Wenbin Deng, Ph.D.

 Wenbin  Deng, Ph.D.


  • Associate Professor
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine (Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine)


Developmental Neuroscience and Stem Cell Biology

Research Summary

Basic and Translational Neuroscience/Stem Cell Research  -  Our lab is interested in studying mechanisms of nervous system development, disease, and repair. Emphasis is on neuronal and glial cell death, excitotoxic, oxidative and inflammatory forms of injury to the developing brain; stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.   Areas of Research: (1) genetic and epigenetic regulation of oligodendrocyte development, myelin biology, and CNS white matter disease; and (2) adult (somatic) stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and embryonic stem (ES) cells for disease modeling, drug discovery, and tissue regeneration/repair.   We perform genetic engineering, cellular imaging, platform technology, chemical biology, innovative pharmacology, and translational medical research.

Select Publications

Chen C, Chan A, Wen H, Chung SH, Deng W*, Jiang P*. (2015) Stem and progenitor cell-derived astroglia therapies for neurological diseases. Trends Mol Med, 21 (11): 715-729. *Co-correspondence authors.

Li S, Xue H, Wu J, Rao MS, Kim D, Deng W,  Liu Y. (2015) Human iPSC NEUROG2 dual reporter knockin lines generated by the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Stem Cells Dev, doi:10.1089/scd.2015.0131. PMID: 26414932.

Chung SH, Biswas S, Selvaraj V, Liu X-B, Sohn J, Jiang P, Chen C, Chmilewsky F, Marzban H, Horiuchi M, Pleasure DE, Deng W. (2015) The p38α mitogen activated protein kinase is a key regulator of myelination and remyelination in the CNS. Cell Death & Dis, 6, e1748. doi:10.1038/cddis.2015.119 (2015). http://www.nature.com/cddis/journal/v6/n5/full/cddis2015119a.html

Sohn J, Orosco L, Guo F, Chung SH, Bannerman P, Mills Ko E, Zarbalis K, Deng W, Pleasure DE. (2015) The subventricular zone continues to generate corpus callosum and rostral migratory stream astroglia in normal adult mice. J Neurosci, 35 (9):3756-3763.

Hammond E, Lang J, Maeda Y, Pleasure D, Angus-Hill M, Xu J, Horiuchi M, Deng W, Guo F. (2015)The Wnt effector transcription factor 7-like 2 positively regulates oligodendrocyte differentiation in a manner independent of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. J Neurosci, 35 (12): 5007-5022.

Xiao J, Yang R, Yang L, Fan X, Liu W, Deng W. (2015) Kirenol attenuates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by inhibiting differentiation of Th1 and Th17 cells and inducing apoptosis of effector T cells. Sci. Reports, 5, 9022; DOI:10.1038/srep09022 (2015). http://www.nature.com/srep/2015/150312/srep09022/full/srep09022.html

Xiao J, Liu W, Chen Y, Deng W. (2015) Recombinant human PDCD5 (rhPDCD5) protein is protective in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. J Neuroinflamm, 12:117, doi:10.1186/s12974-015-0338-0 (2015).

Zhang M, Shao J, Xiao J, Deng W*, Yu H*. (2015) A novel approach to make homogeneous protease-stable monovalent streptavidin. BBRC, 463 (4): 1059-1063. *Co-correspondence authors.

Chechneva OV, Deng W. (2015) Empowering sonic hedgehog to rescue brain cells after ischemic stroke. Neural Regen Res, 10 (3): 360-362. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.153677. PMID: 25878576 [PubMed].

Qin X, Xu H, Gong W, Deng W. (2015) The tumor cytosol miRNAs, fluid miRNAs and exosome miRNAs in cancer. Front. Oncol. 4: 357. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2014.00357 (2015). PMID: 25601903 [PubMed].

Xiao J, Yang R, Biswas S, Qin X, Zhang M, Deng W. (2015) Mesenchymal stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells as therapies for multiple sclerosis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 16: 9283-9302; doi:10.3390/ijms16059283.

Liu Y, Deng W. (2015) Reverse engineering human neurodegenerative disease using pluripotent stem cell technology. Brain Res 2015 Sep 28. pii: S0006-8993(15)00721-0. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.09.023.

