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CAHNRS Department of Animal Sciences

Min Du

Professor and Scientist
Office: Veterinary and Biomedical Research Building (VBRB) 155
Phone: 509-335-2744
min.du@wsu.edu

Vist the lab website:
https://labs.wsu.edu/du

Our research is focused on the development of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Specifically, we are interested in exploring epigenetic mechanisms regulating the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into myocytes and adipocytes. Our studies have applications to both animal agriculture and human health.

For animal agriculture, we are studying the impact of early nutrition on the growth and development of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue, which impacts animal production efficiency and meat quality.

For human health, we are exploring the epigenetic changes in progenitor cells during fetal development as affected by obesity and diabetes.

We use in vitro cell culture, transgenic animals and livestock as experimental models. A wide range of laboratory techniques are used in our studies, including immunoblotting, ELISA, immunohistochemical staining, 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis and proteomic analyses, real-time PCR, DNA manipulation, RNA interference and epigenetic analyses, as well as traditional biochemical and enzyme activity assays.

Specific Research Areas:
  • Nutritional regulation of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue development
  • Epigenetic regulation of stem cell differentiation into myocytes and adipocytes
  • Fetal development and its long-term effect on offspring performance
Most Frequently Cited Publications:

For complete publication list, please visit ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Min_Du4/

