Jing Liu

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

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Publications (15)126.32 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian sterile 20-like kinase-1 (Mst1) plays an important role in mediating cardiac myocyte apoptosis in response to ischemia/reperfusion. Whether or not Mst1 is also involved in the long-term development of heart failure after myocardial infarction (MI) is unknown. We addressed this issue using transgenic mice with cardiac specific overexpression of dominant negative Mst1 (Tg-DN-Mst1). The left coronary artery was permanently ligated, and the size of MI was similar between Tg-DN-Mst1 and nontransgenic controls (NTg). After 4 weeks, Mst1 was significantly activated in the remodeling area in NTg, but not in Tg-DN-Mst1. Although left ventricular (LV) enlargement was significantly attenuated in Tg-DN-Mst1 compared with NTg, neither LV weight/body weight nor myocyte cross sectional area was statistically different between Tg-DN-Mst1 and NTg. LV ejection fraction was significantly greater in Tg-DN-Mst1 than in NTg (53 versus 38%, P<0.01), whereas LV end-diastolic pressure (6 versus 12 mm Hg, P<0.05) and lung weight/body weight (9.8 versus 12.2 P<0.05) were significantly smaller in Tg-DN-Mst1 than in NTg. The number of TUNEL-positive myocytes (0.17 versus 0.28%, P<0.05) and amount of interstitial fibrosis (5.0 versus 7.1%, P<0.05) in the remodeling area were significantly less in Tg-DN-Mst1 than in NTg. Upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase 2 and proinflammatory cytokines was significantly attenuated in Tg-DN-Mst1. These results indicate that endogenous Mst1 plays an important role in mediating cardiac dilation, apoptosis, fibrosis, and cardiac dysfunction, but not cardiac hypertrophy, after MI. Inhibition of Mst1 improves cardiac function without attenuating cardiac hypertrophy. Thus, Mst1 may be an important target of heart failure treatment.
    Circulation Research 05/2007; 100(9):1344-52. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have shown previously that tyrosine 319 in a conserved YIPP motif in the C terminus of angiotensin II (Ang II) type 1 receptors (AT(1)Rs) is essential for transactivation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in vitro. We hypothesized that the signaling mechanism mediated through the specific amino acid sequence in the G protein-coupled receptor plays an important role in mediating cardiac hypertrophy in vivo. Transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of wild-type AT(1)R (Tg-WT) and an AT(1)R with a mutation in the YIPP motif (Tg-Y319F) were studied. Tg-Y319F mice developed no significant cardiac hypertrophy, in contrast to the significant development of hypertrophy in Tg-WT mice. Expression of fetal-type genes, such as atrial natriuretic factor, was also significantly lower in Tg-Y319F than in Tg-WT mice. Infusion of Ang II caused an enhancement of hypertrophy in Tg-WT mice but failed to induce hypertrophy in Tg-Y319F mice. Left ventricular myocardium in Tg-Y319F mice developed significantly less apoptosis and fibrosis than that in Tg-WT mice. EGFR phosphorylation was significantly inhibited in Tg-Y319F mice, confirming that EGFR was not activated in Tg-Y319F mouse hearts. In contrast, activation/phosphorylation of protein kinase C, STAT3, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and Akt and translocation of Galphaq/11 to the cytosolic fraction were maintained in Tg-Y319F hearts. Furthermore, a genetic cross between Tg-WT and transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of dominant negative EGFR mimicked the phenotype of Tg-Y319F mice. In conclusion, overexpression of AT(1)-Y319F in cardiac myocytes diminished EGFR transactivation and inhibited a pathological form of cardiac hypertrophy. The YIPP motif in the AT(1)R plays an important role in mediating cardiac hypertrophy in vivo.
