Sign in to edit your profile (add interests, mentoring, photo, etc.)
    Keywords
    Last Name
    Institution

    Junhao Mao PhD

    TitleAssociate Professor
    InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
    DepartmentCancer Biology
    AddressUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
    364 Plantation Street, LRB
    Worcester MA 01605
    Phone508-856-4149
      Other Positions
      InstitutionUMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
      DepartmentCancer Biology

        Overview 
        Narrative

        Biography

        Junhao Mao received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Rochester in 2002. He did his postdoctoral research at Harvard University from 2003 to 2008, where he was supported by the fellowships from Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and Charles A. King Trust. He joined the Department of Cancer Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in fall 2008. Dr. Mao was also a recipient of the Charles H. Hood Foundation Child Health Research Award in 2009 and the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award in 2011. .

        The Hedgehog (Hh) Signaling Pathway in Development and CancerJunhaoMao

        The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway, initially identified by its patterning activity in Drosophila embryos, playsmany distinct roles in vertebrate development. Deregulation of Hh signaling has also been implicated in the etiology of a wide range of human cancers. The overall goal of our research is to understand the mechanisms underlying molecular and cellular control of Hh signaling in mammalian organogenesis and tumorigenesis, with an emphasis on stem cell and progenitor cell function. Our current efforts consist of two separate projects.

        1. Hh signaling, stem cells, and childhood rhabdomyosarcoma
        Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a fast-growing, highly malignant skeletal muscle tumor and the most common soft-tissue sarcoma in children. Genetic evidence from both human and mouse has demonstrated a clear link between RMS and Hh signaling. To facilitate the study of Hh signaling in tumorigenesis, we have generated a novel, inducible somatic mouse model of Hh-related sporadic RMS. Using a combination of cell biological and mouse transgenic approaches, we are now examining the role of Hh signaling in muscle stem cell transformation and tumor initiation. We are also interested in exploring the possibility of Hh regulation of RMS cancer stem cells and in characterizing Gli-mediated transcriptional networks in Hh-related tumors.

        2. Hh-mediated mesenchymal regulation in gastrointestinal development and cancer
        Recent studies have revealed extensive involvement of Hh signaling in many tumors arising from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including carcinomas of the stomach, colon, and pancreas. Despite the significance of Hh in GI tumorigenesis, the exact function of Hh signaling in GI development remains unclear. We have identified a primary role for Hh proteins as mitogens for mesenchymal progenitor cells in the developing gut. We will examine the genetic and cellular interactions between the Hh signaling pathway and other critical pathways, such as BMP, Notch, IGF and Wnt in GI mesenchymal cell growth and differentiation. Such interactions might form the developmental and mechanistic basis for Hh participation in GI tumorigenesis.



        Post Docs

        Postdoctoral positions are available for this lab. Please contact Junhao Mao directly, 508-856-4149 or via email, Junhao.Mao@umassmed.edu



