Jihang Ju

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

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Publications (10)47.51 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Although a relationship between PDZK1 expression and estrogen receptor (ER-α) stimulation has been suggested, the nature of such connection and the function of PDZK1 in breast cancer remain unknown. Human tissue microarrays (cancer tissue: 262 cores; normal tissue: 87 cores) and breast cancer cell lines were used to conduct the study. We show that PDZK1 protein expression is tightly correlated with human breast malignancy, negatively correlated with age, and had no significant correlation with ER-α expression levels. PDZK1 exhibited an exclusive epithelial expression with mostly cytosolic subcellular localization. Additionally, 17β-estradiol induced PDZK1 expression above its basal level more than 24 h after treatment in MCF-7 cells. PDZK1 expression was indirectly regulated by ER-α stimulation, requiring IGF-1R expression and function. The molecular link between PDZK1 and IGF-1R was supported by a significant correlation between protein and mRNA levels (r=0.591; p<0.001 and 0.537; p<0.001, respectively) of the two factors in two different cohorts of human breast cancer tissues. Interestingly, PDZK1 knockdown in MCF-7 cells blocked ER-dependent growth and reduced c-Myc expression, whereas ectopic expression of PDZK1 enhanced cell proliferation in the presence or absence of 17β-estradiol potentially through an increase in c-Myc expression, suggesting that PDZK1 has oncogenic activity. PDKZ1 also appeared to interact with the Src/ER-α/EGFR complex, but not with IGF-1R and enhanced EGFR-stimulated MEK/ERK1/2 signaling. Collectively, our results clarify the relationship between ER-α and PDZK1, propose a direct relationship between PDZK1 and IGF-1R, and identify a novel oncogenic activity for PDZK1 in breast cancer.
    Molecular Medicine 06/2013; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously showed that DNA fragmentation factor, which comprises a caspase-3-activated DNase (CAD) and its inhibitor (ICAD), may influence the rate of cell death by generating PARP-1-activating DNA breaks. Here we tested the hypothesis that ICAD-deficient colon epithelial cells exhibiting resistance to death stimuli may accumulate additional genetic modifications, leading to a tumorigenic phenotype. We show that ICAD deficiency may be associated with colon malignancy in humans. Indeed, an examination of ICAD expression using immunohistochemistry in an array of both colon cancer and normal tissues revealed that ICAD expression levels were severely compromised in the cancerous tissues. Upon DNA damage caused by a low dose of irradiation, ICAD cells acquire a tumorigenic phenotype. Colon epithelial cells derived from ICAD mice showed a significant resistance to death induced by the colon carcinogen dimethylhydrazine in vitro and in mice. Such resistance was associated with a decrease in PARP-1 activation. In an animal model of dimethylhydrazine-induced colon tumorigenesis, ICAD mice developed significantly higher numbers of tumors with markedly larger sizes than the wild-type counterparts. Interestingly, the phenotype of the ICAD mice was not associated with a significant increase in the precancerous aberrant crypt foci suggesting a potential link to tumor progression rather than initiation. More importantly, ICAD deficiency was associated with severe genomic instability as assessed by array comparative genomic hybridization. Such genomic instability consisted most prominently of amplifications but with sizable deletions as compared to the wild-type counterparts affecting several cancer-related genes including , , , and independently of . Altogether, our results present a viable case for the involvement of ICAD deficiency in colon carcinogenesis and show that apoptosis and genomic instability may comprise the means by which such deficiency may contribute to the process of increasing susceptibility to carcinogen-induced tumorigenesis.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e57871. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Caspase-activated DNase (CAD) is the most favorable candidate for chromatin degradation during apoptosis. Ca(2+)-dependent endonucleases are equally important in internucleosomal DNA fragmentation (INDF), including the PARP-1-regulated DNAS1L3. Despite the elaborate work on these endonucleases, the question of whether these enzymes cooperate during INDF was not addressed. Here, we show a lack of correlation between INDF and CAD expression levels and inactivation by cleavage of its inhibitor (ICAD) during apoptosis. The cells that failed to induce INDF accumulated large amounts of 50-kb breaks, which is suggestive of incomplete chromatin processing. Similarly, INDF was blocked by Ca(2+)-chelation without a block in ICAD cleavage or caspase-3 activation, which is consistent with the involvement of CAD in 50-kb DNA fragmentation and its Ca(2+)-independence. However, DNAS1L3 expression in