Zhou Z, Gao M, Wei F, Liang J, Deng W, Dai X, Zhou G, Zou X. (2014) Shock absorbing function study on denucleated intervertebral disc with or without hydrogel injection through static and dynamic biomechanical tests in vitro. Biomed Res Int. 2014:461724. doi: 10.1155/2014/461724. PubMed PMID:25045680.

Chechneva OV, Mayrhofer F, Daugherty DJ, Krishnamurty RG, Bannerman P, Pleasure DE, Deng W. (2014) A smoothened receptor agonist is neuroprotective and promotes regeneration after ischemic brain injury. Cell Death & Dis, (2014) 5, e1481. doi:10.1038/cddis.2014.446 (2014). http://www.nature.com/cddis/journal/v5/n10/full/cddis2014446a.html

Lo U, Selvaraj V, Plane JM, Chechneva OV, Otsu, K, Deng W. (2014) p38α (MAPK14) critically regulates the immunological response and the production of specific cytokines and chemokines in astrocytes. Sci. Reports, 4: 7405; DOI:10.1038/srep07405 (2014).


Chen C,  Jiang P, Xue H, Peterson SE, Tran HT, McCann AE, Parast MM, Li S, Pleasure DE, Laurent LC, Loring JF, Liu Y, Deng W. (2014) Role of astroglia in Down’s syndrome revealed by patient-derived human-induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature Communications. 5:4430 doi: 10.1038/ncomms5430 (2014).

Jiang P, Chen C, Wang R, Chechneva OV, Chung S, Rao M, Pleasure DE, Liu Y, Zhang Q, Deng W. (2013) hESC-derived Olig2+ progenitors generate a subtype of astrocytes with protective effects against ischemic brain injury. Nature Communications, 4: 2196 doi: 10.1038/ncomms3196 (2013). (Press release for this paper):  http://www.nature.com/ncomms/press_releases/ncomms0713.html)

Daugherty DJ, Selvaraj V, Chechneva OV, Liu X, Pleasure DE, Deng W. (2013) A TSPO ligand is protective in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. EMBO Mol Med, 5 (6): 891-903.

Jiang P, Chen C, Liu X, Selvaraj V, Liu W, Feldman DH, Liu Y, Pleasure DE, Li, RA, Deng W. (2013) Generation and characterization of spiking and nonspiking oligodendroglial precursor cells from embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells, 31 (12), 2620-2631, doi: 10.1002/stem.1515.

Chung S, Guo F, Jiang P, Pleasure DE, Deng W. (2013) Olig2/Plp+ progenitor cells give rise to Bergmann glia in the cerebellum. Cell Death & Dis, 4:e546. doi:10.1038/cddis.2013.74 (2013). PMID: 23492777. http://www.nature.com/cddis/journal/v4/n3/full/cddis201374a.html

Li Y, Xiao K, Zhu W, Deng W, Lam KS. Stimuli-responsive cross-linked micelles for on-demand drug delivery against cancers. Adv Drug Deliv Rev, 2013 Sep 21. doi:pii: S0169-409X(13)00204-4. 10.1016/j.addr.2013.09.008. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24060922.

Morohaku K, Pelton SH, Daugherty DJ, Butler WR, Deng W*, Selvaraj V*. (2013) Translocator protein/peripheral benzodiazepine receptor is not required for steroid hormone biosynthesis.Endocrinology, 155 (1): 89-97PMID: 24174323.  *Co-correspondence authors.This article has been recommended by Faculty of 1000.http://f1000.com/prime/718159022?subscriptioncode=93b87d38-6651-489c-be0e-ff632cd4bd3c.

 Liu X, Shen Y, Plane JM, Deng W. (2013) Vulnerability of premyelinating oligodendrocytes to white matter damage in neonatal brain injury. Neurosci Bulletin, 29 (2): 229–238. PubMed ID: 23456565.

Zhou B, Si W, Su Z, Deng W, Tu X, Wang Q. (2013) Transcriptional activation of the Prox1 gene by HIF-1α and HIF-2α in response to hypoxia. FEBS Lett 587 (6): 724-731.

