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Jianwei JIAO, Ph. D.

Neural Stem Cell and Neurogenesis

Co-workers: Fen Ji, Xiaohui Lv, Hong Li, Juan Zhang, Zixiao Shi, Shukun Wang, Xuepei Lei, Qingli Liang, Tianjin Shen, Wenlong Xia, Baoguo Li

· JIAO Group website


  Our laboratory studies what mechanisms control stem cells to become neurons for repairing neurodegenerative diseases and how to generate induced neuronal (iN) cells. There are several ongoing projects in our lab.

  1. Studying the mechanisms involving neural stem cell proliferation and neurogenesis During mammalian embryonic brain development, the generation of three major neural cell types (neuron, astrocyte and oliogodentryocyte) from neural stem cell follows an evolutionarily conserved temporal and spatial sequence. Neurogenesis precedes gliogenesis throughout the central nervous system (CNS). Both cell intrinsic factors and extracellular cues have been postulated to influence the neurogenic to gliogenic switch. We will use several strategies to identify what signaling molecules that control this process. We are also interested in studying what mechanisms control adult neural stem cell proliferation and neurogenesis.

  2. Generating induced neuronal cells The direct conversion of somatic mouse fibroblasts to induced neuronal cells has been reported by transfection of neuronal specific transcription factors. We aim to generate iN cells from fibroblasts using non-integration adenovirus system and find whether other transcription factors can be used to convert fibroblasts to neurons with high efficiency.

Studying trans-differentiation from fibroblasts to neurons

Studying epigenetic molecules in neural stem cell and neurogenesis


Plain English:
Our laboratory focuses on studying what mechanisms and signaling pathways control stem cell proliferation and neurogenesis. Identification of neuron-specific genes or miRNAs from neural stem cells is the direction of this study. There are several research directions including what mechanisms involving neural stem cell proliferation and neurogenesis and how to convert fibroblasts to neurons.


Selected publications:

