Chang-Deng Hu

Chang-Deng Hu Profile Picture

Associate Professor of Molecular Pharmacology
Ph.D. - 1997 - Kobe University, Japan

Contact Info:

Training Group(s):
Chemical Biology
Molecular Signaling and Cancer Biology
Chromatin and Regulation of Gene Expression

Active Mentor - currently hosting PULSe students for laboratory rotations and recruiting PULSe students into the laboratory; serves on preliminary exam committees

Current Research Interests:

Protein-protein interactions are essential for transmitting extracellular signals into cells and for coordinating cellular functions. Although many interaction maps have been generated over the past few years using genome-wide approaches, such as yeast two-hybrid and proteomics, it remains a challenge to prove these interactions in vivo. We have developed a novel bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay to directly visualize protein-protein interactions in living cells (Molecular Cell, 9, 789-798, 2002). This assay is based on the formation of a bimolecular fluorescent complex between two halves of YFP (yellow fluorescent protein) fused to a pair of interaction partners. To study how each protein selects its interacting partners in response to specific signals, we have taken advantage of spectral variants of green fluorescent protein and further established a multicolor bimolecular fluorescence complementation (multicolor BiFC) assay (Nature Biotechnology, 21, 539-545, 2003). The multicolor BiFC assay allows us to study multiple protein interactions simultaneously in the same cell. Recently, the identification of several fluorescent protein fragments derived from the new fluorescent proteins, Venus, Citrine and Cerulean, has further expanded our capability to analyze protein-protein interactions under physiological conditions (BioTechniques, 40, 61-66, 2006).

AP-1 in cancer: Activator protein 1 (AP-1) belongs to the basic region leucine zipper (bZIP) family of transcription factors and functions as homodimers or heterodimers formed among the members of Fos, Jun, ATF2 and Maf family of proteins to regulate gene expression. AP-1 activity can be induced by both physiological stimuli and environmental stresses, thereby regulating a wide range of cellular processes including cell proliferation, differentiation, death, and stress responses. Deregulated AP-1 activity is implicated in many human diseases including cancer. Furthermore, AP-1 proteins also interact with many other transcriptional regulatory proteins, such as the Rel family, SMADs family, hormone receptors, and coactivators CBP/p300. These cross-family interactions further increase the complexity of the regulation of target genes. To study how the interactions of AP-1 proteins with those within, as well as across the families determine cellular responses, we are using our BiFC assays, in conjunction with molecular, cellular, biochemical, and genetic approaches, to visualize these interactions in living cells and to investigate the regulation and functional consequences of the interactions. Our current projects include:

(1) Regulation and function of ATF2 subcellular localization. (2) Molecular mechanisms of ATF2 in conferring the resistance of cancer cells and cancer stem cells to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. (3) Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of prostate cancer development, progression, and therapeutic responses. (4) Role of cross-family interactions of NF-kappaB with AP-1 in the acquisition of chemoresistance and radioresistance. (5) Screening of small molecules for the inhibition of protein-protein interactions using a multicolor BiFC-based HTS system.

AP-1 in C. elegans development: Gene targeting has been widely used to study the functions of genes in vivo. However, problems often encountered using gene knock-out studies are embryonic lethality or lack of obvious phenotypes. The former prevents further evaluation of the targeted genes during the entire developmental process and the latter frequently reflects functional redundancy of homologous genes or isoforms. Because AP-1 functions as heterodimers or homodimers, the regulation of dimer formation plays a pivotal role in the control of their transcriptional activities. Accordingly, monitoring their interactions throughout development will provide a substantial link to the roles of AP-1 in development. The establishment of the BiFC assays has endowed us with a unique way to study protein-protein interactions in living animals. We are applying the BiFC assays to study the temporal and spatial interactions of C. elegans AP-1 proteins in living worms. Our current projects include:

(1)The role of AP-1 in the C. elegans nervous system. (2)The role of AP-1 in the reproductive system. (3)The role of AP-1 in the regulation of apoptosis in response to DNA damage.  

To learn more about our research, please visit our Lab Website.

Selected Publications:

Hsu, CC. and Hu, C.D. Transcriptional activity of c-Jun is critical for the suppression of AR function. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. 372:12-22 (2013)

Ejendal, K.F., Conley, J.M., Hu, C.D., and Watts, V.J. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation analysis of G protein-coupled receptor dimerization in living cells. Methods Enzymol. 521:259-279 (2013)

Kodama, Y. and Hu, C.D. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) analysis of protein-protein interaction: how to calculate signal-to-noise ratio. Methods Cell Biol. 113:107-121 (2013)

Kodama, Y. and Hu, C.D. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC): A 5-year update and future perspectives. Biotechniques,53:285-298 (2012).

