Liuliang Qin

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, United States

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Publications (7)46.45 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Tissue repair/wound healing, in which angiogenesis plays an important role, is a critical step in many diseases including chronic wound, myocardial infarction, stroke, cancer, and inflammation. Recently, we were the first to report that orphan nuclear receptor TR3/Nur77 is a critical mediator of angiogenesis and its associated microvessel permeability. Tumor growth and angiogenesis induced by VEGF-A, histamine, and serotonin are almost completely inhibited in Nur77 knockout mice. However, it is not known whether TR3/Nur77 plays any roles in wound healing. In these studies, skin wound-healing assay was performed in 3 types of genetically modified mice having various Nur77 activities. We found that ectopic induction of Nur77 in endothelial cells of mice is sufficient to improve skin wound healing. Although skin wound healing in Nur77 knockout mice is comparable to the wild-type control mice, the process is significantly delayed in the EC-Nur77-DN mice, in which a dominant negative Nur77 mutant is inducibly and specifically expressed in mouse endothelial cells. By a loss-of-function assay, we elucidate a novel feed-forward signaling pathway, integrin β4 → PI3K → Akt → FAK, by which TR3 mediates HUVEC migration. Furthermore, TR3/Nur77 regulates the expression of integrin β4 by targeting its promoter activity. In conclusion, expression of TR3/Nur77 improves wound healing by targeting integrin β4. TR3/Nur77 is a potential candidate for proangiogenic therapy. The results further suggest that TR3/Nur77 is required for pathologic angiogenesis but not for developmental/physiologic angiogenesis and that Nur77 and its family members play a redundant role in normal skin wound healing.-Niu, G., Ye, T., Qin, L., Bourbon, P. M., Chang, C., Zhao, S., Li, Y., Zhou, L., Cui, P., Rabinovitz, I., Mercurio, A. M., Zhao, D., Zeng, H. Orphan nuclear receptor TR3/Nur77 improves wound healing by upregulating the expression of integrin β4.
    FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis plays an important role in cancer and in many other human diseases. Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), the best known angiogenic factor, was originally discovered as a potent vascular permeability factor (VPF), suggesting that other vascular permeabilizing agents, such as histamine and serotonin, might also have angiogenic activity. We recently demonstrated that, like VEGF-A, histamine and serotonin upregulate the orphan nuclear receptor and transcription factor TR3 (mouse homologue Nur77) and that TR3/Nur77 is essential for their vascular permeabilizing activities. We now report that histamine and serotonin are also angiogenic factors that at low micromolar concentrations induce endothelial cell proliferation, migration and tube formation in vitro, and angiogenesis in vivo. All of these responses are mediated through specific histamine and serotonin receptors, are independent of VEGF-A, and are directly dependent on TR3/Nur77. Initially, the angiogenic response closely resembled that induced by VEGF-A, with generation of "mother" vessels. However, after ~10 days, mother vessels began to regress as histamine and serotonin, unlike VEGF-A, upregulated the potent angiogenesis inhibitor thrombospondin-1, thereby triggering a negative feedback loop. Thus, histamine and serotonin induce an angiogenic response that fits the time scale of acute inflammation.
    Blood 01/2013; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low-level basal vascular permeability (BVP) provides nutrients to normal tissues, and increased vascular permeability is characteristic of inflammation and cancer. We recently reported that VEGF-A, a potent vascular permeabilizing and angiogenic factor, exerts much of its angiogenic activity by up-regulating expression of TR3/Nur77, an orphan nuclear transcription factor, in vascular endothelial cells (EC). To determine whether TR3/Nur77 had a more general role in regulating vascular permeability, we found that histamine, serotonin, and platelet-activating factor, small molecule vascular permeabilizing agents, also increased TR3/Nur77 expression acutely in EC. BVP and the acute vascular hyperpermeability (AVH) induced by these vascular permeabilizing factors were greatly decreased in Nur77(-/-) mice, and both BVP and AVH correlated with Nur77 expression levels in several different mouse strains. BVP and AVH were enhanced in transgenic mice in which Nur77 was selectively overexpressed in vascular EC, whereas both were suppressed in mice overexpressing dominant-negative Nur77. Chronic vascular hyperpermeability (CVH) was induced long before the onset of angiogenesis in a modified, in vivo Matrigel assay that included PT67 cells packaging retroviruses expressing Nur77-sense, whereas inclusion of cells packaging viruses expressing Nur77-antisense prevented VEGF-A-induced CVH. TR3/Nur77 modulated vascular permeability by increasing endothelial nitric-oxide synthase expression and by downregulating several EC junction proteins that maintain vascular homeostasis. Both functions required TR3/Nur77 transcriptional activity. Taking these data together, TR3/Nur77 is up-regulated by several vascular permeabilizing agents and has critical roles in mediating BVP, AVH, and CVH.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2011; 108(29):12066-71. