Ju Chen, PhD 

Professor of Medicine



Contact Information

Department of Medicine
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0641
Phone: (858)822-4276

Dr. Ju Chen received his Ph.D. in Molecular/Human Genetics from Indiana University Medical School in 1994. After his postdoctoral fellowship at UCSD in the Department of Medicine (1994-1998), he joined the faculty of UCSD and is currently a Professor of Medicine.

Research Interests

Understanding the molecular basis of cardiac and skeletal muscle disease by utilizing genetically engineered mouse models, miniaturized physiological technology and a range of molecular and cell biological techniques.

Recent Publications

Xu X, Yang D, Ding JH, Wang W, Chu PH, Dalton ND, Wang HY; Bermingham Jr. JR, Ye Z, Liu F, Rosenfeld MG, Manley JL, Ross Jr. J, Chen J, Xiao RP, Cheng H, Fu XD. ASF/SF2 Regulated CaMKIIδ Alternative Splicing Temporally Reprograms Excitation-Contraction Coupling in Cardiac Muscle. Cell. 120:59-72. 2005

Liang X, Zhou Q, Li X, Sun Y, Lu M, Ross J. Jr, and Chen J. PINCH1 plays an essential role in early murine embryonic development but is dispensable in ventricular cardiomyocytes. Mol Cell Biol. 25:3056-3062. 2005

Wang J, Shaner N, Mittal B, Zhou Q, Chen J, Sanger JM, and Sanger JW. Dynamics of Z-Band Based Proteins in Developing Skeletal Muscle Cells. Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 61:34-48. 2005

Cai C-L, Zhou W, Yang L, Bu L, Qyang Y, Zhang X, Rosenfeld MG, Chen J, and Evans S. Regulation of N-myc transcription by T-box genes dictates regional rates of proliferation during organogenesis. Development. 132:2475-87. 2005

García-Rivello H, Taranda J, Said M, Cabeza-Meckert P, Vila-Petroff M, Scaglione J, Ghio S, Chen J, Lai C, Laguens RP, Lloyd KC, and Hertig CM. Dilated cardiomyopathy in Erb-b4-deficient ventricular muscle. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 289:H1153-60. 2005

Li X, Zima AV, Sheikh F, Blatter, LA, and Chen J. Endothelin-1-induced arrhythmogenic Ca2+ signaling is abolished in atrial myocytes of inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate(IP3)-receptor type 2-deficient mice. Circ Res. 96:1274 – 1281. 2005

Bai S, Kitaura H, Zhao H, Chen J, Muller JM, Schuele R, Darnay B, Novack DV, Ross FP, and Teitelbaum SL. FHL2 inhibits the activated osteoclast in a TRAF6 dependent manner. J. Clin Invest. 115: 2742-2751. 2005

Lai CF, Bai S, Uthgenannt BA, Halstead LR, McLoughlin P, Schafer BW, Chu PH, Chen J, Otey CA, Cao X, Cheng, SL. Four and Half Lim Protein 2 (FHL2) Stimulates Osteoblast Differentiation. J Bone Miner Res. 21:17-28. 2006

Peng X, Kraus MS, Wei H, ShenTL, Pariaut M, Alcaraz A, Ji G, Cheng L, Yang Q, Kotlikoff MI, Chen J, Chien K, Gu H, and Guan JL. Inactivation of focal adhesion kinase in cardiomyocytes promotes cardiac eccentric hypertrophy and fibrosis in mice. J Clin Invest. 116: 217 - 227. 2006

Wu X, Zhang T, Bossuyt J, Li X, McKinsey T, Dedman JR, Olson EN, Chen J, Brown JH, Bers DM. Excitation-Transcription Coupling in Adult Cardiac Myocytes: Local InsP3-dependent Perinuclear Ca Signaling Activates HDAC5 Nuclear Export. J. Clin Invest. 116: 675-682. 2006

Bang ML, Li X, Littlefield R, Bremner S, Thor A, Knowlton KU, Lieber RL, and Chen J. Nebulin deficient mice exhibit shorter thin filament lengths and reduced contractile function in skeletal muscle. J Cell Biol. 173:905-916. 2006.