        Bibliographic 
        selected publications
        List All   |   Timeline
        1. Hettmer S, Teot LA, van Hummelen P, Macconaill L, Bronson RT, Dall'osso C, Mao J, McMahon AP, Gruber PJ, Grier HE, Rodriguez-Galindo C, Fletcher CD, Wagers AJ. Mutations in Hedgehog pathway genes in fetal rhabdomyomas. J Pathol. 2013 Sep; 231(1):44-52.
          View in: PubMed
        2. Wang J, Park JS, Wei Y, Rajurkar M, Cotton JL, Fan Q, Lewis BC, Ji H, Mao J. TRIB2 Acts Downstream of Wnt/TCF in Liver Cancer Cells to Regulate YAP and C/EBPa Function. Mol Cell. 2013 Jul 25; 51(2):211-25.
          View in: PubMed
        3. Huang H, Cotton JL, Wang Y, Rajurkar M, Zhu LJ, Lewis BC, Mao J. Specific Requirement of Gli Transcription Factors in Hedgehog-mediated Intestinal Development. J Biol Chem. 2013 Jun 14; 288(24):17589-96.
          View in: PubMed
        4. Goel HL, Pursell B, Chang C, Shaw LM, Mao J, Simin K, Kumar P, Kooi CW, Shultz LD, Greiner DL, Norum JH, Toftgard R, Kuperwasser C, Mercurio AM. GLI1 regulates a novel neuropilin-2/a6ß1 integrin based autocrine pathway that contributes to breast cancer initiation. EMBO Mol Med. 2013 Feb 21.
          View in: PubMed
        5. Kamberov YG, Wang S, Tan J, Gerbault P, Wark A, Tan L, Yang Y, Li S, Tang K, Chen H, Powell A, Itan Y, Fuller D, Lohmueller J, Mao J, Schachar A, Paymer M, Hostetter E, Byrne E, Burnett M, McMahon AP, Thomas MG, Lieberman DE, Jin L, Tabin CJ, Morgan BA, Sabeti PC. Modeling recent human evolution in mice by expression of a selected EDAR variant. Cell. 2013 Feb 14; 152(4):691-702.
          View in: PubMed
        6. Rajurkar M, De Jesus-Monge WE, Driscoll DR, Appleman VA, Huang H, Cotton JL, Klimstra DS, Zhu LJ, Simin K, Xu L, McMahon AP, Lewis BC, Mao J. The activity of Gli transcription factors is essential for Kras-induced pancreatic tumorigenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Apr 24; 109(17):E1038-47.
          View in: PubMed
        7. Kim TH, Kim BM, Mao J, Rowan S, Shivdasani RA. Endodermal Hedgehog signals modulate Notch pathway activity in the developing digestive tract mesenchyme. Development. 2011 Aug; 138(15):3225-33.
          View in: PubMed
        8. Kaneko S, Chen X, Lu P, Yao X, Wright TG, Rajurkar M, Kariya K, Mao J, Ip YT, Xu L. Smad inhibition by the Ste20 kinase Misshapen. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jul 5; 108(27):11127-32.
          View in: PubMed
        9. Mao J, Kim BM, Rajurkar M, Shivdasani RA, McMahon AP. Hedgehog signaling controls mesenchymal growth in the developing mammalian digestive tract. Development. 2010 May; 137(10):1721-9.
          View in: PubMed
        10. Hofmann I, Stover EH, Cullen DE, Mao J, Morgan KJ, Lee BH, Kharas MG, Miller PG, Cornejo MG, Okabe R, Armstrong SA, Ghilardi N, Gould S, de Sauvage FJ, McMahon AP, Gilliland DG. Hedgehog signaling is dispensable for adult murine hematopoietic stem cell function and hematopoiesis. Cell Stem Cell. 2009 Jun 5; 4(6):559-67.
          View in: PubMed
        11. Mao J, McGlinn E, Huang P, Tabin CJ, McMahon AP. Fgf-dependent Etv4/5 activity is required for posterior restriction of Sonic Hedgehog and promoting outgrowth of the vertebrate limb. Dev Cell. 2009 Apr; 16(4):600-6.
          View in: PubMed
        12. Schüller U, Heine VM, Mao J, Kho AT, Dillon AK, Han YG, Huillard E, Sun T, Ligon AH, Qian Y, Ma Q, Alvarez-Buylla A, McMahon AP, Rowitch DH, Ligon KL. Acquisition of granule neuron precursor identity is a critical determinant of progenitor cell competence to form Shh-induced medulloblastoma. Cancer Cell. 2008 Aug 12; 14(2):123-34.
          View in: PubMed
        13. Kim BM, Miletich I, Mao J, McMahon AP, Sharpe PA, Shivdasani RA. Independent functions and mechanisms for homeobox gene Barx1 in patterning mouse stomach and spleen. Development. 2007 Oct; 134(20):3603-13.
          View in: PubMed
        14. Kim BM, Mao J, Taketo MM, Shivdasani RA. Phases of canonical Wnt signaling during the development of mouse intestinal epithelium. Gastroenterology. 2007 Aug; 133(2):529-38.
          View in: PubMed
        15. Mao J, Ligon KL, Rakhlin EY, Thayer SP, Bronson RT, Rowitch D, McMahon AP. A novel somatic mouse model to survey tumorigenic potential applied to the Hedgehog pathway. Cancer Res. 2006 Oct 15; 66(20):10171-8.
          View in: PubMed
        16. Mao J, Barrow J, McMahon J, Vaughan J, McMahon AP. An ES cell system for rapid, spatial and temporal analysis of gene function in vitro and in vivo. Nucleic Acids Res. 2005; 33(18):e155.