  • Liang, X. W., Q. Y. Yang, L. P. Zhang, J. Maricelli, B. D. Rodgers, M. J. Zhu, and M. Du (2016). Maternal high-fat diet during lactation impairs thermogenic function of brown adipose tissue in offspring mice. Scientific Reports, In press.
  • Yang, Q., X. Liang, X. Sun, L. Zhang, X. Fu, C. J. Rogers, A. Berim, S. Zhang, S. Wang, B. Wang, M. Foretz, B. Viollet, D. R. Gang, B. D. Rodgers, M. Zhu, and M. Du. (2016). AMPK/α-ketoglutarate axis dynamically mediates DNA demethylation in the Prdm16 promoter and brown adipogenesis. Cell Metabolism, In press.
  • Yang, G., S. Bibi, M. Du, T. Suzuki, and M. J. Zhu. (2016). Regulation of the intestinal tight junction by natural polyphenols: a mechanistic perspective. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, In press.
  • Liang, X., Q. Yang, X. Fu, C. J. Rogers, B. Wang, H. Pan, M. J. Zhu, P. W. Nathanielsz, and M. Du. (2016). Maternal obesity epigenetically alters visceral fat progenitor cell properties in male offspring mice. Journal of Physiology, 594: 4453-4466.
  • Fu, X., M. J. Zhu, S. Zhang, F. Marc, V. Benoit, and M. Du. (2016). Obesity impairs skeletal muscle regeneration via inhibition of AMP-activated protein kinase. Diabetes. 65: 188-200.
  • Zhang, H., M. Du, Q. Yang, and M. J. Zhu. (2016). Butyrate suppresses murine mast cell proliferation and cytokine production through inhibiting histone deacetylase. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 27: 299-306.
  • Fu, X., M. J. Zhu, M. V. Dodson, and M. Du. (2015). AMP-activated protein kinase stimulates Warburg-like glycolysis and activation of satellite cells during muscle regeneration. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 290: 26445-26456.
  • Wang, S., X. Liang, Q. Yang, X. Fu, C. J. Rogers, M. J. Zhu, B. D. Rodgers, Q. Jiang, M. V. Dodson, and M. Du. (2015). Resveratrol induces brown-like adipocyte formation in white fat through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) alpha1. International Journal of Obesity, 39: 967-976.
  • Dodson, M.V., R.E. Allen, M. Du, W.G. Bergen, S.G. Velleman, S.P. Poulos, M. Fernyhough-Culver, M.B. Wheeler, S.K. Duckett, M.R.I. Young, B.H. Voy, Z. Jiang, and G.J. Hausman. (2014). Invited Review: Evolution of meat animal growth research during the past 50 years: Adipose and muscle stem cells. Journal of Animal Science, 93: 457-481.
  • Duarte, M. S., M.P. Gionbelli, P.V.R. Paulino, N.V.L. Serão, C.S. Nascimento, M.E. Botelho, T.S. Martins, S.C.V. Filho, M.V. Dodson, S.E.F. Guimarães, M. Du. (2014). Maternal overnutrition enhances mRNA expression of adipogenic markers and collagen deposition in skeletal muscle of beef cattle fetuses. Journal of Animal Science, 92: 3846-3854.
  • Fu, X., J. X. Zhao, X., M. J. Zhu, M. Foretz, B. Viollet, M. V. Dodson, and M. Du. (2013). AMP-activated protein kinase a1 but not a2 catalytic subunit potentiates myogenin expression and myogenesis. Molecular and Cell Biology, 33: 4517-4525.
  • Fu, X., J. X. Zhao, J. F. Liang, M. J. Zhu, M. Foretz, B. Viollet, and M. Du. (2013). AMP-activated protein kinase mediates myogenin expression and myogenesis via histone deacetylase 5. American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology, 305: C887-895.
  • Yang, Q. Y., J .F. Liang, C. J. Rogers, J. X. Zhao, M. J. Zhu, and M. Du. (2013). Maternal obesity induces epigenetic modifications to facilitate Zfp423 expression and enhance adipogenic differentiation in fetal mice. Diabetes, 62: 3727-3735.
  • Du, M., Y. Huang, A. K. Das, Q. Yang, M. S. Duarte, M. V. Dodson, and M. J. Zhu. (2013). Manipulating mesenchymal progenitor cell differentiation to optimize performance and carcass value of beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science, 91: 1419-1429.
  • Yan, X.,Y. Huang,  J. X. Zhao, C. J. Rogers, M. J. Zhu, S. P. Ford, P. W. Nathanielsz, and M. Du. (2013). Maternal obesity down-regulates microRNA (miRNA) let-7g expression, a possible mechanism for enhanced adipogenesis during ovine fetal skeletal muscle development. International Journal of Obesity, 37: 568-575.
  • Huang, Y., A. K. Das, Q. Y. Yang, M. J. Zhu, and M. Du. (2012). Zfp423 promotes adipogenic differentiation of bovine stromal vascular cells. PLOS one, 7(10): e47496.
  • Huang, Y., J. X. Zhao, X. Yan, M. J. Zhu, N. M. Long, R. J. McCormick, S. P. Ford, P. W. Nathannielsz, and M. Du. (2012). Maternal obesity enhances collagen accumulation and cross-linking in skeletal muscle of ovine offspring. PLOS one, 7, e31691.
  • Du, M., J. X. Zhao, X. Yan, Y. Huang, L. V. Nicodemus, W. Yue, R. J. McCormick, and M. J. Zhu. (2011). Fetal muscle development, mesenchymal multipotent cell differentiation and associated signaling pathways. Journal of Animal Science, 89: 583-590.
  • Yan, X., Y. Huang, J. X. Zhao, N. M. Long, A. B. Uthlaut, M. J. Zhu, S. P. Ford, P. W. Nathanielsz, and M. Du. (2011). Maternal obesity impaired insulin signaling and induced lipid accumulation and fibrosis in skeletal muscle of offspring. Biology of Reproduction, 85: 172-178.
  • Zhao, J. X., W. F. Yue, M. J. Zhu, and M. Du. (2011). AMP-activated protein kinase regulates b-catenin transcription via histone deacetylase 5. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286: 16426-16434.
  • Du, M., J. D. Yin, and M. J. Zhu. (2010). Cellular signaling pathways regulating adipogenesis and marbling of skeletal muscle. Meat Science, 86:103-109.
  • Huang, Y., X. Yan, J. X. Zhao, M. J. Zhu, R. J. McCormick, S. P. Ford, P. W. Nathanielsz, J. Ren, and M. Du. (2010). Maternal obesity induces fibrosis in fetal myocardium of sheep. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 299: E968-975.
  • Yan, X., M. J. Zhu, W. Xu, J. F. Tong, S. P. Ford, P. W. Nathanielsz, and M. Du. (2010). Up-regulation of TLR4/NF-κB signaling is associated with enhanced adipogenesis and insulin resistance in fetal skeletal muscle of obese sheep at late gestation. Endocrinology, 151: 380-387.
  • Huang, Y., X. Yan, M. J. Zhu, R. J. McCormick, S. P. Ford, P. W. Nathanielsz, and M. Du. (2010). Enhanced transforming growth factor b (TGF-b) signaling and fibrogenesis in fetal skeletal muscle of obese sheep at late gestation.  American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 298: E1254-E1260.
  • Du, M., X. Yan, J. F. Tong, J. X. Zhao, and M. J. Zhu. (2010). Maternal obesity, inflammation and fetal skeletal muscle development. Biology of Reproduction, 82: 4-12.
  • Tong, J. F., X. Yan, M. J. Zhu, S. P. Ford, P. W. Nathanielsz, and M. Du. (2009). Maternal obesity down-regulates myogenesis and β-catenin signaling in fetal skeletal muscle. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 296: E917-924.
  • Zhu, M. J., B. Han, J. Tong, C. Ma, J. M. Kimzey, K. R. Underwood, C. Ma, S. P. Ford, P. W. Nathanielsz, and M. Du. (2008). AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathways are down-regulated and skeletal muscle development impaired in fetuses of obese, overnourished sheep. Journal of Physiology, 586: 2651-2664.
  • Shen, Q. W., M. J. Zhu, J. Tong, J. Ren, and M. Du. (2007). Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase is involved in AMP-activated protein kinase activation by a-lipoic acid in C2C12 myotubes. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology, 293: C1395-1403.
  • Zhu, M. J., S. P. Ford, W. J. Means, B. W. Hess, P. W. Nathanielsz, and M. Du. (2006) Maternal nutrient restriction affects muscle fiber number and composition in skeletal muscle of offspring. Journal of Physiology, 575: 241-250.