INDF-deficient cells promoted INDF during apoptosis and was blocked by Ca(2+)-chelation. Interestingly, expression of DNAS1L3 in ICAD-deficient cells failed to promote TNF-α-induced INDF but required the co-expression of ICAD. These results suggest a cooperative activity between CAD and DNAS1L3 to accomplish INDF. In HT-29 cells, endogenous DNAS1L3 localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and translocated to the nucleus upon apoptosis induction but prior to INDF manifestation, making it the first reported Ca(2+)-dependent endonuclease to migrate from the ER to the nucleus. The nuclear accumulation of DNAS1L3, but not its exit out of the ER, required the activity of cysteine and serine proteases. Interestingly, the endonuclease accumulated in the cytosol upon inhibition of serine, but not cysteine, proteases. These results exemplify the complexity of chromatin degradation during apoptosis.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2012; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Minocycline protects against asthma independently of its antibiotic function and was recently reported as a potent PARP inhibitor. In an animal model of asthma, a single administration of minocycline conferred excellent protection against ovalbumin-induced airway eosinophilia, mucus hypersecretion, and Th2 cytokine production (IL-4/IL-5/IL-12(p70)/IL-13/GM-CSF) and a partial protection against airway hyperresponsiveness. These effects correlated with pronounced reduction in lung and sera allergen-specific IgE. A reduction in poly(ADP-ribose)-immunoreactivity in lungs of minocycline-treated/ovalbumin-challenged mice correlated with decreased oxidative DNA damage. Minocycline's effect on PARP may be indirect as the drug failed to efficiently block direct PARP activation in lungs of N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitroso-guanidine-treated mice or H2O2-treated cells suggesting. Minocycline blocked allergen-specific IgE production in B cells potentially by modulating T cell-receptor (TCR)-linked IL-4 production at the mRNA level but not through a modulation of the IL-4-JAK-STAT-6 axis, IL-2 production, or NFAT1 activation. Restoration of IL-4, ex vivo, rescued IgE production by minocycline-treated/ovalbumin-stimulated B cells. IL-4 blockade correlated with a preferential inhibition of the NF-κB activation arm of TCR but not GSK3, Src, p38 MAPK, or ERK1/2. Interestingly, the drug promoted a slightly higher Src and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Inhibition of NF-κB was linked to a complete blockade of TCR-stimulated GATA-3 expression, a pivotal transcription factor for IL-4 expression. Minocycline also reduced TNF-α-mediated NF-κB activation and expression of dependent genes. These results show a potentially broad effect of minocycline but may block IgE production in part by modulating TCR function particularly by inhibiting the signaling pathway leading to NF-κB activation, GATA-3 expression, and subsequent IL-4 production.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2012; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cordycepin has been shown to interfere with a myriad of molecular processes from RNA elongation to kinase activity, and prevents numerous inflammatory processes in animal models. Here we show in a mouse model of LPS-induced acute lung injury that cordycepin prevents airway neutrophilia via a robust blockade of expression of several inflammatory genes, including the adhesion molecule ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, the cytokine/chemokine MCP-1, MIP-1α, MIP-2 and KC, and the chemokine receptor CXCR2. Such a blockade appears to be related to a severe reduction in TNF-α expression. Interestingly, in an in vitro system of A549 epithelial cell inflammation, cordycepin effectively blocked LPS-induced, but not TNF-α-induced, VCAM-1 expression. Such effects correlated with a marked reduction in p65-NF-κB activation as assessed by its phosphorylation at serine-536 but without an apparent effect on its nuclear translocation. The effects of cordycepin on the expression of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1, and of NF-κB activation and nuclear translocation upon TNF-α stimulation resembled the effects achieved upon poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibition, suggesting that cordycepin may function as a PARP inhibitor. Indeed, cordycepin blocked H(2)O(2)-induced PARP activation in A549 cells. In a cell-free system, cordycepin inhibited PARP-1 activity at nanomolar concentrations. Similar to PARP inhibitors, cordycepin significantly induced killing of breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA1)-deficient MCF-7 cells, supporting its therapeutic use for the treatment of BRCA-deficient breast cancers. With added antiinflammatory characteristics, therapies that include cordycepin may prevent potential inflammation triggered by traditional chemotherapeutic drugs. Cordycepin, to the best of our knowledge, represents the first natural product possessing PARP inhibitory traits.
