring redox status and identifying redox-sensitive proteins in the heart. This article is part of a Special Section entitled "Post-translational Modification."
    Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 09/2011; 52(3):550-8. · 5.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Silent information regulator 1 (Sirt1), a class III histone deacetylase, retards aging and protects the heart from oxidative stress. We here examined whether Sirt1 is protective against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). Protein and mRNA expression of Sirt1 is significantly reduced by I/R. Cardiac-specific Sirt1(-/-) mice exhibited a significant increase (44±5% versus 15±5%; P=0.01) in the size of myocardial infarction/area at risk. In transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of Sirt1, both myocardial infarction/area at risk (15±4% versus 36±8%; P=0.004) and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling-positive nuclei (4±3% versus 10±1%; P<0.003) were significantly reduced compared with nontransgenic mice. In Langendorff-perfused hearts, the functional recovery during reperfusion was significantly greater in transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of Sirt1 than in nontransgenic mice. Sirt1 positively regulates expression of prosurvival molecules, including manganese superoxide dismutase, thioredoxin-1, and Bcl-xL, whereas it negatively regulates the proapoptotic molecules Bax and cleaved caspase-3. The level of oxidative stress after I/R, as evaluated by anti-8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine staining, was negatively regulated by Sirt1. Sirt1 stimulates the transcriptional activity of FoxO1, which in turn plays an essential role in mediating Sirt1-induced upregulation of manganese superoxide dismutase and suppression of oxidative stress in cardiac myocytes. Sirt1 plays an important role in mediating I/R-induced increases in the nuclear localization of FoxO1 in vivo. These results suggest that Sirt1 protects the heart from I/R injury through upregulation of antioxidants and downregulation of proapoptotic molecules through activation of FoxO and decreases in oxidative stress.
    Circulation 11/2010; 122(21):2170-82. · 15.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypotonic cell swelling in the myocardium is induced by pathological conditions, including ischemia-reperfusion, and affects the activities of ion transporters/channels and gene expression. However, the signaling mechanism activated by hypotonic stress (HS) is not fully understood in cardiac myocytes. A specialized protein kinase cascade, consisting of Pkc1 and MAPKs, is activated by HS in yeast. Here, we demonstrate that protein kinase N1 (PKN1), a serine/threonine protein kinase and a homolog of Pkc1, is activated by HS (67% osmolarity) within 5 min and reaches peak activity at 60 min in cardiac myocytes. Activation of PKN1 by HS was accompanied by Thr(774) phosphorylation and concomitant activation of PDK1, a potential upstream regulator of PKN1. HS also activated RhoA, thereby increasing interactions between PKN1 and RhoA. PP1 (10(-5) M), a selective Src family tyrosine kinase inhibitor, significantly suppressed HS-induced activation of RhoA and PKN1. Constitutively active PKN1 significantly increased the transcriptional activity of Elk1-GAL4, an effect that was inhibited by dominant negative MEK. Overexpression of PKN1 significantly increased ERK phosphorylation, whereas downregulation of PKN1 inhibited HS-induced ERK phosphorylation. Downregulation of PKN1 and inhibition of ERK by U-0126 both significantly inhibited the survival of cardiac myocytes in the presence of HS. These results suggest that a signaling cascade, consisting of Src, RhoA, PKN1, and ERK, is activated by HS, thereby promoting cardiac myocyte survival.
    AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 10/2010; 300(1):H191-200. · 4.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The function of PKN, a stress-activated protein kinase, in the heart is poorly understood. We investigated the functional role of PKN during myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). PKN is phosphorylated at Thr774 in hearts subjected to ischemia and reperfusion. Myocardial infarction/area at risk (MI/AAR) produced by 45 minutes of ischemia and 24 hours of reperfusion was significantly smaller in transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of constitutively active (CA) PKN (Tg-CAPKN) than in nontransgenic (NTg) mice (15+/-5 versus 38+/-5%, P<0.01). The number of TUNEL-positive nuclei was significantly lower in Tg-CAPKN (0.3+/-0.2 versus 1.0+/-0.2%, P<0.05). Both MI/AAR (63+/-9 versus 45+/-8%, P<0.05) and the number of TUNEL-positive cells (7.9+/-1.0 versus 1.3+/-0.9%, P<0.05) were greater in transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of dominant negative PKN (Tg-DNPKN) than in NTg mice. Thr774 phosphorylation of PKN was also observed in response to H(2)O(2) in cultured cardiac myocytes. Stimulation of PKN prevented, whereas inhibition of PKN aggravated, cell death induced by H(2)O(2), suggesting that the cell-protective effect of PKN is cell-autonomous in cardiac myocytes. PKN induced phosphorylation of alpha B crystallin and increased cardiac proteasome activity. The infarct reducing effect in Tg-CAPKN mice was partially inhibited by epoxomicin, a proteasome inhibitor. PKN is activated by I/R and inhibits apoptosis of cardiac myocytes, thereby protecting the heart from I/R injury. PKN mediates phosphorylation of alpha B crystallin and stimulation of proteasome activity, which, in part, mediates the protective effect of PKN in the heart.
