Shijie Sheng

Shijie Sheng, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Pathology
Program Leader, Tumor Microenvironment Program
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:

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.

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.

Bernardo MM, Kaplun A, Dzinic SH, Li X, Irish J, Mujagic A, Jakupovic B, Back JB, Van Buren E, Han X, Dean I, Chen YQ, Heath E, Sakr W, and Sheng S. Maspin Expression in Prostate Tumor Cells Averts Stemness and Stratify Drug Sensitivity. Cancer Res 2015;75: 3970-9.

Dzinic SH, Chen K, Thakur A, Kaplun A, Bonfil, RD, Li X, Liu J, Bernardo MM, Saliganan A, Back JB, Yano H, Schalk DL, Tomaszewski, EN, Beydoun AS, Dyson G, Mujagic A, Krass D, Dean I, Mi Q-S, Heath E, Sakr W, Lum LG, and Sheng S. Maspin Expression in Prostate Tumor Elicits Host Anti-tumor Immunity. Oncotarget 2015; 5:11225-36.

Sheng S. Maspin, in Encyclopedia of Cancer 4th Edition, Ed, Schwab M, Springer, Heidelberg, Germany 2015 pp1-5.

Dzinic SH, Bernardo MM, Wahba M, Oliveira DSM, and Sheng S. A role of Tumor Suppressor Maspin in Immunomodulation, Activation and Differentiation of Neutrophils. Bosnian J of Basic Med Sci 2015;15:1-6.

Lonardo F, Guan H, Dzinic SH, and Sheng S. Maspin expression patterns differ in the invasive vs. lepidic growth pattern of pulmonary adenocarcinoma. Histopath 2014;65:757-63.

Dzinic SH, Kaplun A, Li X, Bernardo MM, Meng Y, Dean I, Krass D, Stemmer P, Shin N, Lonardo F, and Sheng S. Identification of an Intrinsic Determinant Critical for Maspin Subcellular Localization and Function. PloS One 2013;11, e74502.

Kaplun A, Bernardo MM, Dzinic SH, Li X, Dean I, Jakupovic B, Liu J, Heath E, Sakr W, and Sheng S. Chapter 15-Towards Curative Cancer Therapy with Maspin: A Unique Window of Opportunity to Target Cancer Dormancy, in Epigenetics and Cancer. Editor: Sarkar, FH, Springer Publisher, 2013 pp273-80.

Wang Y, Sheng S, Zhang J, Dzinic SH, Li S, Fang F, Wu N, Zheng Q, and Yang Y. Elevated Maspin Expression Is Associated with Better Overall Survival in Esophageal Squamous Cell Cancer (ESCC). PloS One 2013;8(5):e63581 (Sheng and Yang are corresponding authorship) 

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