Duanqing Pei

Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, Kansas, United States

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Publications (158)1182.96 Total impact

  • Xiaodong Shu · Duanqing Pei
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    ABSTRACT: Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) are capable of unlimited proliferation without losing pluripotency. Scognamiglio et al. now reveal that Myc depletion shifts mESCs into a dormant state reminiscent of embryonic diapause in which pluripotency remains fully preserved, thus decoupling pluripotency from proliferative programs.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Cell
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    ABSTRACT: Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) possess great value in the aspect of cellular therapies due to its self-renewal and potential to differentiate into all somatic cell types. A few defined synthetic surfaces such as polymers and adhesive biological materials conjugated substrata were established for the self-renewal of hPSCs. However, none of them was effective in the generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and long-term maintenance of multiple hPSCs, and most of them required complicated manufacturing processes. Polydopamine has good biocompatiblity, is able to form a stable film on nearly all solid substrates surface, and can immobilize adhesive biomolecules. In this manuscript, a polydopamine-mediated surface was developed, which not only supported the reprogramming of human somatic cells into hiPSCs under defined conditions, but also sustained the growth of hiPSCs on diverse substrates. Moreover, the proliferation and pluripotency of hPSCs cultured on the surface were comparable to Matrigel for more than 20 passages. Besides, hPSCs were able to differentiate to cardiomyocytes and neural cells on the surface. This polydopamine-based synthetic surface represents a chemically-defined surface extensively applicable both forfundamental research and cell therapies of hPSCs.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Biomaterials
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    ABSTRACT: The trafficking of ion channels to/from the plasma membrane is considered an important mechanism for cellular activity and an interesting approach for disease therapies. The transient receptor potential vanilloid 3 (TRPV3) ion channel is widely expressed in skin keratinocytes, and its trafficking mechanism to/from the plasma membrane is unknown. Here, we report that the vesicular trafficking protein sorting nexin 11 (SNX11) downregulates the level of the TRPV3 plasma membrane protein. Overexpression of SNX11 causes a decrease in the level of TRPV3 current and TRPV3 plasma membrane protein in TRPV3-transfected HEK293T cells. Subcellular localizations and Western blots indicate that SNX11 interacts with TRPV3 and targets it to lysosomes for degradation, which is blocked by the lysosomal inhibitors chloroquine and leupeptin. Both TRPV3 and SNX11 are highly expressed in HaCaT cells. We show that TRPV3 agonists-activated Ca(2+) influxes and the level of native TRPV3 total protein in HaCaT cells are decreased by overexpression of SNX11 and increased by knockdown of SNX11. Our findings reveal that SNX11 promotes the trafficking of TRPV3 from the plasma membrane to lysosomes for degradation via protein-protein interactions, which demonstrates a previously unknown function of SNX11 as a regulator of TRPV3 trafficking from the plasma membrane to lysosomes.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Traffic
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Currently, direct conversion from somatic cells to neurons requires virus-mediated delivery of at least one transcriptional factor or a combination of several small-molecule compounds. Delivery of transcriptional factors may affect genome stability, while small-molecule compounds may require more evaluations when applied in vivo. Thus, a defined medium with only conventional growth factors or additives for cell culture is desirable for inducing neuronal trans-differentiation. Results: Here, we report that a defined medium (5C) consisting of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), N2 supplement, leukemia inhibitory factor, vitamin C (Vc), and β-mercaptoethanol (βMe) induces the direct conversion of somatic cells to cells with neuronal characteristics. Application of 5C medium converted mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) into TuJ+ neuronal-like cells, which were capable of survival after being transplanted into the mouse brain. The same 5C medium could convert primary rat astrocytes into neuronal-like cells with mature electrophysiology characteristics in vitro and facilitated the recovery of brain injury, possibly by inducing similar conversions, when infused into the mouse brain in vivo. Crucially, 5C medium could also induce neuronal characteristics in several human cell types. Conclusions: In summary, this 5C medium not only provides a means to derive cells with neuronal characteristics without viral transfection in vitro but might also be useful to produce neurons in vivo for neurodegenerative disease treatment.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015
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    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: Nucleosome positioning and histone modification play a critical role in gene regulation, but their role during reprogramming has not been fully elucidated. Here, we determined the genome-wide nucleosome coverage and histone methylation occupancy in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and pre-iPSCs. We found that nucleosome occupancy increases in promoter regions and decreases in intergenic regions in pre-iPSCs, then recovers to an intermediate level in iPSCs. We also found that nucleosomes in pre-iPSCs are much more phased than those in MEFs and iPSCs. During reprogramming, nucleosome reorganization and histone methylation around transcription start sites (TSSs) are highly coordinated with distinctively transcriptional activities. Bivalent promoters gradually increase, while repressive promoters gradually decrease. High CpG (HCG) promoters of active genes are characterized by nucleosome depletion at TSSs, while low CpG (LCG) promoters exhibit the opposite characteristics. In addition, we show that vitamin C (VC) promotes reorganizations of canonical, H3K4me3- and H3K27me3-modified nucleosomes on specific genes during transition from pre-iPSCs to iPSCs. These data demonstrate that pre-iPSCs have a more open and phased chromatin architecture than that of MEFs and iPSCs. Finally, this study reveals the dynamics and critical roles of nucleosome positioning and chromatin organization in gene regulation during reprogramming.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Scientific Reports
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms of somatic cell reprogramming have been revealed at multiple levels. However, the lack of tools to monitor different reactive oxygen species (ROS) has left their distinct signals and roles in reprogramming unknown. We hypothesized that mitochondrial flashes (mitoflashes), recently identified spontaneous bursts of mitochondrial superoxide signaling, play a role in reprogramming. Here we show that the frequency of mitoflashes transiently increases, accompanied by flash amplitude reduction, during the early stages of reprogramming. This transient activation of mitoflashes at the early stage enhances reprogramming, whereas sustained activation impairs reprogramming. The reprogramming-promoting function of mitoflashes occurs via the upregulation of Nanog expression that is associated with decreases in the methylation status of the Nanog promoter through Tet2 occupancy. Together our findings provide a previously unknown role for superoxide signaling mediated epigenetic regulation in cell fate determination.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Cell metabolism
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    ABSTRACT: Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a rare disease characterized by progressive ossification of soft tissues, for which there is no effective treatment. Mutations in the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) type I receptor activin receptor-like kinase 2 (ACVR1/ALK2) are the main cause of FOP. We generated human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from FOP patients with the ALK2 R206H mutation. The mutant ALK2 gene changed differentiation efficiencies of hiPSCs into FOP bone-forming progenitors: endothelial cells (ECs) and pericytes. ECs from FOP hiPSCs showed reduced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 and could transform into mesenchymal cells through endothelial-mesenchymal transition. Increased mineralization of pericytes from FOP hiPSCs could be partly inhibited by the ALK2 kinase inhibitor LDN-212854. Thus, differentiated FOP hiPSCs recapitulate some aspects of the disease phenotype in vitro, and they could be instrumental in further elucidating underlying mechanisms of FOP and development of therapeutic drug candidates.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Stem Cell Reports
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    Andrew Paul Hutchins · Duanqing Pei
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    ABSTRACT: Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile genomic sequences of DNA capable of autonomous and non-autonomous duplication. TEs have been highly successful, and nearly half of the human genome now consists of various families of TEs. Originally thought to be non-functional, these elements have been co-opted by animal genomes to perform a variety of physiological functions ranging from TE-derived proteins acting directly in normal biological functions, to innovations in transcription factor logic and influence on epigenetic control of gene expression. During embryonic development, when the genome is epigenetically reprogrammed and DNA-demethylated, TEs are released from repression and show embryonic stage-specific expression, and in human and mouse embryos, intact TE-derived endogenous viral particles can even be detected. A similar process occurs during the reprogramming of somatic cells to pluripotent cells: When the somatic DNA is demethylated, TEs are released from repression. In embryonic stem cells (ESCs), where DNA is hypomethylated, an elaborate system of epigenetic control is employed to suppress TEs, a system that often overlaps with normal epigenetic control of ESC gene expression. Finally, many long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) involved in normal ESC function and those assisting or impairing reprogramming contain multiple TEs in their RNA. These TEs may act as regulatory units to recruit RNA-binding proteins and epigenetic modifiers. This review covers how TEs are interlinked with the epigenetic machinery and lncRNAs, and how these links influence each other to modulate aspects of ESCs, embryogenesis, and somatic cell reprogramming. © 2015, Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
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    Hoi-Hung Cheung · Duanqing Pei · Wai-Yee Chan
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    ABSTRACT: Aging is considered an irreversible biological process and also a major risk factor for a spectrum of geriatric diseases. Advanced age-related decline in physiological functions, such as neurodegeneration, development of cardiovascular disease, endocrine and metabolic dysfunction, and neoplastic transformation, has become the focus in aging research. Natural aging is not regarded as a programmed process. However, accelerated aging due to inherited genetic defects in patients of progeria is programmed and resembles many aspects of natural aging. Among several premature aging syndromes, Werner syndrome (WS) and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) are two broadly investigated diseases. In this review, we discuss how stem cell aging in WS helps us understand the biology of aging. We also discuss briefly how the altered epigenetic landscape in aged cells can be reversed to a "juvenile" state. Lastly, we explore the potential application of the latest genomic editing technique for stem cell-based therapy and regenerative medicine in the context of aging.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015
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    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: Stem cells self-renew and generate specialized progeny through differentiation, but vary in the range of cells and tissues they generate, a property called developmental potency. Pluripotent stem cells produce all cells of an organism, while multipotent or unipotent stem cells regenerate only specific lineages or tissues. Defining stem-cell potency relies upon functional assays and diagnostic transcriptional, epigenetic and metabolic states. Here we describe functional and molecular hallmarks of pluripotent stem cells, propose a checklist for their evaluation, and illustrate how forensic genomics can validate their provenance.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: Somatic cell reprogramming is accompanied by changes in lipid metabolism. While attempting to dissect the molecular mechanisms of the lipid metabolic switch during reprogramming, we found that overexpression of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 (Srebp-1), a transcriptional factor required for lipid homeostasis, enhances reprogramming efficiency, while knockdown or pharmaceutical inhibition of Srebp-1 is inhibitory. Srebp-1 overexpression blocks the formation of partially reprogrammed cells, and functions in the early phase of reprogramming. Furthermore, Srebp-1 functions in nucleus and depends on its transcriptional activity but not its ability to bind the E-box motif and regulation of canonical targets. Mechanistically, Srebp-1 interacts with c-Myc, facilitates its binding to downstream pluripotent targets, strengthens the function of c-Myc in enhancing other Yamanaka factors' binding, and thereby promotes the expression of pluripotent genes. These results elucidate a novel role for Srebp-1 in somatic cell reprogramming and provide insights into understanding the metabolic switch during reprogramming. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Stem Cells
