Meifan Chen

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, California, United States

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Publications (6)49.75 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C) is a multi-subunit ubiquitin ligase that regulates exit from mitosis and G1 phase of the cell cycle. Although the regulation and function of APC/C(Cdh1) in the unperturbed cell cycle is well studied, little is known of its role in non-genotoxic stress responses. Here, we demonstrate the role of APC/C(Cdh1) (APC/C activated by Cdh1 protein) in cellular protection from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Activation of APC/C(Cdh1) under ER stress conditions is evidenced by Cdh1-dependent degradation of its substrates. Importantly, the activity of APC/C(Cdh1) maintains the ER stress checkpoint, as depletion of Cdh1 by RNAi impairs cell cycle arrest and accelerates cell death following ER stress. Our findings identify APC/C(Cdh1) as a regulator of cell cycle checkpoint and cell survival in response to proteotoxic insults.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35520. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ubiquitin-recognition protein Ufd1 facilitates clearance of misfolded proteins through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. Here we report that prolonged ER stress represses Ufd1 expression to trigger cell cycle delay, which contributes to ERAD. Remarkably, down-regulation of Ufd1 enhances ubiquitination and destabilization of Skp2 mediated by the anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome bound to Cdh1 (APC/C(Cdh1)), resulting in accumulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 and a concomitant cell cycle delay during the G1 phase that enables more efficient clearance of misfolded proteins. Mechanistically, nuclear Ufd1 recruits the deubiquitinating enzyme USP13 to counteract APC/C(Cdh1)-mediated ubiquitination of Skp2. Our data identify a coordinated cell cycle response to prolonged ER stress through regulation of the Cdh1-Skp2-p27 axis by Ufd1 and USP13.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2011; 108(22):9119-24. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    Meifan Chen
    Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research 10/2010; 23(5):583-4. · 5.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ubiquitin ligase APC/C(Cdh1) coordinates degradation of key cell cycle regulators. We report here that a nuclear-localized portion of the stress-activated kinase JNK is degraded by the APC/C(Cdh1) during exit from mitosis and the G1 phase of the cell cycle. Expression of a non-degradable JNK induces prometaphase-like arrest and aberrant mitotic spindle dynamics. Moreover, JNK phosphorylates Cdh1 directly, during G2 and early mitosis, changing its subcellular localization and attenuating its ability to activate the APC/C during G2/M. This regulatory mechanism between JNK and Cdh1 reveals an important function for JNK during the cell cycle.
    Nature Cell Biology 07/2010; 12(7):686-95. · 20.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transcription factor ATF2 was previously shown to be an ATM substrate. Upon phosphorylation by ATM, ATF2 exhibits a transcription-independent function in the DNA damage response through localization to DNA repair foci and control of cell cycle arrest. To assess the physiological significance of this phosphorylation, we generated ATF2 mutant mice in which the ATM phosphoacceptor sites (S472/S480) were mutated (ATF2(KI)). ATF2(KI) mice are more sensitive to ionizing radiation (IR) than wild-type (ATF2 (WT)) mice: following IR, ATF2(KI) mice exhibited higher levels of apoptosis in the intestinal crypt cells and impaired hepatic steatosis. Molecular analysis identified impaired activation of the cell cycle regulatory protein p21(Cip/Waf1) in cells and tissues of IR-treated ATF2(KI) mice, which was p53 independent. Analysis of tumor development in p53(KO) crossed with ATF2(KI) mice indicated a marked decrease in amount of time required for tumor development. Further, when subjected to two-stage skin carcinogenesis process, ATF2(KI) mice developed skin tumors faster and with higher incidence, which also progressed to the more malignant carcinomas, compared with the control mice. Using 3 mouse models, we establish the importance of ATF2 phosphorylation by ATM in the acute cellular response to DNA damage and maintenance of genomic stability.
    Genes & cancer 04/2010; 1(4):316-330.
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    ABSTRACT: The p53 tumor suppressor protein is a key regulator of cellular proliferation and survival whose function is tightly regulated at the levels of transcription and protein stability. Here, we unveil the fine control of p53 on translationally active polysomes. We have previously reported that Ubc13, an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, directly regulates p53 localization and transcriptional activity. We now demonstrate that the association of p53 and Ubc13 on polysomes requires ongoing translation and results in p53 ubiquitination that interferes with its tetramerization. JNK phosphorylation of p53 at Threonine 81 occurring on polysomes is required for the dissociation of Ubc13 from p53, leading to p53 multimerization and transcriptional activation. Inhibition of JNK activity or expression of a nonphosphorylatable mutant of p53 maintains an Ubc13-p53 complex that inhibits p53 multimerization. Our findings reveal a layer in the regulation of p53 multimerization that requires the concerted action of JNK and Ubc13 on polysome-bound p53.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2009; 106(31):12676-81. · 9.81 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

66 Citations
49.75 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009–2012
    • Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
      La Jolla, California, United States
    • Université de Montréal
      • Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada