Shijie Sheng


Shijie Sheng, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Pathology & Oncology
Karmanos Cancer Institute 540 E. Canfield
Detroit, MI 48201

Research Interests:

  • Progression and metastasis of prostate cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer
  • Extracellular matrix remodeling and tumor redifferentiation
  • Endogenous regulation of protein deacetylation and tumor drug sensitivity
  • Tumor markers

Research Description:
Dr. Sheng was one of the co-discovers of the tumor suppressor gene maspin, and she continues to be a leader in the maspin field. Through her research over the last 17 years, she has published a total of 58 manuscripts on maspin, 37 of which were original reports. Together with her colleagues, Dr. Sheng has made a number of breakthroughs in the study of the biological functions and underlying molecular mechanisms of maspin. Major observations include: (i) maspin is differentially expressed in the progression of breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and oral squamous cell carcinoma; (ii) maspin inhibits tumor invasion and metastasis; (iii) maspin protein acts on the cell surface to retard cell detachment and block tumor cell motility; (iv) maspin does not act as a serine protease inhibitor, but as a serine protease-like protein to antagonize serine protease-like molecules such as zymogen urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1); (v) intracellular maspin sensitized tumor cell apoptosis; (vi) nuclear maspin correlates with better tumor prognosis; (vii) maspin reprograms prostate tumor cells for differentiation in vivo and in a 3D in vitro model; and (viii) maspin mRNA can be detected prostate cancer patients in response to drug treatment.

Dr. Sheng has been collaborating with a group of colleagues with a broad spectrum of expertise in cancer research both in basic science and in clinical research, and her laboratory approaches encompass the biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, animal models, molecular diagnosis and prognosis of cancer, cancer clinical trials, as well as novel methods of drug delivery. Currently, Dr. Sheng's laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying the biological activities of maspin in suppressing prostate tumor metastasis to the bone, in redifferentiating tumor cells in their tissue microenvironment, and in sensitizing prostate tumor cells to drug-induced apoptosis. In addition, Dr. Sheng's laboratory studies how maspin may serve as a marker for lung cancer prognosis, and as a surrogate marker for prostate cancer patients' responses to experimental therapies in clinical trials.

Selected Publications:

Zhang M, Hendrix MJC, Pemberton PA, Sakr WA, and Sheng S. An Essential Role of Maspin in Embryogenesis and Tumor Suppression-Response. Cancer Res, 2017;77:5208-10.

Dzinic SH, Bernardo MM, Li X, Fernandez-Valdivia R, Ho Y-S, Mi Q-S, Bandyopadhyay S, Lonardo F,  Vranic S, Oliveira DSM, Bonfil DR, Dyson G, Chen K, Omerovic A, Sheng X, Han X, Wu D, Bi X, Cabaravdic D*, Jakupovic U*, Wahba M, Pang A, Harajli D, Sakr WA, and Sheng S. An Essential Role of Maspin in Embryogenesis and Tumor Suppression.  Cancer Res. 2017;77:1–11.

Kidder BL, He R, Wangsa D, Padilla-Nash HM, Bernardo MM, Sheng S, Ried T, Zhao K. SMYD5 controls heterochromatin and chromosome integrity during embryonic stem cell differentiation, Cancer Res,  2017;77:6729-45.

Dean I, Dzinic SH, Bernardo MM, Zou Y, Kimber V, Li X, Kaplun A, Granneman J, Mao G, and Sheng S,  The secretion and biological function of tumor suppressor maspin as an exosome cargo protein, Oncotarget 2016;8:8043-56.

Education and Training:
BS (1986): Beijing University, China
PhD (1993): University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida
Post-Doc (1997): Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Cancer Biology Courses Taught:
CB7220 Molecular Biology of Cancer Development