Articles by Jian-Fu Chen in JoVE
Establishing Mouse Models for Zika Virus-induced Neurological Disorders Using Intracerebral Injection Strategies: Embryonic, Neonatal, and Adult Stephanie A. Herrlinger1, Qiang Shao2, Li Ma2, Melinda Brindley3, Jian-Fu Chen2 1Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, University of Georgia, 2Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, University of Southern California, 3Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia Here we describe a method for establishing a model of Zika virus-induced microcephaly in mouse. This protocol includes methods for embryonic, neonatal, and adult-stage intracerebral inoculation of the Zika virus.
Other articles by Jian-Fu Chen on PubMed
The African Zika Virus MR-766 is More Virulent and Causes More Severe Brain Damage Than Current Asian Lineage and Dengue Virus Development (Cambridge, England). | Pubmed ID: 28993398 The Zika virus (ZIKV) has two lineages, Asian and African, and their impact on developing brains has not been compared. Dengue virus (DENV) is a close family member of ZIKV and co-circulates with ZIKV. Here, we performed intracerebral inoculation of embryonic mouse brains with dengue virus 2 (DENV2), and found that DENV2 is sufficient to cause smaller brain size due to increased cell death in neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and neurons. Compared with the currently circulating Asian lineage of ZIKV (MEX1-44), DENV2 grows slower, causes less neuronal death and fails to cause postnatal animal death. Surprisingly, our side-by-side comparison uncovered that the African ZIKV isolate (MR-766) is more potent at causing brain damage and postnatal lethality than MEX1-44. In comparison with MEX1-44, MR-766 grows faster in NPCs and in the developing brain, and causes more pronounced cell death in NPCs and neurons, resulting in more severe neuronal loss. Together, these results reveal that DENV2 is sufficient to cause smaller brain sizes, and suggest that the ZIKV African lineage is more toxic and causes more potent brain damage than the Asian lineage.
Brain Cytoplasmic RNA 1 Suppresses Smooth Muscle Differentiation and Vascular Development in Mice The Journal of Biological Chemistry. | Pubmed ID: 29467228 The cardiovascular system develops during the early stages of embryogenesis, and differentiation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is essential for that process. SMC differentiation is critically regulated by transforming growth factor (TGF)-β/SMAD family member 3 (SMAD3) signaling, but other regulators may also play a role. For example, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) regulate various cellular activities and events, such as proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. However, whether long noncoding RNAs also regulate SMC differentiation remains largely unknown. Here, using the murine cell line C3H10T1/2, we found that brain cytoplasmic RNA 1 (BC1) is an important regulator of SMC differentiation. BC1 overexpression suppressed, whereas BC1 knockdown promoted, TGF-β-induced SMC differentiation, as indicated by altered cell morphology and expression of multiple SMC markers, including smooth muscle α-actin (αSMA), calponin, and smooth muscle 22α (SM22α). BC1 appeared to block SMAD3 activity and inhibit SMC marker gene transcription. Mechanistically, BC1 bound to SMAD3 via RNA SMAD-binding elements (rSBEs) and thus impeded TGF-β-induced SMAD3 translocation to the nucleus. This prevented SMAD3 from binding to SBEs in SMC marker gene promoters, an essential event in SMC marker transcription. , BC1 overexpression in mouse embryos impaired vascular SMC differentiation, leading to structural defects in the artery wall, such as random breaks in the elastic lamina, abnormal collagen deposition on SM fibers, and disorganized extracellular matrix proteins in the media of the neonatal aorta. Our results suggest that BC1 is a suppressor of SMC differentiation during vascular development.
Mesenchyme Homeobox 1 Mediates Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β)-induced Smooth Muscle Cell Differentiation from Mouse Mesenchymal Progenitors The Journal of Biological Chemistry. | Pubmed ID: 29678882 Differentiation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is critical for proper vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. However, the molecular mechanisms controlling SMC differentiation are not completely understood. During embryogenesis, the transcription factor mesenchyme homeobox 1 (Meox1) is expressed in the early developing somite, which is one of the origins of SMCs. In the present study, we identified Meox1 as a positive regulator of SMC differentiation. We found that transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) induces Meox1 expression in the initial phase of SMC differentiation of pluripotent murine C3H10T1/2 cells. shRNA-mediated Meox1 knockdown suppressed TGF-β-induced expression of SMC early markers, whereas Meox1 overexpression increased expression of these markers. Mechanistically, Meox1 promoted SMAD family member 3 (Smad3) nuclear retention during the early stage of TGF-β stimulation because Meox1 inhibited protein phosphatase Mg2+/Mn2+-dependent 1A (PPM1A) and thereby prevented PPM1A-mediated Smad3 dephosphorylation. Meox1 appears to promote PPM1A degradation, leading to sustained Smad3 phosphorylation, thus allowing Smad3 to stimulate SMC gene transcription. In vivo, Meox1 knockdown in mouse embryos impaired SMC marker expression in the descending aorta of neonatal mice, indicating that Meox1 is essential for SMC differentiation during embryonic development. In summary, the transcriptional regulator Meox1 controls TGF-β-induced SMC differentiation from mesenchymal progenitor cells by preventing PPM1A-mediated Smad3 dephosphorylation, thereby supporting SMC gene expression.