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Dr. Meng Cai

Meng Cai

Meng was awarded his PhD in 2007 from Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China. 

My PhD focuses on the transcriptional gene regulation mechanisms in the Rice. To be specific, the mechanisms of how transcription factors and promoter cis-elements work together to control a tissue-specific gene (D54O)and a pathogen-inducible gene (D53I) mRNA transcription. The research resulted in the finding of novel promoter cis-elements responsible for tissue-specific and pathogen-inducible transcription and identified potential transcription factors which bind to these novel cis-elements. These finding has published in two high impact plant research journals. 

My research interest after my PhD is still in the gene transcriptional regulation either in the plant, animal or human, especially in the human diseases. The success in the plant study promoted me to continue my work in human disease and joined Prof. Asif Ahmed’s group in 2008.    

Ph.D 2001-2007:

The National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.

Major: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Bachelor of Science 1998-2001:        

College of Life science and technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China

Major: Biology Technology

  1. Characterized the role of p21WAF1 in regulating angiogenesis pathway and identified the link of angiogenesis (development) and cell proliferation signaling.  
  2. The signaling pathway of recombinant VEGF/PlGF hetero-dimer in human endothelial cells. 
  3. The microRNAs which control sFlt-1 (a negative regulator of angiogenesis) expression.
  4. The microRNAs (miR-152 and miR-195) which regulate angiogenesis and endothelial cell proliferation in endothelial cells and in the mouse.

 

  1. Supervision on BmedSci project students. I have supervised the project students (totally two) for 10 weeks. 
  2. Molecular cloning of the plasmids for making transgenic mouses, including plasmids for tetracycline inducible expressed sFlt-1 transgenic mouse and tissue-specific expressed BVR transgenic mouse. 
  3. Generate the chimeric proteins and protein mutations for functional study.  Generated KDR (VEGF-R2) receptor phosphorylation sites mutants and the CSF (colony stimulating factor)-KDR chimeric constructs. 
  4. Generate adenovirus, AAV and lenti-virus. I have generated ad-CTH adenovirus with help from company, as well as the AAV virus which express microRNA-152 and microRNA-195 and also the lenti-viral plasmids which over-expressing LRIG1 (a novel angiogenic factor), KDR and its mutations. 
  5. Role of Biliverdin Reductase (BVR) in the protection of damage caused by Cisplatin (a chemotherapy reagent). 

 

Patent name: Pathogen inducible promoter POsDR3 and its use in rice disease resistance genetic improvement. 

Applicant: Meng Cai, Shiping Wang, Yinglong Cao.

Reference No.: 200610018888.7


Patent name: Tissue-specific expression promoter PD54O and its use in rice genetic improvement. 

Applicant: Meng Cai, Shiping Wang, Jun Wei.