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Down syndrome candidate region 1 gene (DSCR1) can be expressed as four isoforms, one of which is the well-studied isoform 4 (DSCR1-4) that is induced by VEGF-A(165) to provide a negative feedback loop in the VEGF-A(165)-induced angiogenesis. We reported previously that another DSCR1 isoform, DSCR1-1L, was also up-regulated by VEGF-A(165) in cultured endothelial cells and in several in vivo models of pathological angiogenesis and that different from DSCR1-4, DSCR1-1L overexpression alone induced cultured endothelial cell proliferation and promoted angiogenesis in Matrigel assays. It was reported recently that tumor growth was greatly repressed in DSCR1 knock-out mice. Although DSCR1-4 transcription was primarily regulated by NFAT, the mechanism regulating DSCR1-1L expression was still unknown. We developed human DSCR1-1L promoter-driven luciferase system and found that deletion of a putative conserved M-CAT site located 1426-bp upstream of the translation start site blunted promoter activity. We further showed that knockdown of TEF3, not other members of TEF family inhibited VEGF-A(165)-induced DSCR1-1L expression. We also demonstrated that TEF3 directly interacted with the putative M-CAT site in the DSCR1-1L promoter in vitro and in vivo. Finally, overexpression of TEF3 isoform 1, not isoform 3, in HUVEC was sufficient to induce DSCR1-1L expression even in the absence of VEGF-A(165) stimulation. Taken together, we elucidated a novel function of transcriptional factor TEF3. TEF3 was required for DSCR1-1L expression through binding to the M-CAT site in its promoter and could be an attractive target for anti-angiogenesis therapy.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2008; 283(49):34159-67. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Down syndrome candidate region 1 (DSCR1) is one of more than 50 genes located in a region of chromosome 21 that has been implicated in Down syndrome. DSCR1 can be expressed as four isoforms, one of which, isoform 4 (DSCR1-4), has recently been found to be strongly induced by vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A(165)) and to provide a negative feedback loop that inhibits VEGF-A(165)-induced endothelial cell proliferation in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo. We report here that another DSCR1 isoform, DSCR1-1L, is also up-regulated by VEGF-A(165) in cultured endothelial cells and is strongly expressed in several types of pathologic angiogenesis in vivo. In contrast to DSCR1-4, the overexpression of DSCR1-1L induced the proliferation and activation of the transcription factor NFAT in cultured endothelial cells and promoted angiogenesis in Matrigel assays in vivo, even in the absence of VEGF-A. Similarly, small interfering RNAs specific for DSCR1-1L and DSCR1-4 had opposing inhibitory and stimulatory effects, respectively, on these same functions. DSCR1-4 is thought to inhibit angiogenesis by inactivating calcineurin, thereby preventing activation and nuclear translocation of NFAT, a key transcription factor. In contrast, DSCR1-1L, regulated by a different promoter than DSCR1-4, activates NFAT and its proangiogenic activity is inhibited by cyclosporin, an inhibitor of calcineurin. In sum, DSCR1-1L, unlike DSCR1-4, potently activates angiogenesis and could be an attractive target for antiangiogenesis therapy.
    Molecular Cancer Research 12/2006; 4(11):811-20. · 4.35 Impact Factor
  • Liuliang Qin, Huiyan Zeng, Dezheng Zhao
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial cell growth factor-A(165) (VEGF-A(165)) is critical for angiogenesis. Although protein kinase C-mediated protein kinase D(PKD)activation was implicated in the response, the detailed mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we found that VEGF-A(165)-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of PKD and the dominant negative mutant of PKD, PKD(Y463F), inhibited VEGF-A(165)-induced human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation. In addition, PKD(S738A/S742A) overexpression inhibited VEGF-induced HUVEC migration. Furthermore, knockdown of PKD by its specific small interfering RNA inhibited VEGF-induced HUVEC proliferation and migration. Moreover transfection of PKD(Y463F), PKD(S738A/S742A), or PKD-small interfering RNA blocked VEGF-induced angiogenesis in vivo. Our signaling experiments show that KDR not Flt-1 mediated PKD tyrosine phosphorylation and KDR tyrosine residues 951 and 1059 were required for VEGF-A(165)-stimulated PKD serine and tyrosine phosphorylation, respectively. Whereas G protein Gbetagamma subunits were required for both PKD serine phosphorylation and tyrosine phosphorylation, intracellular Ca(2+) mobilization was required for VEGF-A(165)-stimulated PKD tyrosine phosphorylation and phospholipase C (PLC) activity was required for PKD serine phosphorylation. Surprisingly, the PLC inhibitor did not inhibit PKD tyrosine phosphorylation. Instead, PKD tyrosine 463 was required for VEGF-A(165)-stimulated PLCgamma tyrosine phosphorylation. Moreover, PKD interacted with PLCgamma even in unstimulated cells, and PKD tyrosine 463 phosphorylation was not required for this interaction. Together, we demonstrate that PKD interacts with PLCgamma and becomes tyrosine phosphorylated upon VEGF stimulation, leading to PLCgamma activation and angiogenic response of VEGF-A(165).
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2006; 281(43):32550-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A has essential roles in vasculogenesis and angiogenesis, but the downstream steps and mechanisms by which human VEGF-A acts are incompletely understood. We report here that human VEGF-A exerts much of its angiogenic activity by up-regulating the expression of TR3 (mouse homologue Nur77), an immediate-early response gene and orphan nuclear receptor transcription factor previously implicated in tumor cell, lymphocyte, and neuronal growth and apoptosis. Overexpression of TR3 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) resulted in VEGF-A-independent proliferation, survival, and induction of several cell cycle genes, whereas expression of antisense TR3 abrogated the response to VEGF-A in these assays and also inhibited tube formation. Nur77 was highly expressed in several types of VEGF-A-dependent pathological angiogenesis in vivo. Also, using a novel endothelial cell-selective retroviral targeting system, overexpression of Nur77 DNA potently induced angiogenesis in the absence of exogenous VEGF-A, whereas Nur77 antisense strongly inhibited VEGF-A-induced angiogenesis. B16F1 melanoma growth and angiogenesis were greatly inhibited in Nur77-/- mice. Mechanistic studies with TR3/Nur77 mutants revealed that TR3/Nur77 exerted most of its effects on cultured HUVECs and its pro-angiogenic effects in vivo, through its transactivation and DNA binding domains (i.e., through transcriptional activity).
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 04/2006; 203(3):719-29. · 13.21 Impact Factor