Guojun Wu






Guojun Wu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
840.2 HWCRC
4100 John R.
Detroit, MI 48201

Mentoring: Allison Mitchell ( Senior Students ) and C James Block ( MD/PhD )

Research Description:

My laboratory is focusing on deciphering the molecular mechanisms involved in human breast cancer initiation, progression and metastasis, as well as chemoresistance. Based on the mechanisms identified, we will then develop novel therapeutic strategies to overcome these clinical challenges with an eventual goal of curing malignant breast cancer.

Two major projects are currently underway in the laboratory.

1) Although metastasis and chemoresistance contribute to more than 90% of human cancer mortalities, the molecular mechanism of these processes remains largely unknown. My laboratory is in the process of identifying molecular signatures in EMT program and cancer stem cells. We intend to investigate the functional roles of these gene signatures in breast cancer metastasis and chemoresistance using integrative genetic, epigenetic and proteomic approach as well as animal models and clinical specimens. Novel targeted or combinational therapies will then be designed to inhibit metastasis and sensitize cancer cells to conventional chemotherapy.

2) A cell reprogramming technique has been used to convert heterogeneous malignant breast cancer cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) using Sox2/Oct4/Nanog proteins. We found that the malignancy of breast cancer cells was significantly decreased or reversed in vitro and in vivo after cell reprogramming. My laboratory is now clarifying these malignant breast cancer cells-derived iPSCs for their differentiation potential and oncogenic properties using a series of in vitro assays and in vivo mouse models. Our goal is to generate a live cancer progression cell model and to develop a novel cell converting therapy for malignant breast cancer treatment.

Selected Publications:

Meng F., Speyer CL., Zhang B., Zhao Y., Chen W., Gorski DH., Miller FR., Wu G. PDGFRα and β Play Critical Roles in Mediating Foxq1-Driven Breast Cancer Stemness and Chemoresistance. Cancer Res. 2015;75:584-93.

Meng F, Wu G. The rejuvenated scenario of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer metastasis. Cancer and Metastasis Reviews. 2012;31:455-67.

Zhang H, Meng F, Wu S., Kreike B., Chen W., Sethi S., Miller FR, Wu G..  Engagement of I-branching β-1, 6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase GCNT2 in Breast Cancer Metastasis and Transforming Growth Factor-β Signaling. Cancer Res., 2011;71:4846-56.

Meng F, Zhang H, Liu G, Kreike B., Chen W., Sethi S., Miller FR, Wu G.. P38gamma mitogen-activated protein kinase contributes to oncogenic properties maintenance and resistance to poly (ADP-ribose)-polymerase-1 inhibition in breast cancer. Neoplasia, 2011;13:472-82.

Zhang H, Meng F, Liu G, Zhang B, Zhu J, Wu F, Ethier SP, Miller FR, Wu G..  Forkhead Transcription Factor Foxq1 Promotes Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Breast Cancer Metastasis. Cancer Res., 2011; 71:1292-301.

Zhang H., Chen D., Ringler J, Chen W, Cui Q, Ethier SP, Dou QP., Wu G.. Disulfiram Treatment Facilitates PI3K Inhibition in Human Breast Cancer Cells In Vitro and In Vivo. Cancer Res., 2010;70:3996-4004.

Zhang H., Liu G., Dziubinski M., Yang Z., Ethier SP., Wu G.. Comprehensive analysis of oncogenic properties of PIK3CA Mutations in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2008; 112:217-27.

Zhou S, Kachhap S, Sun W., Wu G., Chuang A., Poeta L., Grumbine L., Mithani S., Chatterjee A., Koch W., Westra W., Maitra A., Glazer C., Garducci M., Sidransky D., Mcfate T., Verma A., Califano J.. Frequency and phenotypic implications of mitochondrial DNA mutations in human squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 2007;104:7540-5.

Wu G., Guo Z., Chang X., Kim M., Nagpal  J., Liu J, Maki JM., Kivirikko KI., Trink B., Sidransky D.. LOXL1 and LOXL4 are epigenetically silenced by hypermethylation and can inhibit RAS / ERK signaling pathway in human bladder cancer. Cancer Res., 2007;67:4123-9.

Wu G., Guo Z., Chatterjee A., Huang X., Mambo E., Osada M., Rubin E., Sukumar S., Sidransky D., Trink B. Overexpression of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) transamidase subunits phosphatidylinositol glycan class T and/or GPI anchor attachment 1 induces tumorigenesis and contributes to invasion in human breast cancer. Cancer Res., 2006;66:9829-36.

Guo Z., Linn JF., Wu G., Anzick SL., Eisenberger CF., Nomoto S., Halachmi S., Cohen Y., Okami K., Steiner G., Engles JM., Ratovitski E., Trent JM., Meltzer PS., Kiemeney B., Schoenberg MP., Sidransky D. and Trink B. PIG-U is a novel oncogene in human bladder cancer. Nature Med. 2004;10:3741.

Education and Training:
PhD (1998): Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Cancer Biology Courses Taught:
CB7210 Fundamentals of Cancer Biology (Course Co-Director)
CB7220 Molecular Biology of Cancer Development
CB7240 Principles of Cancer Therapy
CB7300 Special Topics F31 Grant Writing Course
CB7460 Mechanism of Neoplasia: Alterations to Cellular Signaling