Reference No.: 200710051443.3


  • Resveratrol inhibits the release of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase (sFlt-1) from human placenta. Cudmore MJ, Ramma W, Cai M, Fujisawa T, Ahmad S, Al-Ani B, Ahmed A. (Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2012, 206:253.e10-5)
  • Heterodimerization of VEGFR-1 (Flt-1) with VEGFR-2 (KDR) regulates endothelial vascular homeostasis and angiogenesis. Melissa Cudmore, Peter Hewett, Shakil Ahmad, Ke-Qing Wang, Meng Cai, Bahjat Al-Ani, Takeshi Fujisawa, Bin Ma, Samir Sissaoui, Wenda Ramma, Mark R. Miller, David E. Newby, Yuchun Gu, Bernhard Barleon, Herbert Weich, and Asif Ahmed. (Nat Commun. 2012, Jul 24; 3:972. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1977)
  • Dysregulation of the hydrogen sulfide (H2S)-producing enzyme cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE) contributes to maternal hypertension and placental abnormalities in preeclampsia. Keqing Wang, Meng Cai, Jillian Rennie, Takeshi Fujisawa, Melissa J. Cudmore, James Baily, Patrick W. F. Hadoke, Irina A. Buhimschi, Catlin S. Buhimschi, Shakil Ahmad and Asif Ahmed. (Circulation. 2013;127:2514-2522) 
  • Loss of Akt activity increases circulating soluble endoglin release in preeclampsia: identification of inter-dependency between Akt-1 and heme oxygenase-1. Cudmore MJ, Ahmad S, Sissaoui S, Ramma W, Ma B, Fujisawa T, Al-Ani B, Wang K, Cai M, Crispi F, Hewett PW, Gratacós E, Egginton S, Ahmed A. (Eur Heart J. 2012, 33:1150-1158)
  • Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase and Heme Oxygenase regulate Angiogenesis via p21WAF1 in a diametrically opposed manner. M. Cai, B. Al-Ani, S. Ahmad, T. Fujisawa, M. J. Cudmore, A. Ahmed (2012, in preparation)
  • MiR-152 controls angiogensis via direct targeting Integrin alpha 5 in diabetes mellitus. Meng Cai, Melissa Cudmore, Keqing Wang, Shakil Ahmad, Takeshi Fujisawa, Jillian Rennie, Asif Ahmed (2012, in preparation)
  • MiR-195 regulates angiogenesis and cell proliferation via endothelial nitric oxide synthase in diabetes mellitus.  Meng Cai, Melissa Cudmore, Keqing Wang, Shakil Ahmad, Takeshi Fujisawa, Jillian Rennie, Asif Ahmed (2012, in preparation)
  • WRKY13, a gene mediating the interaction of salicylate- and jasmonate-dependent pathways in rice disease resistance, is regulated by multiple cis- and trans-acting elements. Meng Cai, Caiguo Xu, Xianghua Li, and Shiping Wang (Plant, Cell & Environment, 31: 86-96, 2008)
  • A rice promoter containing both novel positive and negative cis-elements for regulating green-tissue-specific gene expression in transgenic plants. Meng Cai, Jun Wei, Caiguo Xu, Xianghua Li, and Shiping Wang (Plant Biotechnology Journal, 5:664-674, 2007)
  • Identification of proteins bound to the tissue-specific positive and negative cis-acting elements of a rice green tissue-specific promoter. Meng Cai, Ting Yuan, Liu Duan, Xianghua Li, Shiping Wang (Plant Biology, 10: 717-777, 2008)
  • Analysis of rice genes induced by striped stemborer (Chilo suppressalis) attack identified a promoter fragment highly specifically responsive to insect feeding. Hua H, Lu Q, Cai M, Xu C, Zhou D, Li X, Zhang Q. (Plant Molecular Biology, 2007, 69: 519-530)
  • The expression pattern of a rice disease resistance gene Xa3/Xa26 is differentially regulated by the genetic backgrounds and developmental stages that influence its function. Cao Y, Ding X, Cai M, Zhao J, Lin Y, Li X, Xu C, Wang S. (Genetics, 2007, 177: 523-533)
  • WRKY13 Mediates Rice Disease Resistance by Regulating Defense-related Genes in Salicylate- and Jasmonate-dependent Signaling. Deyun Qiu, Jun Xiao, Xinhua Ding, Min Xiong, Meng Cai, Yinglong Cao, Xianghua Li, Caiguo Xu, and Shiping Wang (Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 20: 492-499, 2007)
  • International Conference Presentation: Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase and Heme Oxygenase regulate Angiogenesis via p21WAF1 in a diametrically opposed manner (oral presentation)  Meng Cai, Bahjat Al-Ani, Shakil Ahmad (7th International Congress on the Heme Oxygenases and related enzymes, Jun 2012, Edinburgh, UK) 
  • Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase and Heme Oxygenase regulate Angiogenesis via p21WAF1 in a diametrically opposed manner (oral presentation) M. Cai, B. Al-Ani, S. Ahmad, T. Fujisawa, M. J. Cudmore, A. Ahmed (Scottish Cardiovascular Forum 2011, Aberdeen, UK)
  • Characterization a pathogen- and multi-hormone induced promoter and identification the cis and trans elements for response to pathogen iduction Meng Cai, Min Xiong, Shiping Wang (ISPMB, the international congress in plant molecular biology, 2006, Adelaide, Australia)
  • Characterization a pathogen- and multi-hormone induced promoter and identification the regulatory elements for response to pathogen iduction Meng Cai, Min Xiong, Shiping Wang (the Plant Genomics in China, 2005, Kunming)
  • The green-tissue expression promoter containing the negative elements for controlling the non-expression of certain tissues Meng Cai, Jun Wei, Jun Wei, Shiping Wang (the Plant Genomics in China, 2004, Wuhan)
  • Identification and isolation of pathogen-induced and tissue-specific promoters Meng Cai, Min Xiong, Jun Wei, Shiping Wang (the Plant Genomics in China, 2003, Xi’an)