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    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Nature Cell Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Hematopoiesis is a progressive process collectively controlled by an elaborate network of transcription factors (TFs). Among these TFs, GATA2 has been implicated to be critical for regulating multiple steps of hematopoiesis in mouse models. However, whether similar function of GATA2 is conserved in human hematopoiesis, especially during early embryonic development stage, is largely unknown. To examine the role of GATA2 in human background, we generated homozygous GATA2 knockout human embryonic stem cells (GATA2 (-/-) hESCs) and analyzed their blood differentiation potential. Our results demonstrated that GATA2 (-/-) hESCs displayed attenuated generation of CD34(+)CD43(+) hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs), due to the impairment of endothelial to hematopoietic transition (EHT). Interestingly, GATA2 (-/-) hESCs retained the potential to generate erythroblasts and macrophages, but never granulocytes. We further identified that SPI1 downregulation was partially responsible for the defects of GATA2 (-/-) hESCs in generation of CD34(+)CD43(+) HPCs and granulocytes. Furthermore, we found that GATA2 (-/-) hESCs restored the granulocyte potential in the presence of Notch signaling. Our findings revealed the essential roles of GATA2 in EHT and granulocyte development through regulating SPI1, and uncovered a role of Notch signaling in granulocyte generation during hematopoiesis modeled by human ESCs.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Sox2 is a key factor in maintaining self-renewal of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and adult stem cells as well as in reprogramming differentiated cells back into pluripotent or multipotent stem cells. Although previous studies have shown that Sox2 is phosphorylated in human ESCs, the biological significance of Sox2 phosphorylation in ESC maintenance and reprogramming has not been well understood. In this study, we have identified new phosphorylation sites on Sox2, and have further demonstrated that Cdk-mediated Sox2 phosphorylation at S39 and S253 is required for establishing the pluripotent state during reprogramming but is dispensable for ESC maintenance. Mass-spectrometry analysis of purified Sox2 protein has identified new phosphorylation sites on two Tyrosine and six Serine/Threonine residues. Cdk2 physically interacts with Sox2 and phosphorylates Sox2 at S39 and S253 in vitro. Surprisingly, Sox2 phosphorylation at S39 and S253 is dispensable for ESC self-renewal and cell cycle progression. In addition, Sox2 phosphorylation enhances its ability to establish the pluripotent state during reprogramming by working with Oct4 and Klf4. Finally, Cdk2 can also modulate the ability of Oct4, Sox2 and Klf4 in reprogramming fibroblasts back into pluripotent stem cells. Therefore, this study has, for the first time, demonstrated that Sox2 phosphorylation by Cdk proteins promotes the establishment, but not the maintenance, of the pluripotent state. It might also help explain why the inactivation of CDK inhibitors, such as p53, p21 and Arf/Ink4, promotes the induction of pluripotent stem cells. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Oncogenic transcription factors are known to mediate the conversion of somatic cells to tumour or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Here we report c-Jun as a barrier for iPSC formation. c-Jun is expressed by and required for the proliferation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), but not mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). Consistently, c-Jun is induced during mESC differentiation, drives mESCs towards the endoderm lineage and completely blocks the generation of iPSCs from MEFs. Mechanistically, c-Jun activates mesenchymal-related genes, broadly suppresses the pluripotent ones, and derails the obligatory mesenchymal to epithelial transition during reprogramming. Furthermore, inhibition of c-Jun by shRNA, dominant-negative c-Jun or Jdp2 enhances reprogramming and replaces Oct4 among the Yamanaka factors. Finally, Jdp2 anchors 5 non-Yamanaka factors (Id1, Jhdm1b, Lrh1, Sall4 and Glis1) to reprogram MEFs into iPSCs. Our studies reveal c-Jun as a guardian of somatic cell fate and its suppression opens the gate to pluripotency.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Nature Cell Biology
  • Jing Liu · Jiekai chen · Duanqing Pei

    No preview · Article · Jun 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Levels of atonal homolog 8 (ATOH8) are reduced in 48% of hepatitis B virus-associated hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). ATOH8 downregulation is associated with loss of tumor differentiation, indicating an effect mediated by cancer stem cells. We investigated the effects of loss of ATOH8 in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells and cell lines. HCC and adjacent non-tumor tissues were collected, from 2001 through 2012, from 242 patients undergoing hepatectomy at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center in China; 83% of HCCs were associated with HBV infection. CD133+ cells were isolated from tumor tissues by flow