    Circulation Research 10/2006; 99(5):528-36. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined pressure overload left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (H) induced by aortic banding in transgenic mice with cardiac-specific expression of a dominant negative (DN) p38alpha (TG) and wild type controls (WT). In response to chronic pressure overload, induced by aortic constriction, LV/BW increased more, p<0.05, in female TG (6.4+/-0.2, n=7) than in WT female (5.1+/-0.2, n=10), or male TG or WT (5.0+/-0.2, n=10 vs. 5.5+/-0.2, n=8). Lung/BW, an index of LV decompensation, was significantly higher, p<0.05, in banded female TG (14+/-1.2 mg/g) than in WT females (9.0+/-0.8), or male TG or WT (8.2+/-0.7 vs. 9.3+/-1.3). This was associated with higher premature mortality, p<0.05, in banded female TG mice (42%) compared with banded WT females (10%), TG males (13%), or WT males (17%). In male, but not female, TG mice, the number of TUNEL-positive cells was smaller, p<0.05, compared with WT. Phospho-Akt kinase activity increased (p<0.05) in female TG after banding, but not in males. After ovariectomy, chronic pressure overload no longer induced greater mortality, greater LVH, or p-Akt levels in female TG mice, and like male TG mice, apoptosis was protected. DN-p38alpha enhanced estrogen-induced activation of Akt in cultured cardiac myocytes. Thus, inhibition of p38alpha MAPK paradoxically augments LVH resulting in cardiac decompensation and increased mortality in response to pressure overload more in female mice than male mice, which could be due to increased Akt activation and/or through cross-talk between p38alpha MAPK and Akt.
    Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 10/2006; 41(4):680-8. · 5.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ang II type 1 (AT1) receptors activate both conventional heterotrimeric G protein-dependent and unconventional G protein-independent mechanisms. We investigated how these different mechanisms activated by AT1 receptors affect growth and death of cardiac myocytes in vivo. Transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of WT AT1 receptor (AT1-WT; Tg-WT mice) or an AT1 receptor second intracellular loop mutant (AT1-i2m; Tg-i2m mice) selectively activating G(alpha)q/G(alpha)i-independent mechanisms were studied. Tg-i2m mice developed more severe cardiac hypertrophy and bradycardia coupled with lower cardiac function than Tg-WT mice. In contrast, Tg-WT mice exhibited more severe fibrosis and apoptosis than Tg-i2m mice. Chronic Ang II infusion induced greater cardiac hypertrophy in Tg-i2m compared with Tg-WT mice whereas acute Ang II administration caused an increase in heart rate in Tg-WT but not in Tg-i2m mice. Membrane translocation of PKCepsilon, cytoplasmic translocation of G(alpha)q, and nuclear localization of phospho-ERKs were observed only in Tg-WT mice while activation of Src and cytoplasmic accumulation of phospho-ERKs were greater in Tg-i2m mice, consistent with the notion that G(alpha)q/G(alpha)i-independent mechanisms are activated in Tg-i2m mice. Cultured myocytes expressing AT1-i2m exhibited a left and upward shift of the Ang II dose-response curve of hypertrophy compared with those expressing AT1-WT. Thus, the AT1 receptor mediates downstream signaling mechanisms through G(alpha)q/G(alpha)i-dependent and -independent mechanisms, which induce hypertrophy with a distinct phenotype.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 12/2005; 115(11):3045-56. · 12.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetes mellitus is complicated by the development of a primary cardiomyopathy, which contributes to the excess morbidity and mortality of this disorder. The protein kinase C (PKC) family of isozymes plays a key role in the cardiac phenotype expressed during postnatal development and in response to pathological stimuli. Hyperglycemia is an activating signal for cardiac PKC isozymes that modulate a myriad of cell events including cell death and survival. The epsilon-isozyme of the PKC family transmits a powerful survival signal in cardiac muscle cells. Accordingly, to test the hypothesis that endogenous activation of cardiac PKC-epsilon will protect against hyperglycemic cell injury and left ventricular dysfunction, diabetes mellitus was induced using streptozotocin in genetically engineered mice with cardiac-specific expression of the PKC-epsilon translocation activator [psiepsilon-receptors for activated C kinase (psiepsilon-RACK)]. The results demonstrate a striking PKC-epsilon cardioprotective phenotype in diabetic psiepsilon-RACK (epsilon-agonist) mice that is characterized by inhibition of the hyperglycemia apoptosis signal, attenuation of hyperglycemia-mediated oxidative stress, and preservation of parameters of left ventricular pump function. Hearts of diabetic epsilon-agonist mice exhibited selective trafficking of PKC-epsilon to membrane and mitochondrial compartments, phosphorylation/inactivation of the mitochondrial Bad protein, and inhibition of cytochrome c release. We conclude that activation of endogenous PKC-epsilon in hearts of diabetic epsilon-agonist mice promotes the survival phenotype, attenuates markers of oxidative stress, and inhibits the negative inotropic properties of chronic hyperglycemia.
    AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 11/2005; 289(4):H1343-50. · 4.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endocardial cushions are precursors of mature atrioventricular (AV) valves. Their formation is induced by signaling molecules originating from the AV myocardium, including bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Here, we hypothesized that BMP signaling plays an important role in the AV myocardium during the maturation of AV valves from the cushions. To test our hypothesis, we used a unique Cre/lox system to target the deletion of a floxed Alk3 allele, the type IA receptor for BMPs, to cardiac myocytes of the AV canal (AVC). Lineage analysis indicated that cardiac myocytes of the AVC contributed to the tricuspid mural and posterior leaflets, the mitral septal leaflet, and the atrial border of the annulus fibrosus. When Alk3 was deleted in these cells, defects were seen in the same leaflets, ie, the tricuspid mural leaflet and mitral septal leaflet were longer, the tricuspid posterior leaflet was displaced and adherent to the ventricular wall, and the annulus fibrosus was disrupted resulting in ventricular preexcitation. The defects seen in mice with AVC-targeted deletion of Alk3 provide strong support for a role of Alk3 in human congenital heart diseases, such as Ebstein's anomaly. In conclusion, our mouse model demonstrated critical roles for Alk3 signaling in the AV myocardium during the development of AV valves and the annulus fibrosus.
    Circulation Research 09/2005; 97(3):219-26. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aging and diabetes mellitus (DM) both affect the structure and function of the myocardium, resulting in increased collagen in the heart and reduced cardiac function. As part of this process, hyperglycemia is a stimulus for the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which covalently modify proteins and impair cell function. The goals of this study were first to examine the combined effects of aging and DM on hemodynamics and collagen types in the myocardium in 12 dogs, 9-12 yr old, and second to examine the effects of the AGE cross-link breaker phenyl-4,5-dimethylthazolium chloride (ALT-711) on myocardial collagen protein content, aortic stiffness, and left ventricular (LV) function in the aged diabetic heart. The alloxan model of DM was utilized to study the effects of DM on the aging heart. DM induced in the aging heart decreased LV systolic function (LV ejection fraction fell by 25%), increased aortic stiffness, and increased collagen type I and type III protein content. ALT-711 restored LV ejection fraction, reduced aortic stiffness and LV mass with no reduction in blood glucose level (199 +/- 17 mg/dl), and reversed the upregulation of collagen type I and type III. Myocardial LV collagen solubility (%) increased significantly after treatment with ALT-711. These data suggest that an AGE cross-link breaker may have a therapeutic role in aged patients with DM.
    AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 01/2004; 285(6):H2587-91. · 4.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thioredoxin 1 (Trx1) has redox-sensitive cysteine residues and acts as an antioxidant in cells. However, the extent of Trx1 contribution to overall antioxidant mechanisms is unknown in any organs. We generated transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of a dominant negative (DN) mutant (C32S/C35S) of Trx1 (Tg-DN-Trx1 mice), in which the activity of endogenous Trx was diminished. Markers of oxidative stress were significantly increased in hearts from Tg-DN-Trx1 mice compared with those from nontransgenic (NTg) mice. Tg-DN-Trx1 mice exhibited cardiac hypertrophy with maintained cardiac function at baseline. Intraperitoneal injection of N-2-mercaptopropionyl glycine, an antioxidant, normalized cardiac hypertrophy in Tg-DN-Trx1 mice. Thoracic aortic banding caused greater increases in myocardial oxidative stress and enhanced hypertrophy in Tg-DN-Trx1 compared with NTg mice. In contrast, transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of wild-type Trx1 did not show cardiac hypertrophy at baseline but exhibited reduced levels of hypertrophy and oxidative stress in response to pressure overload. These results demonstrate that endogenous Trx1 is an essential component of the cellular antioxidant mechanisms and plays a critical role in regulating oxidative stress in the heart in vivo. Furthermore, inhibition of endogenous Trx1 in the heart primarily stimulates hypertrophy, both under basal conditions and in response to pressure overload through redox-sensitive mechanisms.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 12/2003; 112(9):1395-406. · 12.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of active Akt (TG) not only exhibit hypertrophy but also show enhanced left ventricular (LV) function. In 3-4-month-old TG, heart/body weight was increased by 60% and LV ejection fraction was elevated (84 +/- 2%, p < 0.01) compared with nontransgenic littermates (wild type (WT)) (73 +/- 1%). An increase in isolated ventricular myocyte contractile function (% contraction) in TG compared with WT (6.1 +/- 0.2 versus 3.5 +/- 0.2%, p < 0.01) was associated with increased Fura-2 Ca2+ transients (396 +/- 50 versus 250 +/- 24 nmol/liter, p < 0.05). The rate of relaxation (+dL/dt) was also enhanced in TG (214 +/- 15 versus 98 +/- 18 microm/s, p < 0.01). L-type Ca2+ current (ICa) density was increased in TG compared with WT (-9.0 +/- 0.3 versus 7.2 +/- 0.3 pA/pF, p < 0.01). Sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase 2a (SERCA2a) protein levels were increased (p < 0.05) by 6.6-fold in TG, which could be recapitulated in vitro by adenovirus-mediated overexpression of Akt in cultured adult ventricular myocytes. Conversely, inhibiting SERCA with either ryanodine or thapsigargin affected myocyte contraction and relaxation and Ca2+ channel kinetics more in TG than in WT. Thus, myocytes from mice with overexpressed Akt demonstrated enhanced contractility and relaxation, Fura-2 Ca2+ transients, and Ca2+ channel currents. Furthermore, increased protein expression of SERCA2a plays an important role in mediating enhanced LV function by Akt. Up-regulation of SERCA2a expression and enhanced LV myocyte contraction and relaxation in Akt-induced hypertrophy is opposite to the down-regulation of SERCA2a and reduced contractile function observed in many other forms of LV hypertrophy.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2003; 278(48):47622-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a genetically engineered mouse line with disruption of type 5 adenylyl cyclase (AC5-/-), a major cardiac isoform, there was no compensatory increase in other isoforms of AC in the heart. Both basal and isoproterenol (ISO)-stimulated AC activities were decreased by 30% to 40% in cardiac membranes. The reduced AC activity did not affect cardiac function (left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF]) at baseline. However, increases in LVEF after ISO were significantly attenuated in AC5-/- (P<0.05, n=11). Paradoxically, conscious AC5-/- mice had a higher heart rate compared with wild-type (WT) mice (613+/-8 versus 523+/-11 bpm, P<0.01, n=14 to 15). Muscarinic agonists decreased AC activity, LVEF, and heart rate more in WT than in AC5-/-. In addition, baroreflex-mediated, ie, neuronally regulated, bradycardia after phenylephrine was also attenuated in AC5-/-. The carbachol-activated outward potassium current (at -40 mV) normalized to cell capacitance in AC5-/- (2.6+/-0.4 pA/pF, n=16) was similar to WT (2.9+/-0.3 pA/pF, n=27), but calcium (Ca2+)-mediated inhibition of AC activity and Ca2+ channel function were diminished in AC5-/-. Thus, AC5-/- attenuates sympathetic responsiveness and also impairs parasympathetic and Ca2+-mediated regulation of the heart, indicating that those actions are not only regulated at the level of the receptor and G-protein but also at the level of type 5 AC.