    Molecular Medicine 05/2011; 17(9-10):893-900. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We recently showed that poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase-1 (PARP-1) may play a role in allergen (ovalbumin)-induced airway eosinophilia, potentially through a specific effect on IL-5 production. We also reported that while IL-5 replenishment promotes reversal of eosinophilia in lungs of PARP-1(-/-) mice, IL-4 or Immunoglobulin E replenishment do not, suggesting a potentially significant regulatory relationship between PARP-1 and IL-5. To explore the mechanism by which PARP-1 regulates IL-5 production and to determine how PARP-1 inhibition blocks allergen-induced eosinophilia. This study was conducted using a murine model of allergic airway inflammation and primary splenocytes. PARP-1 knockout-associated reduction in IL-5 upon allergen exposure occurs at the mRNA level. Such an effect appears to take place after IL-4 receptor activation as PARP-1 inhibition exerted no effect on JAK1/JAK3 activation. Signal transducer and activator of transcription-6 (STAT-6) protein was severely downregulated in spleens of PARP-1(-/-) mice without any effect on mRNA levels, suggesting an effect on protein integrity rather than gene transcription. Interestingly, the degradation of STAT-6 in PARP-1(-/-) mice required allergen stimulation. Additionally, PARP-1 enzymatic activity appears to be required for STAT-6 integrity. The downregulation of STAT-6 coincided with mRNA and protein reduction of GATA-binding protein-3 and occupancy of its binding site on the IL-5 gene promoter. IL-4 was sufficient to induce STAT-6 downregulation in both PARP-1(-/-) mice and isolated splenocytes. Such degradation may be mediated by calpain, but not by proteasomes. These results demonstrate a novel function of PARP-1 in regulating IL-5 expression during allergen-induced inflammation and explain the underlying mechanism by which PARP-1 inhibition results in IL-5 reduction.
    Allergy 01/2011; 66(7):853-61. · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The DNA binding activity of NF-κB is critical for VCAM-1 expression during inflammation. DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) is thought to be involved in NF-κB activation. Here we show that DNA-PK is required for VCAM-1 expression in response to TNF. The phosphorylation and subsequent degradation of I-κBα as well as the serine 536 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of p65 NF-κB were insufficient for VCAM-1 expression in response to TNF. The requirement for p50 NF-κB in TNF-induced VCAM-1 expression may be associated with its interaction with and phosphorylation by DNA-PK, which appears to be dominant over the requirement for p65 NF-κB activation. p50 NF-κB binding to its consensus sequence increased its susceptibility to phosphorylation by DNA-PK. Additionally, DNA-PK activity appeared to increase the association between p50/p50 and p50/p65 NF-κB dimers upon binding to DNA and after binding of p50 NF-κB to the VCAM-1 promoter. Analyses of the p50 NF-κB protein sequence revealed that both serine 20 and serine 227 at the amino terminus of the protein are putative sites for phosphorylation by DNA-PK. Mutation of serine 20 completely eliminated phosphorylation of p50 NF-κB by DNA-PK, suggesting that serine 20 is the only site in p50 NF-κB for phosphorylation by DNA-PK. Re-establishing wild-type p50 NF-κB, but not its serine 20/alanine mutant, in p50 NF-κB(-/-) fibroblasts reversed VCAM-1 expression after TNF treatment, demonstrating the importance of the serine 20 phosphorylation site in the induction of VCAM-1 expression. Together, these results elucidate a novel mechanism for the involvement of DNA-PK in the positive regulation of p50 NF-κB to drive VCAM-1 expression.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2010; 285(52):41152-60. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) in allergic airway inflammation remains elusive. We tested the hypothesis that iNOS plays different roles during acute versus chronic airway inflammation. Acute and chronic mouse models of OVA-induced airway inflammation were used to conduct the study. We showed that iNOS deletion was associated with a reduction in eosinophilia, mucus hypersecretion, and IL-5 and IL-13 production upon the acute protocol. Such protection was completely abolished upon the chronic protocol. Interestingly, pulmonary fibrosis observed in wild-type mice under the chronic protocol was completely absent in iNOS(-/-) mice despite persistent IL-5 and IL-13 production, suggesting that these cytokines were insufficient for pulmonary fibrosis. Such protection was associated with reduced collagen synthesis and indirect but severe TGF-beta modulation as confirmed using primary lung smooth muscle cells. Although activation of matrix metalloproteinase-2/-9 exhibited little change, the large tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) increase detected in wild-type mice was absent in the iNOS(-/-) counterparts. The regulatory effect of iNOS on TIMP-2 may be mediated by peroxynitrite, as the latter reversed TIMP-2 expression in iNOS(-/-) lung smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts, suggesting that the iNOS-TIMP-2 link may explain the protective effect of iNOS-knockout against pulmonary fibrosis. Analysis of lung sections from chronically OVA-exposed iNOS(-/-) mice revealed evidence of residual but significant protein nitration, prevalent oxidative DNA damage, and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 activation. Such tissue damage, inflammatory cell recruitment, and mucus hypersecretion may be associated with substantial arginase expression and activity. The results in this study exemplify the complexity of the role of iNOS in asthma and the preservation of its potential as a therapeutic a target.
    The Journal of Immunology 09/2010; 185(5):3076-85. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of NF-kappaB in the expression of inflammatory genes and its participation in the overall inflammatory process of chronic diseases and acute tissue injury are well established. We and others have demonstrated a critical involvement of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-1 during inflammation, in part, through its relationship with NF-kappaB. However, the mechanism by which PARP-1 affects NF-kappaB activation has been elusive. In this study, we show that PARP-1 inhibition by gene knockout, knockdown, or pharmacologic blockade prevented p65 NF-kappaB nuclear translocation in smooth muscle cells upon TLR4 stimulation, NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity, and subsequent inducible NO synthase and ICAM-1 expression. Such defects were reversed by reconstitution of PARP-1 expression. PARP-1 was dispensable for LPS-induced IkappaBalpha phosphorylation and subsequent degradation but was required for p65 NF-kappaB phosphorylation. A perinuclear p65 NF-kappaB localization in LPS-treated PARP-1(-/-) cells was associated with an export rather an import defect. Indeed, whereas PARP-1 deficiency did not alter expression of importin alpha3 and importin alpha4 and their cytosolic localization, the cytosolic levels of exportin (Crm)-1 were increased. Crm1 inhibition promoted p65 NF-kappaB nuclear accumulation as well as reversed LPS-induced p65 NF-kappaB phosphorylation and inducible NO synthase and ICAM-1 expression. Interestingly, p65 NF-kappaB poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation decreased its interaction with Crm1 in vitro. Pharmacologic inhibition of PARP-1 increased p65 NF-kappaB-Crm1 interaction in LPS-treated smooth muscle cells. These results suggest that p65 NF-kappaB poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation may be a critical determinant for the interaction with Crm1 and its nuclear retention upon TLR4 stimulation. These results provide novel insights into the mechanism by which PARP-1 promotes NF-kappaB nuclear retention, which ultimately can influence NF-kappaB-dependent gene regulation.
    The Journal of Immunology 08/2010; 185(3):1894-902. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypercholesterolemia is increasingly considered the basis for not only cardiovascular pathologies but also several complications affecting other organs such as lungs. In this study, we examined the effect of hypercholesterolemia on lung integrity using a mouse model (ApoE(-/-)) of high-fat (HF) diet-induced atherosclerosis. A 12-week HF diet regimen induced systemic production of TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma, GMC-SF, RANTES, IL-1alpha, IL-2 and IL-12 with TNF-alpha as the predominant cytokine in ApoE(-/-) mice. Concomitantly, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and MIP-1alpha were detected in brochoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids of these mice, coinciding with lung inflammation consisting primarily of monocytes/macrophages. Such lung inflammation correlated with marked collagen deposition and an increase in matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity in ApoE(-/-)mice without mucus production. Although TGF-beta1 was undetectable in the BAL fluid of ApoE(-/-) mice on HF diet, it showed a much wider tissue distribution compared with that of control animals. Direct exposure of smooth muscle cells to oxidized-LDL, in vitro, induced a time-dependent expression of TNF-alpha. Direct intratracheal TNF-alpha-administration induced a lung inflammation pattern in wild-type mice that was strikingly similar to that induced by HF diet in ApoE(-/-) mice. TNF-alpha administration induced expression of several factors known to be critically involved in lung remodeling, such as MCP-1, IL-1beta, TGF-beta1, adhesion molecules, collagen type-I and TNF-alpha itself in the lungs of treated mice. These results suggest that hypercholesterolemia may promote chronic inflammatory conditions in lungs that are conducive to lung remodeling potentially through TNF-alpha-mediated processes.
    Laboratory Investigation 09/2009; 89(11):1243-51. · 3.96 Impact Factor