Young MM, Takahashi Y, Khan O, Park S, Hori T, Yun J, Sharma AK, Amin S, Hu C.D., Zhang J, Kester M, Wang HG. Autophagosomal membrane serves as platform for intracellular death-inducing signaling complex (iDISC)-mediated caspase-8 activation and apoptosis. J. Biol. Chem. 287:12455-12688 (2012).

Hsu, C. and Hu, C.D. Critical role of an N-terminal end nuclear export signal in regulation of ATF2 subcellular localization and transcriptional activity. J. Biol. Chem. 287:8621-8632 (2012).

Deng, X., Elzey, B.D, Poulson, J.M., Morrison, W.B., Ko, S.C., Hahn, N.M., Ratliff, T.L., and Hu, C.D. Ionizing radiation induces neuroendocrine differentiation in vitro, in vivo and in human prostate cancer patients. Am. J. Cancer. Res. 1:834-844 (2011).

Xing, J., Wang, S., Lin, F., Pan, W., Hu, C.D., and Zheng, C. A comprehensive characterization of interaction complexes of Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 ICP22, UL3, UL4 and UL20.5. J. Virol. 85:1881-1886 (2011).

Kodama, Y. and Hu, C.D. An improved bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay with high signal-to-noise ratio. Biotechniques, 49:793-805 (2010)

Le, T.T, Duren, H.M., Slipchenko, M.N., Hu, C.D., and Cheng, J.X. Label-free quantitative analysis of lipid metabolism in living Caenorhabditis elegans. J. Lipid Res. 51:672-677 (2010).

Hiatt, S.M., Duren, H.M. Shyu, Y., Ellis, R.E., Hisamoto, N., Matsumoto, K., Kariya, K., Kerppola, T.K., and Hu, C.D. C. elegans FOS-1 and JUN-1 regulate plc-1 expression to control ovulation. Mol. Biol. Cell 20:3888-3895(2009)

Yuan, Z., Gong, S., Song, B., Mei, Y., Hu, C., Li, D., Thiel, G., Hu, C.D., and Li, M. Opposing role for ATF2 and c-Fos in c-Jun-mediated apoptosis induced by potassium deprivation in cerebellar granule neurons. Mol. Cell. Biol. 29:2431-2442 (2009)

Xu, Y., Yang, W.H., Gerin, I., Hu, C.D., Hammer, G.D., and Koenig, R.J. DAX-1 and steroid receptor RNA activator (SRA) function as transcriptional coactivators for steroidogenic factor-1 in steroidogenesis. Mol. Cell. Biol. 29:1719-1734 (2009)

Deng, X., Liu, H., Huang, J., Cheng, L., Keller, E.T., Parsons, S.J., and Hu, C.D. Ionizing radiation induces prostate cancer neuroendocrine differentiation through interplay of CREB and ATF2: Implications for disease progression. Cancer Res. 68:9663-9670 (2008)

Shyu, Y. and Hu, C.D. Fluorescence complementation: an emerging tool for biological research. Trends Biotechnol. 26:622-630 (2008)

Shyu, Y., Suarez, C., and Hu, C.D. Visualization of ternary complexes in living cells by using a BiFC-based FRET analysis. Nat. Protoc. 3:1693-1702 (2008)

Vidi, P.A., Chemel, B.R., Hu, C.D., Watts, V.J. Ligand-Dependant Oligomerization of Dopamine D2 and Adenosine A2A Receptors in Living Neuronal Cells. Mol. Pharmacol. 74:544-551 (2008)

Hiatt, S.M., Shyu, Y., Duren, H.M, and Hu, C.D. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) analysis of protein interactions in living C. elegans. Methods, 45:185-191 (2008)

Shyu, Y., Fox, SM., Duren, HM., Ellis, R.E., Kerppola, T.K. and Hu, C.-D. Visualization of protein interaction in living Caenorhabditis elegans using bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) analysis. Nat Protoc, 4:588-596(2008)

Shyu, Y., Suarez, C., and Hu, C.-D. Visualization of AP-1-NF-kappaB ternary complexes in living cells by using a BiFC-based FRET. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A., 105:151-156 (2008)

Shyu, Y. Akasaka, K., and Hu, C.-D., Bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC): A colorful future in drug discovery. Sterling-Hoffman Life Science Journal, July 2007.

