Zhendong A. Zhong

Learn More
The human skeleton is affected by mutations in low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5). To understand how LRP5 influences bone properties, we generated mice with osteocyte-specific expression of inducible Lrp5 mutations that cause high and low bone mass phenotypes in humans. We found that bone properties in these mice were comparable to(More)
Wnt/β-catenin signaling supports intestinal homeostasis by regulating proliferation in the crypt. Multiple Wnts are expressed in Paneth cells as well as other intestinal epithelial and stromal cells. Ex vivo, Wnts secreted by Paneth cells can support intestinal stem cells when Wnt signaling is enhanced with supplemental R-Spondin 1 (RSPO1). However, in(More)
The ability of Wnt ligands to initiate a signaling cascade that results in cytoplasmic stabilization of, and nuclear localization of, β-catenin underlies their ability to regulate progenitor cell differentiation. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of the mechanisms underlying Wnt/β-catenin signaling and how the pathway regulates normal(More)
The skeleton as an organ is widely distributed throughout the entire vertebrate body. Wnt signaling has emerged to play major roles in almost all aspects of skeletal development and homeostasis. Because abnormal Wnt signaling causes various human skeletal diseases, Wnt signaling has become a focal point of intensive studies in skeletal development and(More)
Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related proteins 5 and 6 (Lrp5 and Lrp6) are co-receptors of Wnt ligands and play important roles in Wnt/β-catenin signal transduction. Mice homozygous for a germline deletion of Lrp6 die at birth with several associated defects, while Lrp5-deficient mice are viable. Here, we conditionally deleted Lrp5 and/or Lrp6 in the(More)
Odontoblasts, cementoblasts, ameloblasts, and osteoblasts all form mineralized tissues in the craniofacial complex, and all these cell types exhibit active Wnt signaling during postnatal life. We set out to understand the functions of this Wnt signaling, by evaluating the phenotypes of mice in which the essential Wnt chaperone protein, Wntless was(More)
Low-density lipoprotein-related receptors 5 and 6 (LRP5/6) are highly homologous proteins with key functions in canonical Wnt signaling. Alterations in the genes encoding these receptors or their interacting proteins are linked to human diseases, and as such they have been a major focus of drug development efforts to treat several human conditions including(More)
Recent genome-wide association studies of individuals of Asian and European descent have found that SNPs located within the genomic region (1p31.3) encoding the Wntless (Wls)/Gpr177 protein are associated significantly with reduced bone mineral density. Wls/Gpr177 is a newly identified chaperone protein that specifically escorts Wnt ligands for secretion.(More)
The existence of cancer stem cells (CSCs) or stem-like cancer cells (SLCCs) is regarded as the cause of tumor formation and recurrence. However, the origin of such cells remains controversial with two competing hypotheses: CSCs are either transformed from tissue adult stem cells or dedifferentiated from transformed progenitor cells. Compelling evidence has(More)