  1. Ji F, Wang W, Feng C, Gao F, Jiao J*. Brain-specific Wt1 deletion leads to depressive-like behaviors in mice via the recruitment of Tet2 to modulate Epo expression. Mol Psychiatry. 2020 doi: 10.1038/s41380-020-0759-8.
  2. Feng C, Zhao J, Ji F, Su L, Chen Y, Jiao J*. TCF20 dysfunction leads to cortical neurogenesis defects and autistic-like behaviors in mice. EMBO Rep. 2020 doi:10.15252/embr.201949239.
  3. Liang Q, Su L, Zhang D, Jiao J*. CD93 negatively regulates astrogenesis in response to MMRN2 through the transcriptional repressor ZFP503 in the developing brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2020 doi:10.1073/pnas.1922713117
  4. Su L, Lei X, Ma H, Feng C, Jiang J, Jiao J*. PRDM16 orchestrates angiogenesis via neural differentiation in the developing brain. Cell Death Differ. 2020 doi: 10.1038/s41418-020-0504-5.
  5. Li Y, Jiao J*. Deficiency of TRPM2 leads to embryonic neurogenesis defects in hyperthermia. Science Advances. 2020 6:eaay6350.
  6. Li Z, Li Y, Jiao J*. Neural progenitor cells mediated by H2A.Z.2 regulate microglial development via Cxcl14 in the embryonic brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2019 116:24122-24132.
  7. Xia W, Su L, Jiao J*. Cold-induced protein RBM3 orchestrates neurogenesis via modulating Yap mRNA stability during cold stress. J Cell Biol. 2018 217:3464-3479.
  8. Su L, Xia W, Shen T, Liang Q, Wang W, Li H, Jiao J*. H2A.Z.1 crosstalk with H3K56-acetylation controls gliogenesis through the transcription of folate receptor. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 46:8817-8831.
  9. Lei X, Jiao J*. UTX affects neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation through PTEN signaling. Stem Cell Reports. 2018 10:1193-1207.
  10. Qiao H, Li Y, Feng C, Duo S, Ji F, Jiao J*. Nap1l1 controls embryonic neural progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation in the developing brain. Cell Rep. 2018 22:2279-2293.
  11. Shen T, Ji F, Wang Y, Lei X, Zhang D, Jiao J*. Brain-specific deletion of histone variant H2A.z results in cortical neurogenesis defects and neurodevelopmental disorder. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 46:2290-2307.
  12. Liang Q, Xia W, Li W, Jiao J*. RNF20 controls astrocytic differentiation through epigenetic regulation of STAT3 in the developing brain. Cell Death Differ. 2018 25:294-306.
  13. Li Y, Jiao J*. Histone chaperone HIRA regulates neural progenitor cell proliferation and neurogenesis via β-catenin. J Cell Biol. 2017 216:1975-1992.
  14. Xia W, Jiao J*. Histone variant H3.3 orchestrates neural stem cell differentiation in the developing brain. Cell Death Differ. 2017 24:1548-1563.
  15. Ji F, Shen T, Zou W, Jiao J*. UCP2 regulates embryonic neurogenesis via ROS-Mediated Yap alternation in the developing neocortex. Stem Cells. 2017 35:1479-1492.
  16. Yan L, Li Y, Shi Z, Lu X, Ma J, Hu B, Jiao J*, Wang H*. The zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (Zeb1) promotes the conversion of mouse fibroblasts into functional neurons. J Biol Chem. 2017 292:12959-12970.
  17. Zhang J, Chen S, Zhang D, Shi Z, Li H, Zhao T, Hu B, Zhou Q, Jiao J*. Tet3-Mediated DNA demethylation contributes to the direct conversion of fibroblast to functional neuron. Cell Rep. 2016 17:2326–2339.
  18. Wang S, Liang Q, Qiao H, Li H, Shen T, Ji F, Jiao J*. DISC1 regulates astrogenesis in the embryonic brain via modulation of RAS/MEK/ERK signaling through RASSF7. Development. 2016 143:2732-2740.
  19. Jiang H, Lv X, Lei X, Yang Y, Yang X, Jiao J*. Immune regulator MCPIP1 modulates TET expression during early neocortical development. Stem Cell Reports. 2016 7:439-453.
  20. Shi Z, Zhang J, Chen S, Li Y, Lei X, Qiao H, Zhu Q, Hu B, Zhou Q, Jiao J*. Conversion of Fibroblasts to Parvalbumin Neurons by One Transcription Factor, Ascl1, and the Chemical Compound Forskolin. J Biol Chem. 2016 291:13560-13570.
  21. Shen T, Ji F, Yuan Z, Jiao J*. CHD2 is required for embryonic neurogenesis in the developing cerebral cortex. Stem Cells. 2015 33:1794-1806.
  22. Xia W, Liu Y, Jiao J*. GRM7 regulates embryonic neurogenesis via CREB and YAP. Stem Cell Reports. 2015 4:795-810.
  23. Lv X, Jiang H, Liu Y, Lei X, Jiao J*. MicroRNA-15b promotes neurogenesis and inhibits neural progenitor proliferation by directly repressing TET3 during early neocortical development. EMBO Rep. 2014 15:1305-1314.
  24. Wang S, Li B, Qiao H, Lv X, Liang Q, Shi Z, Xia W, Ji F, Jiao J*. Autophagy-related gene Atg5 is essential for astrocyte differentiation in the developing mouse cortex. EMBO Rep. 2014 15:1053-1061.
  25. Zhang J, Ji F, Liu Y, Lei X, Li H, Ji G, Yuan Z, Jiao J*. Ezh2 regulates adult hippocampal neurogenesis and memory. J Neurosci. 2014 34:5184-5199.
  26. Huang W, She L, Chang X, Yang R, Wang L, Ji H, Jiao J, Poo M. Protein kinase LKB1 regulates polarized dendriteformation of adult hippocampal newborn neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014 111:469-474.
  27. Shi Z, Shen T, Liu Y, Huang Y, Jiao J*. Retinoic acid receptor gamma (Rarg) and nuclear receptor subfamily 5, group A, member 2 (Nr5a2) promote conversion of fibroblasts to functional neurons. J Biol Chem. 2014 289:6415-6428.
  28. Lv X, Jiang H, Li B, Liang Q, Wang S, Zhao Q, Jiao J*. The crucial role of Atg5 in cortical neurogenesis during early brain development. Sci Rep. 2014 4:6010.
  29. Meng F, Chen S, Miao Q, Zhou K, Lao Q, Zhang X, Guo W, Jiao J*. Induction of fibroblasts to neurons through adenoviral gene delivery. Cell Res. 2012 22:436-440.
  30. Jiao J, Feldheim DA, Chen DF. Ephrins as negative regulators of adult neurogenesis in diverse regions of the central nervous system. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008 105: 8778-8783.
  31. Jiao J, Chen DF. Induction of neurogenesis in non-conventional neurogenic regions of the adult CNS by niche astrocyte-produced signals, Stem Cells. 2008 26:1221-1230.
  32. Jiao J, Huang X, Feit-Leithman RA, Neve RL, Snider W, Dartt DA, Chen DF. Bcl-2 enhances Ca2+ signaling to support the intrinsic regenerative capacity of CNS axons. EMBO J. 2005 24:1068-1078.