Chengjun Hu

University of South Dakota, فيرمليون، داكوتا الجنوبية, South Dakota, United States

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Publications (7)26.03 Total impact

  • Yong Zheng · Yueshan Lei · Chenghua Hu · Chengjun Hu
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    ABSTRACT: The tumor suppressor protein p53 is an important player in the regulation of cell senescence, its functions are largely carried out by modulating its downstream genes. Emerging evidence has suggested that senescence and autophagy appear to be regulated by overlapping signaling pathways. Furthermore, autophagy markers have been observed in senescent cells. In this study, we sought to explore the effects of the expression pattern and function of p53 on the activity of autophagy and replicative senescence in bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs). We found that more than 85% of BMSCs stained positive for SA-β-gal at passage 6 (senescent BMSCs) with increased expressions of senescence related genes (p16ink4a and p21waf1). These results were accompanied by the up-regulation of p53, down-regulation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and phosphorylation of Rb. Senescent BMSCs displayed an increased monodansylcadaverine (MDC) staining and autophagy related genes (LC3 and atg12) level compared with BMSCs at passage 2. Knockdown of p53 alleviated the senescent state and reduced autophagic activity during the progression of BMSC senescence, which was accompanied by significantly up-regulated levels of mTOR and phosphorylation of Rb. These results demonstrate that autophagy increases when BMSCs enter the replicative senescence state, and p53 contributes a crucial role in the up-regulation of autophagy in this state.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Experimental gerontology
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    ABSTRACT: Intracellular protein degradation is primarily performed by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and the autophagic-lysosomal pathway (ALP). The interplay between these two pathways has been rarely examined in intact animals and the mechanism underlying the interplay remains unclear. Hence, we sought to test in vivo and in vitro the impact of inhibition of the ALP on UPS proteolytic performance in cardiomyocytes and to explore the underlying mechanism. Transgenic mice ubiquitously expressing a surrogate UPS substrate (GFPdgn) were treated with bafilomycin-A1 (BFA) to inhibit the ALP. Myocardial and renal GFPdgn protein levels but not mRNA levels were increased at 24 hours but not 3 hours after the first injection of BFA. Myocardial protein abundance of key proteasome subunits and the activities of proteasomal peptidases were not discernibly altered by the treatment. In cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs), the surrogate UPS substrate GFPu and a control red fluorescence protein (RFP) were co-expressed to probe UPS performance. At 12 hours or 24 hours after ALP inhibition by 3-methyladenine (3-MA) or BFA, GFPu/RFP protein ratios and the protein half-life of GFPu were significantly increased, which is accompanied by increases in p62 proteins. Similar findings were obtained when ALP was inhibited genetically via silencing Atg7 or Rab7. ALP inhibition-induced increases in GFPu and p62 are co-localized in NRVMs. siRNA-mediated p62 knockdown prevented ALP inhibition from inducing GFPu accumulation in NRVMs. We conclude that in a p62-dependent fashion, ALP inhibition impairs cardiac UPS proteolytic performance in cardiomyocytes in vitro and in vivo.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Proteasome function insufficiency and inadequate protein quality control are strongly implicated in a large subset of cardiovascular disease and may play an important role in their pathogenesis. Protein degradation by the ubiquitin proteasome system can be physiologically regulated. Cardiac muscarinic 2 (M2) receptors were pharmacologically interrogated in intact mice and cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs). Proteasome-mediated proteolysis was measured with a surrogate misfolded protein, proteasome peptidase assay, and by characterizing key proteasome subunits. Successful M2 receptor manipulation in cardiomyocytes was determined by measuring an endogenous protein substrate, and in mice, the cardiovascular physiological response. M2 receptor stimulation was associated with increased proteasome-mediated proteolysis and enhanced peptidase activities, while M2 receptor inhibition yielded opposing results. Additionally, M2 receptor manipulation did not alter abundance of the key proteasome subunits, Rpt6 and β5, but significantly shifted their isoelectric points. Inhibition of protein kinase G abrogated the stimulatory effects on proteasome-mediated proteolysis from M2 receptor activation. We conclude that M2 receptor stimulation enhances, whereas M2 receptor inhibition reduces, proteasome-mediated proteolysis likely through posttranslational modifications. Protein kinase G appears to be the mediator of the M2 receptors actions.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
  • Yueshan Lei · Chengjun Hu · Hongxin Xu · Yihao Tian
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    ABSTRACT: Human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 infection and RASSF1A expression play important roles in tumor development and progression. However, the precise mechanisms underlying their concerted function in the development of reproductive system tumors still remain to be elucidated. In the present study, we showed that HPV16-E6 selectively upregulates RASSF1A expression via degradation of p53, which interacts with the RASSF1A promoter and regulates apoptosis. Overexpression of p53 triggered a decrease in endogenous RASSF1A in SiHa cells, accompanied by apoptosis. Similarly, knockdown of endogenous HPV16-E6 in SiHa cells with RNA interference (RNAi) led to downregulation of RASSF1A mediated by p53 and the subsequent induction of apoptosis. These findings collectively suggest that HPV16 infection regulates p53-mediated RASSF1A expression and suppresses apoptosis. Moreover, RASSF1A may form an element of the negative autoregulatory feedback loops that act on the HPV16 response and are involved in p53-dependent apoptosis. Our results provide novel insights into the cellular mechanism of tumor development, and present a starting point for the development of novel strategies in cancer treatment and effective diagnosis.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Molecular Medicine Reports
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    Bei Cheng · Jian Song · Yun Zou · Qiao Wang · Yueshan Lei · Congli Zhu · Chengjun Hu
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the mechanisms underlying the dual effects of estrogen on vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). MTT assay, ELISA, flow cytometry and Western analysis were used to investigate the effects of 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) on proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle progression, ERK and p38 activities of subcultured rat VSMC with or without chemical block of MEK or p38 kinases. E(2)-promoted VSMC proliferation was accompanied with an increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2, which could be blocked by MEK inhibitor U0126; the E(2)-induced VSMC apoptosis, which appeared mainly in the G2/M phase, was related with the activation of p38 and could be blocked by p38 inhibitor SB203580. More interestingly, MEK inhibition in E(2)-treated VSMC led to an enhanced p38 phosphorylation and a shift of apoptosis from G2/M phase-predominant to G0/G1 phase-predominant; whereas block of p38 increased the E(2)-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation and proliferation of the VSMC. This reciprocal phenomenon was related with cross-talk between ERK and p38 pathways which might be mediated by MKP-1 and PP2A. The effects of E(2) on proliferation and apoptosis, and their related pathways could be separately induced by the specific agonists of estrogen receptor (ER) alpha and beta alone and inhibited or eliminated by the ER blocker ICI 182,780. The dual effects of estrogen on VSMC involve concurrent activations of ERK and p38 pathways by ER alpha and beta respectively, and the fates of VSMC are determined by the dynamic balance between these two pathways.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2008 · International journal of cardiology
  • Chengjun Hu · Yan Wu · Yu Wan · Qiao Wang · Jian Song
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    ABSTRACT: Autologous and gene-modified bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) have shown a bright future in clinical applications. However, does a gene-modified MSC still maintain its stem cell-like properties? To answer this question, human IGF-1 was introduced into rat MSCs using a recombinant retroviral vector and the effects of the gene manipulation on the cells' behaviors were investigated. The MSCs transfected with hIGF-1 could secrete 6.7-fold higher IGF-1 than the native cells. These MSCs had an elevated baseline activity of ERK signaling, an enhanced proliferation, increased accumulative numbers of cell doublings, and a reduced apoptosis; they showed upregulated expressions of OCT-4, CYP51, and SM22alpha, and a downregulated expression of nestin. This indicates that the overexpressed IGF-1 enhances the MSCs' self-renewal, endodermal and mesodermal differentiation, but weakens their neuronal potential. Although a puromycin selection after hIGF-1 gene transfection could produce a purer transfected MSC population with stronger ability to express functional hIGF-1, it induced premature senescence of the selected cells by activating oncogene Ras, leading to a shortened replicative life span and a weakened multipotency.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Cell Transplantation
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    Yu Liu · Jian Song · Weixin Liu · Yu Wan · Xichang Chen · Chengjun Hu
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    ABSTRACT: The potential use of bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) as a cellular therapy for chronic cardiac diseases relies on the ability of the cell to replicate extensively in vitro and to give rise to myogenic cells that can replace the damaged cardiomyocytes. For this reason the present study investigated the replication lifespan and chemical-induced cardiomyogenic differentiation of rat MSCs in vitro. The primary and the successively passaged Wistar rat MSCs were exposed to different concentrations (3, 5 and 10 microM) of 5-azacytidine using different methods (single- or repeat-treatment). The growth properties and the fate of the cells were compared to their untreated counterparts by cell counting, immunocytochemistry and Western analysis. When seeded at a density of 2845 cells/cm(2) and cultured under common conditions, rat MSCs could be expanded up to 21.94 cell doublings in 30 days of successive subcultures. This was accompanied by a gradual loss of their replication ability with passages. When treated with 5-azacytidine for 24 h at day 3 of primary culture and the first subculture, the growth properties of the MSCs were not obviously affected. Neither the spontaneously beating cells nor the formation of myotubes were found in the primary and first passaged MSCs after a single treatment with 5-azacytidine and in cultures which underwent repeated 5-azacytidine-treatments during continuous subculturing to passage 2. The expressions of cardiac troponin I, cardiac myosin heavy chain and connexin 43 by the 5-azacytidine-treated MSCs were also undetectable at both immunocytochemistry and Western blot levels. The specificity and reliability of the detection methods were technically confirmed with cultured rat cardiomyocytes. Rat MSCs cannot be extensively expanded in vitro or be induced to differentiate in an expected cardiomyogenic way by 5-azacytidine-treatment, if the cells are not immortalized.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2003 · Cardiovascular Research

Publication Stats

130 Citations
26.03 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • University of South Dakota
      • Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences
      فيرمليون، داكوتا الجنوبية, South Dakota, United States
  • 2008-2013
    • Wuhan University
      Wu-han-shih, Hubei, China