Tong, E.H.Y., Guo, J.J., Haung, A., Liu, H., Hu, C.-D., Chung, S.S.M., and Ko, C.B., Regulation of nucleocytoplasmic trafficking of transcription factor OREBP/TonEBP/NFAT5. J. Biol. Chem. 281:23870-23879 (2006)

Wang ,KZQ, Wara-Asparati, N., Boch, J.A., Yoshida, Y., Hu, C.-D., Galson, D.L., and Auron, P.E. TRAF6 activation of PI3 kinase-dependent cytoskeletal changes is cooperative with Ras and mediated by an interaction with cytoplasmic c-Src. J. Cell Sci., 119, 1579-1591 (2006).

Liu, H., Deng, X., Shyu, Y., Li, J.J., Taparowsky, EJ., and Hu, C.-D. Mutual regulation of c-Jun and ATF2 by transcriptional activation and subcellular localization. The EMBO Journal, 25, 1058-1069 (2006).

Shyu, Y., Liu, H., Deng, X., and Hu, C.-D. Identification of new fluorescent fragments for BiFC analysis under physiological conditions. BioTechniques, 40, 61-66 (2006).

Hu, C.-D., Grinberg, A.V. and Kerppola, T.K. Visualization of Protein Interactions in Living Cells Using Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) Analysis. (ed. Coligan JE, Dunn BM, Speicher DW, Wingfield PT) Curr. Protoc. Protein Sci. 41:19.10.1-19.10.21. Hoboken, John Willey & Sons, 2005.

Hu, C-D., Grinberg A., and Kerppola T. Visualization of protein interaction in living cells using bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) analysis. Current Protocol in Cell Biology. 21.3.1-21.3.21 (2005).

Hu, C-D. and Kerppola TK. Direct visualization of protein interactions in living cells using bimolecular fluorescence complementation analysis. Protein-Protein Interactions (ed. P. Adams and E. Golemis), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (2005).

Grinberg A, Hu, C.-D., and Kerppola T. Visualization of Myc/Max/Mad family dimers and the competition for dimerization in living cells. Mol. Cell. Biol. 24, 4294-4308 (2004).

Hu, C.-D. and Kerppola, T. Simultaneous visualization of interactions between multiple proteins in living cells using multicolor bimolecular fluorescence complementation analysis. Nat. Biotechnol. 21, 539-545 (2003).

Hu, C.-D. Chinenov, Y., and Kerppola, T Visualization of interactions among bZIP and Rel family proteins in living cells using bimolecular fluorescence complementation. Mol. Cell. 9, 789-798 (2002).

Song*, C., Hu*, C.-D., Masago, M., Kariya, K., Yamawaki-Katatoka, Y., Shibatohge, M., Sen, H., Wu, D., Satoh, T., and Kataoka, T. Regulation of a novel human phospholipase C, PLC-epsilon through differential membrane targeting by Ras and Rap1. J. Biol. Chem. 276, 2752-2757 (2001). *Equal contribution

Liao, Y., Kariya, K., Hu, C.-D., Shibatohge, M., Goshima, M., Okada, T., Watari, Y., Gao, X., Jin, T.-G., Yamawaki-Katatoka, Y., and Kataoka, T. RA-GEF, a novel Rap1A guanine nucleotide exchange factor containing a Ras/Rap1A-associating domain, is conserved between nematode and humans. J. Biol. Chem. 274, 37815-37820 (1999).

Hu, C.-D., Kariya, K., Okada, T., Qi, X., Song, C., and Kataoka, T. Effect of phosphorylation on activities of Rap1A to interact with Raf-1 and to suppress Ras-dependent Raf-1 activation , J. Biol. Chem. 274, 48-51 (1999).

Shibatohge, M., Kariya, K., Liao, Y., Hu, C.-D., Watari, Y., Goshima, M., Shima, F., and Kataoka, T. Identification of PLC210, a C. elegans homolog of phospholipase C, as a putative effector of Ras, J. Biol. Chem. 273, 6218-6222 (1998).

Hu, C.-D., Kariya, K., Kotani, G., Shirouzu, M., Yokoyama, S., and Kataoka, T. Coassociation of Rap1A and Ha-Ras with Raf-1 N-terminal region interferes with Ras-dependent activation of Raf-1. J. Biol. Chem. 272, 11702-11705 (1997).

Hu, C.-D., Kariya, K., Tamada, M., Akasaka, K., Shirouzu, M., Yokoyama, S.

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