cytometry. Experiments were performed in HBV-positive and HBV-negative HCC cell lines, the immortalized liver cell line LO2, and 8 other HCC cell lines. ATOH8 was expressed from lentiviral vectors in PLC8024 and Huh7 cells; levels were knocked down with small interfering RNAs in QSG7701 cells. Cells carrying empty vectors were used as controls. Gene regulation by ATOH8 was assessed in mobility shift and luciferase reporter assays. Cells were analyzed in proliferation, foci formation, and colony formation assays. The tumorigenic and chemo-resistant potential of cells were investigated by assessing growth of xenograft tumors in immunocompromised mice. Metastatic features of cells were assessed in Matrigel invasion assays and wound healing analyses. Levels of ATOH8 mRNA were reduced by more than 4-fold, compared to non-tumor tissues, in 118/242 HCC samples (48.8%). Patients with tumor reductions in ATOH8 had significantly shorter times of disease-free survival (mean, 41.4 months) than patients with normal tissue levels (mean, 52.6 months). ATOH8 expression was reduced in HepG2, Huh7, PLC8024 and CRL8064 HCC cells, as well as CD133+ cells isolated from human HCC samples. Transgenic expression of ATOH8 in HCC cell lines significantly reduced proliferation and foci colony formation, as well as their invasive and migratory abilities. Transgenic expression of ATOH8 reduced the ability of HBV-positive PLC8024 cells to form tumors in mice, compared to control cells. Cells with ATOH8 knockdown formed xenograft tumors more rapidly, in more mice, than control cells. ATOH8 repressed transcription of stem-cell associated genes including OCT4, NANOG, and CD133. Knockdown of ATOH8 in CD133-negative QSG7701 cells caused them to express CD133; acquire self-renewal, differentiation, chemo-resistance properties; form more xenograft tumors in mice; and generate induced pluripotent stem cells (based on staining for alkaline phosphatase and their ability to form embryoid bodies and teratomas). Alternatively, expression of ATOH8 in PLC8024 and Huh7 cells significantly reduced the numbers of cells expressing CD133, and increased the chemo-sensitivity of Huh7 cells to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and cisplatin, in vitro and in mice. ATOH8 appears to be a tumor suppressor that induces stem-cell features and chemoresistance in HCC cells. Strategies to restore its levels and activities might be developed to treat patients with liver cancer. Copyright © 2015 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: The mouse is an organism that is widely used as a mammalian model for studying human physiology or disease, and the development of immunodeficient mice has provided a valuable tool for basic and applied human disease research. Following the development of large-scale mouse knockout programs and genome-editing tools, it has become increasingly efficient to generate genetically modified mouse strains with immunodeficiency. However, due to the lack of a standardized system for evaluating the immuno-capacity that prevents tumor progression in mice, an objective choice of the appropriate immunodeficient mouse strains to be used for tumor engrafting experiments is difficult. In this study, we developed a tumor engraftment index (TEI) to quantify the immunodeficiency response to hematologic malignant cells and solid tumor cells of six immunodeficient mouse strains and C57BL/6 wild-type mouse (WT). Mice with a more severely impaired immune system attained a higher TEI score. We then validated that the NOD-scid-IL2Rg-/- (NSI) mice, which had the highest TEI score, were more suitable for xenograft and allograft experiments using multiple functional assays. The TEI score was effectively able to reflect the immunodeficiency of a mouse strain.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Hematology & Oncology

Publication Stats

4k Citations
1,182.96 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • Stowers Institute for Medical Research
      Kansas City, Kansas, United States
  • 2014-2015
    • The University of Hong Kong
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2006-2015
    • Chinese Academy of Sciences
      • • South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
      • • Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health
      Peping, Beijing, China
  • 2013
    • University of Science and Technology of China
      • School of Life Sciences
      Luchow, Anhui Sheng, China
  • 2012
    • GUANGZHOU  ACADEMY  OF  SOCIAL  SCIENCES
      Shengcheng, Guangdong, China
  • 2011
    • University of Natural Resources and Life Science Vienna
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
    • Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
      Bengalūru, Karnataka, India
  • 2003-2006
    • Tsinghua University
      • School of Medicine
      Peping, Beijing, China
  • 2005
    • University of Minnesota Duluth
      Duluth, Minnesota, United States