    Circulation Research 09/2010; 107(5):642-9. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: NAD+ acts not only as a cofactor for cellular respiration but also as a substrate for NAD(+)-dependent enzymes, such as Sirt1. The cellular NAD+ synthesis is regulated by both the de novo and the salvage pathways. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt) is a rate-limiting enzyme in the salvage pathway. Here we investigated the role of Nampt in mediating NAD+ synthesis in cardiac myocytes and the function of Nampt in the heart in vivo. Expression of Nampt in the heart was significantly decreased by ischemia, ischemia/reperfusion and pressure overload. Upregulation of Nampt significantly increased NAD+ and ATP concentrations, whereas downregulation of Nampt significantly decreased them. Downregulation of Nampt increased caspase 3 cleavage, cytochrome c release, and TUNEL-positive cells, which were inhibited in the presence of Bcl-xL, but did not increase hairpin 2-positive cells, suggesting that endogenous Nampt negatively regulates apoptosis but not necrosis. Downregulation of Nampt also impaired autophagic flux, suggesting that endogenous Nampt positively regulates autophagy. Cardiac-specific overexpression of Nampt in transgenic mice increased NAD+ content in the heart, prevented downregulation of Nampt, and reduced the size of myocardial infarction and apoptosis in response to prolonged ischemia and ischemia/reperfusion. Nampt critically regulates NAD+ and ATP contents, thereby playing an essential role in mediating cell survival by inhibiting apoptosis and stimulating autophagic flux in cardiac myocytes. Preventing downregulation of Nampt inhibits myocardial injury in response to myocardial ischemia and reperfusion. These results suggest that Nampt is an essential gatekeeper of energy status and survival in cardiac myocytes.
    Circulation Research 09/2009; 105(5):481-91. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian sterile 20-like kinase (Mst)1 plays an important role in mediating apoptosis and inhibiting hypertrophy in the heart. Because Hippo, a Drosophila homolog of Mst1, forms a signaling complex with Warts, a serine/threonine kinase, which in turn stimulates cell death and inhibits cell proliferation, mammalian homologs of Warts, termed Lats1 and Lats2, may mediate the function of Mst1. We here show that Lats2, but not Lats1, dose-dependently increased apoptosis in cultured cardiac myocytes. Lats2 also dose-dependently reduced [(3)H]phenylalanine incorporation and cardiac myocyte size, whereas dominant negative Lats2 (DN-Lats2) increased them, suggesting that endogenous Lats2 negatively regulates myocyte growth. DN-Lats2 significantly attenuated induction of apoptosis and inhibition of hypertrophy by Mst1, indicating that Lats2 mediates the function of Mst1 in cardiac myocytes. Cardiac specific overexpression of Lats2 in transgenic mice significantly reduced the size of left and right ventricles, whereas that of DN-Lats2 caused hypertrophy in both ventricles. Overexpression of Lats2 reduced left ventricular systolic and diastolic function without affecting baseline levels of myocardial apoptosis. Expression of endogenous Lats2 was significantly upregulated in response to transverse aortic constriction. Overexpression of DN-Lats2 significantly enhanced cardiac hypertrophy and inhibited cardiac myocyte apoptosis induced by transverse aortic constriction. These results suggest that Lats2 is necessary and sufficient for negatively regulating ventricular mass in the heart. Although Lats2 is required for cardiac myocyte apoptosis in response to pressure overload, it was not sufficient to induce apoptosis at baseline. In conclusion, Lats2 affects both growth and death of cardiac myocytes, but it primarily regulates the size of the heart and acts as an endogenous negative regulator of cardiac hypertrophy.
    Circulation Research 11/2008; 103(11):1309-18. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiac hypertrophy by activation of the beta-adrenergic receptor (beta AR) is mediated more efficiently by the beta1-AR than by the beta2-AR. We investigated the signalling mechanism by which the beta1-AR mediates cardiac hypertrophy. Experiments were performed in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. Hypertrophy was determined by the protein/DNA content and atrial natriuretic factor transcription. Phosphorylation of Akt and Src was assessed by immunoblotting. Isoproterenol (ISO, 10 microM), a non-selective beta-AR agonist, caused selective downregulation of the beta1-AR (control beta1 vs. beta2: 35 vs. 65%, Bmax 78 +/- 4 fmol/mg; 4 h, 10 vs. 90%, 61 +/- 5 fmol/mg). Concanavalin A (Con A, 0.5 microg/mL), an inhibitor of endocytosis, prevented downregulation of beta1-ARs by ISO treatment (4 h, 35 vs. 65%, 73 +/- 8 fmol/mg), suggesting that beta1-ARs selectively undergo endocytosis. Interference with beta1-AR endocytosis by Con A, carboxyl terminal peptide of beta-AR kinase-1, dominant negative (DN) beta-arrestin-1, or DN dynamin inhibited beta-adrenergic hypertrophy, suggesting that the endocytosis machinery plays a key role in mediating beta-adrenergic hypertrophy. Activation of Akt by the beta1-AR was blocked by inhibition of the endocytosis machinery, suggesting that endocytosis mediates activation of Akt. Akt plays a critical role in beta-adrenergic hypertrophy, since DN Akt blocked ISO-induced hypertrophy. beta-Adrenergic activation of Akt is mediated by Src, which associates with the endocytosis machinery and is necessary and sufficient to mediate beta-adrenergic hypertrophy. Activation of the endocytosis machinery is required for activation of Akt, which, in turn, critically mediates beta1-AR-induced cardiac hypertrophy.
    Cardiovascular Research 05/2008; 78(1):36-44. · 5.81 Impact Factor