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Dr. Hungwen Chen
Research Fellow
Room 609, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica
128, Academia Road Sec. 2, Nankang, Taipei 115, Taiwan
TEL: +886-2-2785-5696 ext. 6090
FAX: +886-2-2788-9759
hwchen@gate.sinica.edu.tw

The research goal of my laboratory aims at unraveling the molecular mechanism underlying the differentiation of placental trophoblast cell, which is the first differentiated cell lineage during embryogenesis and is essential for implantation and placentation. Specifically, we study how trophoblast cells undergo cell fusion to form a multinucleated cell layer, the syncytiotrophoblast layer, which mediates gas and nutrient exchange between fetus and mother and produces growth factors and hormones essential for pregnancy maintenance. Recently, we have demonstrated that the placental transcription factor GCMa mediates trophoblastic fusion by upregulating expression of the placental fusogenic protein syncytin and that a decreased expression of GCMa gene is associated with the common pregnancy disorder pre-eclampsia. We have further demonstrated that GCMa activity is controlled by different post-translational modifications. The F-box protein FBW2 recognizes and promotes GCMa ubiquitination for proteasome degradation. On the contrary, the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway stabilizes GCMa protein via its downstream factor CBP, which catalyze GCMa acetylation and protects GCMa from ubiquitination. In addition, GCMa undergoes sumoylation, which decreases the DNA-binding activity of GCMa. Overall, syncytiotrophoblast differentiation can be regulated by post-translational modification of GCMa. The undergoing projects are to study additional signaling pathways and protein modifications that regulate placental cell differentiation.

- 1994 Ph.D., Physiology, University of Florida.
- 1986 B.S., Zoology, National Taiwan University.

2008,03 - present Research Fellow, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica
2003,05 - 2008,03 Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica
1996,05 - 2003,05 Assistant Research Fellow, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica.
1994 - 1996 Visiting Fellow , Human Genetics Branch, NICHD, NIH.
1991 - 1994 Adjunct Scientist, Human Genetics Branch, NICHD, NIH.

    Publications List
A novel cAMP/Epac1/CaMKI signaling cascade promotes GCM1 desumoylation and placental cell fusion.
Chang, C.W.; Chang, G.D.; Chen, H. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2011)
Dual-specificity phosphatase 23 mediates GCM1 dephosphorylation and activation.
Lin, F.Y.; Chang, C.W.; Cheong, M.L.; Chen, H.C.; Lee, D.Y.; Chang, G.D.; Chen, H. Nucleic Acids Res. (2011)
GCM1 Regulation of the Expression of Syncytin-2 and Its Cognate Receptor MFSD2A in Placenta.
Liang, C.Y.; Wang, L.J.; Chen, C.P.; Chen, L.F.; Chen, Y.H.; Chen, H. Biol. Reprod. (2010)
Gcm Protein Degradation Suppresses Proliferation of Glial Progenitors.
Ho, M.; Chen, H.; Chen, M.; Jacques, C.; Giangrande, A.; and Chien, C.T. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2009)
Mechanism of Hypoxia-Induced GCM1 Degradation: Implications for the Pathogenesis of Preeclampsia.
Chiang, M.H.; Liang, F.Y.; Chen, C.P.; Chang, C.W.; Cheong, M.L.; Wang, L.J.; Liang, C.Y.; Lin, F.Y.; Chou, C.C.; Chen, H. J. Biol. Chem. (2009)
Functional Characterization of the Human Placental Fusogenic Membrane Protein Syncytin 2.
Chen, C.P.; Chen, L.F.; Yang, S.R.; Chen, C.Y.; Ko, C.C.; Chang, G.D.; Chen, H. Biol. Reprod. (2008)
Ubiquitin-Conjugating Enzyme UBE2D2 Is Responsible for F-Box and WD Repeat Domain Containing 2-Mediated Human Glial Cell Missing Homolog 1 Ubiquitination and Degradation.
Chiang, M.H.; Chen, L.F.; Chen, H. Biol. Reprod. (2008)
Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier Modification Regulates the DNA Binding Activity of Glial Cell Missing Drosophila Homolog a.
Chou, C.C.; Chang, C.W.; Liu J.H.; Hsiao, C.D.; Chen, H. J. Biol. Chem. (2007)
Thiazolidinediones Modulate the Expression of Beta-Catenin and Other Cell-Cycle Regulatory Proteins by Targeting the F-Box Proteins of SCF E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Independently of PPAR Gamma.
Wei, S.; Lin, L.F.; Yang, C.C.; Wang, Y.C.; Chang, G.D.; Chen, H.; Chen, C.S. Mol. Pharm. (2007)
Histone Deacetylase 3 Binds to and Regulates the GCMa Transcription Factor.
Chuang, H.C.; Chang, C.W.; Chang, G.D.; Yao, T.P.; Chen, H. Nucleic Acids Res. (2006)

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