Ricote M, Snyder CS, Leung HY, Chen J, Chien KR, Glass CK J Leukoc Biol. Normal hematopoiesis after conditional targeting of RXR{alpha} in murine hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. J Leukoc Biol. 80:850-61. 2006

Sheikh F, Chen Y, Liang X, Hirschy A, Stenbit AE, Gu Y, Dalton ND, Yajima T, Lu Y, Knowlton KU, Peterson KL, Perriard JC, and Chen J. alpha E-catenin Inactivation Disrupts the Cardiomyocyte Adherens Junction Resulting in Cardiomyopathy and Susceptibility to Wall Rupture. Circulation. 114:1046-55. 2006

Govoni KE, Baylink DJ, Chen J, Mohan S. Disruption of Four-and-a-Half LIM 2 Decreases Bone Mineral Content and Bone Mineral Density in Femur and Tibia Bones of Female Mice. Calcif Tissue Int. 79:112-7. 2006

Kudo LC, Karsten SL, Chen J, Levitt P, Geschwind DH. Genetic analysis of anterior-posterior expression gradients in the developing mammalian forebrain. Cereb Cortex. 17:2108-22. 2007

Xiong D, Yajima T, Stenbit, A, Dublin A, Dalton N, Summers-Torres D, Molkentin JD, Duplain H, Chen J, Knowlton KU. Cardiac Restricted, Inducible Expression of Enteroviral Protease 2A is Sufficient to Induce Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Circulation. 115:94-10. 2007

Sun Y, Liang X, Najafi N, Cass M, Lin L, Cai C, Chen J, and Evans S. Islet 1 is expressed in distinct cardiovascular lineages, including pacemaker and coronary vascular cells. Dev Biol. 304:286-96

Liang X, Sun Y, Schneider J, Ding JH, Cheng H, Ye M, Bhattacharya S, Rearden A, Evans SM, and Chen J. Pinch1 is required for Normal Development of Cranial and Cardiac Neural Crest Derived Structures. Circ Res. 100:527-35 2007

Barash IA, Bang ML, Mathew L, Greaser ML, Chen J, and Lieber RL. Structural and Regulatory Roles of the Muscle Ankyrin Repeat Protein Family in Skeletal Muscle. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 293:C218-27. 2007

Luo D, Yang D, Lan X, Li K, Li X, Chen J, Zhang Y, Xiao RP, Han Q, and Cheng H Nuclear Ca2+ sparks and waves mediated by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. Cell Calcium. 2007 Jun 19; [Epub ahead of print].

Fiacco TA, Agulhon C, Taves SR, Petravicz J, Casper KB, Dong X, Chen J, and McCarthy KD. Selective stimulation of astrocyte Ca2+ in situ using astrocyte-specific expression of Gq-coupled receptor does not affect excitatory synaptic activity, elevate neuronal Ca2+, or produce neuronal slow inward currents. Neuron, 54:611-626. 2007.

Bao X, Lu CM, Liu F, Gu Y, Dalton N, Zhu BQ, Foster E, Chen J, Karliner JS, Ross J. Jr., Simpson PC, Ziegler MG. Epinephrine Is Required for Normal Cardiovascular Responses to Stress in the Phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase Knockout Mouse. Circulation. 116:1024-3. 2007

Lin L, Cui L, Zhou W, Dufort D, Zhang X, Cai CL, Bu L, Yang L, Kemler R, Rosenfeld M, Chen J, Evans SM. -catenin directly regulates islet1 expression in cardiovascular progenitors, and is required for multiple aspects of cardiogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 104:9313-8. 2007

Lucitti JL, Jones EAV, Huang C, Chen J, Fraser SE, Dickinson ME. Vascular Remodeling of the Mouse Yolk Sac Requires Hemodynamic Force. Development. 134:3317-26. 2007

Gustafson-Wagner EA, Sinn HW, Chen YL, Wang DZ, Reiter RS, Lin JL, Yang B, Williamson RA, Chen J, Lin CI, Lin JJ. Loss of mXin{alpha}, an intercalated disc protein, results in cardiac hypertrophy and cardiomyopathy with conduction defects. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 293:H2680-92, 2007

Sheikh F and Chen J. Mouse models for cardiomyopathy research. In: Progress in Pediatric Cardiology. 24:24-32, 2007. Review

Sheikh F, Bang ML, Lange, S, and Chen J. “Z”eroing in on the role of Cypher in striated muscle function, signaling and human disease. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine. 17:259-263. 2007. Review article

Zhang J, Bang ML, Gokhin DS, Lu Y, Cui L, Li X, Gu Y, Dalton N, Scimia MC, Peterson K, Lieber RL, and Chen J. Syncoilin is required for generating maximum isometric stress in skeletal muscle but dispensable for muscle cytoarchitecture. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 294:C1175-82. 2008

Labalette C, Nouët Y, Sobczak-Thepot J, Armengol C, Levillayer F, Gendron MC, Renard CA, Regnault B, Chen J, Buendia MA, Wei Y. The LIM-only protein FHL2 regulates cyclin D1 expression and cell proliferation. J Biol Chem. 283:15201-8. 2008

Peng X, Wu X, Druso JE, Wei H, Park AY, Kraus MS, Alcaraz A, Chen J, Chien S, Cerione RA, Guan JL. Cardiac developmental defects and eccentric right ventricular hypertrophy in cardiomyocyte focal adhesion kinase (FAK) conditional knockout mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 105(18):6638-43. 2008

Cai CL, Martin JC, Sun Y, Cui L, Wang L, Ouyang K, Yang L, Bu L, Liang X, Zhang X, Stallcup WB, Denton CP, McCulloch A, Chen J, and Evans SM. A myocardial lineage derives from Tbx18 epicardial cells. Nature, 454:104-8. 2008

Lim BK, Xiong D, Dorner A, Youn TJ, Yung A, Liu T, Gu Y, Dalton ND, Wright AT, Evans SM, Chen J, Peterson KL, McCulloch AD, Yajima T, and Knowlton KU. Coxsackievirus and Adenovirus Receptor (CAR) in the Heart is Essential for Atrioventricular-node Function and Localization of Connexin 45. J Clin Invest. 118:2758-70 2008

Wang W, Fang H, Groom L, Cheng A, Zhang W, Liu J, Wang X, Li K, Han P, Zheng M, Yin J, Wang W, Mattson MP, Kao JPY, Lakatta EG, Sheu SS, Ouyang K, Chen J, Dirksen RT, Cheng H. Superoxide Flashes in Single Mitochondria. Cell, 134:279-90. 2008

Park HS, Betzenhauser MJ, Won JH, Chen J, Yule DJ. The type-2 insp3 receptor determines the sensitivity of insp3-induced ca2+ Release to atp in pancreatic acinar cells. J Biol Chem. 283:26081-8. 2008

Vasilevski O, Grubb DR, Filtz TM, Yang S, McLeod-Dryden TJ, Luo J, Karna D, Chen J, Woodcock EA. Ins(1,4,5)P(3) regulates phospholipase Cbeta1 expression in cardiomyocytes. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 45:679-84. 2008

Chu PH, Yeh LK, Lin HC, Jung SM, Ma D HK, Wang IJ , Wu HH, Shiu TF, and Chen J. Deletion of the FHL2 Gene Attenuates Neovascularization after Corneal Injury. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 49(12):5314-8. 2008

Chen Q, Chen H, Zheng D, Kuang C, Fang H, Zou B, Zhu W, Bu G, Jin T, Wang Z, Zhang X, Chen J, Field LJ, Rubart M, Shou W, Chen Y. Smad7 is required for the development and function of heart. J Biol Chem. 2008 Oct 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Sheikh F, Raskin A, Chu PH, Lange S, Domenighetti AA, Zheng M, Liang X, Zhang T, Yajima Y, Gu Y, Dalton ND, Mahata SK, Dorn II GW,, Brown JH, Peterson KL, Omens JH, McCulloch AD, and Chen J. An FHL1-containing Complex within the Cardiomyocyte Sarcomere Mediates Hypertrophic Biomechanical Stress Responses in Mice. J Clin Invest. 2008 Nov 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Zheng M, Cheng H, Li X, Zhang J, Cui L, Ouyang K, Han L, Zhao T, Gu Y, Dalton ND, Bang ML, Peterson KL, and Chen J. Cardiac-Specific Ablation of Cypher Leads to a Severe Form of Dilated Cardiomyopathy with Premature Death. Hum Mol Genet. 2008 November 21. [Epub ahead of print]