          View in: PubMed
        17. Zhang Y, Wang Y, Li X, Zhang J, Mao J, Li Z, Zheng J, Li L, Harris S, Wu D. The LRP5 high-bone-mass G171V mutation disrupts LRP5 interaction with Mesd. Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Jun; 24(11):4677-84.
          View in: PubMed
        18. Jeong J, Mao J, Tenzen T, Kottmann AH, McMahon AP. Hedgehog signaling in the neural crest cells regulates the patterning and growth of facial primordia. Genes Dev. 2004 Apr 15; 18(8):937-51.
          View in: PubMed
        19. Weaver C, Farr GH, Pan W, Rowning BA, Wang J, Mao J, Wu D, Li L, Larabell CA, Kimelman D. GBP binds kinesin light chain and translocates during cortical rotation in Xenopus eggs. Development. 2003 Nov; 130(22):5425-36.
          View in: PubMed
        20. Mao J, Maye P, Kogerman P, Tejedor FJ, Toftgard R, Xie W, Wu G, Wu D. Regulation of Gli1 transcriptional activity in the nucleus by Dyrk1. J Biol Chem. 2002 Sep 20; 277(38):35156-61.
          View in: PubMed
        21. Boyden LM, Mao J, Belsky J, Mitzner L, Farhi A, Mitnick MA, Wu D, Insogna K, Lifton RP. High bone density due to a mutation in LDL-receptor-related protein 5. N Engl J Med. 2002 May 16; 346(20):1513-21.
          View in: PubMed
        22. Mao J, Wu D. Functional interaction of G alpha 13 with p115RhoGEF determined with transcriptional reporter system. Methods Enzymol. 2002; 345:404-10.
          View in: PubMed
        23. Li L, Mao J, Sun L, Liu W, Wu D. Second cysteine-rich domain of Dickkopf-2 activates canonical Wnt signaling pathway via LRP-6 independently of dishevelled. J Biol Chem. 2002 Feb 22; 277(8):5977-81.
          View in: PubMed
        24. Mao J, Wang J, Liu B, Pan W, Farr GH, Flynn C, Yuan H, Takada S, Kimelman D, Li L, Wu D. Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-5 binds to Axin and regulates the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. Mol Cell. 2001 Apr; 7(4):801-9.
          View in: PubMed
        25. Wong HC, Mao J, Nguyen JT, Srinivas S, Zhang W, Liu B, Li L, Wu D, Zheng J. Structural basis of the recognition of the dishevelled DEP domain in the Wnt signaling pathway. Nat Struct Biol. 2000 Dec; 7(12):1178-84.
          View in: PubMed
        26. Yuan H, Mao J, Li L, Wu D. Suppression of glycogen synthase kinase activity is not sufficient for leukemia enhancer factor-1 activation. J Biol Chem. 1999 Oct 22; 274(43):30419-23.
          View in: PubMed
        27. Li L, Yuan H, Weaver CD, Mao J, Farr GH, Sussman DJ, Jonkers J, Kimelman D, Wu D. Axin and Frat1 interact with dvl and GSK, bridging Dvl to GSK in Wnt-mediated regulation of LEF-1. EMBO J. 1999 Aug 2; 18(15):4233-40.
          View in: PubMed
        28. Li L, Yuan H, Xie W, Mao J, Caruso AM, McMahon A, Sussman DJ, Wu D. Dishevelled proteins lead to two signaling pathways. Regulation of LEF-1 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase in mammalian cells. J Biol Chem. 1999 Jan 1; 274(1):129-34.
          View in: PubMed
        29. Mao J, Yuan H, Xie W, Wu D. Guanine nucleotide exchange factor GEF115 specifically mediates activation of Rho and serum response factor by the G protein alpha subunit Galpha13. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Oct 27; 95(22):12973-6.
          View in: PubMed
        30. Mao J, Yuan H, Xie W, Simon MI, Wu D. Specific involvement of G proteins in regulation of serum response factor-mediated gene transcription by different receptors. J Biol Chem. 1998 Oct 16; 273(42):27118-23.
          View in: PubMed
        31. Mao J, Xie W, Yuan H, Simon MI, Mano H, Wu D. Tec/Bmx non-receptor tyrosine kinases are involved in regulation of Rho and serum response factor by Galpha12/13. EMBO J. 1998 Oct 1; 17(19):5638-46.
          View in: PubMed
        For assistance with using Profiles, please refer to the online tutorials or contact UMMS Help Desk or call 508-856-8643.
        Junhao's Networks
        Click the "See All" links for more information and interactive visualizations!
        Concepts
        _
        Co-Authors
        _
        Similar People
        _
        Same Department
        Physical Neighbors
        _

        This is an official Page/Publication of the University of Massachusetts Worcester Campus
        Office of the Vice Provost for Research, 55 Lake Ave North, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655
        Questions or Comments? Email: publicaffairs@umassmed.edu Phone: 508-856-1572