    Circulation Research 08/2003; 93(4):364-71. · 11.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sympathetic nervous system is designed to respond to stress. Adenylyl cyclase (AC) is the keystone of sympathetic transmission, yet its role in response to acute overload in the heart or in the pathogenesis of heart failure is controversial. We examined the effects of pressure overload, induced by thoracic aortic banding, in mice in which type 5 AC, a major cardiac AC isoform, was disrupted (AC5-/-). Left ventricular weight/tibial length ratio (LVW/TL) was not different between the WT and AC5-/- at baseline and increased progressively and similarly in both groups at 1 and 3 wk after aortic banding. However, LV ejection fraction (LVEF) fell in WT at 3 wk after banding (from 70 +/- 2.8 to 57 +/- 3.9%, P < 0.05), and this decrease was associated with LV dilatation, indicating incipient cardiac failure. In contrast, AC5-/- mice did not exhibit a fall in LVEF from 74 +/- 2.2%. The number of apoptotic myocytes was similar at baseline, but it increased roughly 4-fold in WT at both 1 and 3 wk after banding, and significantly less, P < 0.05, in AC5-/-. Importantly, the increase in apoptosis occurred before the decline in LVEF in WT. The protective mechanism seems to involve Bcl-2, which was up-regulated significantly more in AC5-/- mice with pressure overload. Our findings suggest that limiting type 5 AC plays a protective role in response to pressure overload and the development of heart failure, potentially through limiting the incidence of myocardial apoptosis.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2003; 100(17):9986-90. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of mammalian sterile 20-like kinase 1 (Mst1) by genotoxic compounds is known to stimulate apoptosis in some cell types. The importance of Mst1 in cell death caused by clinically relevant pathologic stimuli is unknown, however. In this study, we show that Mst1 is a prominent myelin basic protein kinase activated by proapoptotic stimuli in cardiac myocytes and that Mst1 causes cardiac myocyte apoptosis in vitro in a kinase activity-dependent manner. In vivo, cardiac-specific overexpression of Mst1 in transgenic mice results in activation of caspases, increased apoptosis, and dilated cardiomyopathy. Surprisingly, however, Mst1 prevents compensatory cardiac myocyte elongation or hypertrophy despite increased wall stress, thereby obscuring the use of the Frank-Starling mechanism, a fundamental mechanism by which the heart maintains cardiac output in response to increased mechanical load at the single myocyte level. Furthermore, Mst1 is activated by ischemia/reperfusion in the mouse heart in vivo. Suppression of endogenous Mst1 by cardiac-specific overexpression of dominant-negative Mst1 in transgenic mice prevents myocyte death by pathologic insults. These results show that Mst1 works as both an essential initiator of apoptosis and an inhibitor of hypertrophy in cardiac myocytes, resulting in a previously unrecognized form of cardiomyopathy.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 06/2003; 111(10):1463-74. · 12.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MEKK1) mediates activation of c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK). Although previous studies using cultured cardiac myocytes have suggested that the MEKK1-JNK pathway plays a key role in hypertrophy and apoptosis, its effects in cardiac hypertrophy and apoptosis are not fully understood in adult animals in vivo. We examined the role of the MEKK1-JNK pathway in pressure-overloaded hearts by using mice deficient in MEKK1. We found that transverse aortic banding significantly increased JNK activity in Mekk1(+/+) but not Mekk1(-/-) mice, indicating that MEKK1 mediates JNK activation by pressure overload. Nevertheless, pressure overload caused significant levels of cardiac hypertrophy and expression of atrial natriuretic factor in Mekk1(-/-) animals, which showed higher mortality and lung/body weight ratio than were seen in controls. Fourteen days after banding, Mekk1(-/-) hearts were dilated, and their left ventricular ejection fraction was low. Pressure overload caused elevated levels of apoptosis and inflammatory lesions in these mice and produced a smaller increase in TGF-beta and TNF-alpha expression than occurred in wild-type controls. Thus, MEKK1 appears to be required for pressure overload-induced JNK activation and cytokine upregulation but to be dispensable for pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy. MEKK1 also prevents apoptosis and inflammation, thereby protecting against heart failure and sudden death following cardiac pressure overload.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 08/2002; 110(2):271-9. · 12.81 Impact Factor
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    Journal of The American College of Cardiology - J AMER COLL CARDIOL. 01/2002; 39:138-139.
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