Liu W, Deng Y, Liu Y, Gong W, Deng W. (2013) Stem cell models for drug discovery and toxicology studies. J Biochem Mol Toxicol, 27 (1): 17-27.

Sohn J, Selvaraj V, Wakayama K, Orosco L, Lee E, Crawford SE, Guo F, Lang J, Horiuchi M, Zarbalis K, Itoh T, Deng W, Pleasure DE. (2012) PEDF is a novel oligodendrogenic morphogen acting on the adult SVZ and corpus callosum. J Neurosci, 32 (35): 12152-12164.

Plane JM, Grossenbache SK, Deng W. (2012) Poly-ADP-ribose polymerase-1 deletion switches mouse subventricular zone stem cells toward a glial fate. J Neurosci Res, 90 (8): 1489-1506.

Shen Y, Liu X, Pleasure DE, Deng W. (2012) Axon-glia synapses are highly vulnerable to white matter injury in the developing brain. J Neurosci Res, 90 (1): 105-121.

Calafiore M, Copani, A, Deng W. (2012) DNA polymerase-ß mediates the neurogenic effect of ß-amyloid protein on subventricular zone stem cells. J Neurosci Res, 90 (3): 559-567.

Chen C, Daugherty DJ, Jiang P, Deng W. (2012) Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells derived from mouse embryonic stem cells give rise to type-1 and type-2 astrocytes in vitro. Neurosci Lett, 523 (2): 180-185.

Selvaraj V, Jiang P, Chechneva O, Lo U, Deng W. (2012) Differentiating human stem cells into neurons and glial cells. Frontiers in Biosciences, 17: 65-89. The first two authors contributed equally to this work.

Liu Y, Jiang P, Deng W. (2011) Olig gene targeting in human pluripotent stem cells for motor neuron and oligodendrocyte differentiation. Nature Protocols, 6 (5): 640-655. The first two authors contributed equally.

Chung S, Calafiore M, Plane JM, Pleasure D, Deng W. (2011) AIF deficiency causes reduced mitofusion-1 expression and patterned Purkinje cell degeneration. Neurobiology of Disease, 41: 445–457.

Liu W, Shen Y, Plane JM, Pleasure DE, Deng W. (2011) Neuroprotective potential of erythropoietin and its derivative carbamylated erythropoietin in periventricular leukomalacia. Experimental Neurology,230: 227-239 (selected for COVER illustration).

Zhang J, Calafiore M, Zeng Q, Zhang X, Huang Y, Li RA, Deng W*, Zhao M*. (2011) Electrically guiding migration of human induced pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cell Rev Reports, 7: 987-996. PubMed ID: 21373881. *Co-correspondence authors.

Lo K, Sun Y, Landry JP, Zhu X, Deng W. (2011) Label-free detection of surface markers on stem cells by oblique-incidence reflectivity difference microscopy. BioTechniques, 50 (6): 381–388.

Wang Y, Plane JM, Jiang P, Zhou C, Deng W. (2011) Quiescent and active stages of endogenous adult neural stem cells: identification and characterization. Stem Cells, 29 (6):907-912.

Soundarapandian MM, Selvaraj V, Lo U, Golub MS, Feldman DH, Pleasure DE, Deng W. (2011) Zfp488 promotes oligodendrocyte differentiation of neural progenitor cells in adult mice after cuprizone-induced demyelination. Sci. Reports, 1:2 doi:10.1038/srep2 (2011). PMID: 22355521.http://www.nature.com/srep/2011/110614/srep00002/full/srep00002.html

Chechneva OV, Mayrhofer F, Daugherty DJ, Pleasure DE, Hong J, Deng W. (2011) Low dose dextromethorphan attenuates moderate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by inhibiting NOX2 and reducing peripheral immune cells infiltration in the spinal cord. Neurobiology of Disease, 44: 63-72.

Jantzie LL, Talos DM, Selip DB, An L, Jackson MC, Folkerth RD, Deng W, Jensen FE (2011) Developmental regulation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors in the premature brain and their protective role in a rodent model of periventricular leukomalacia. Neuron Glia Biology, 6 (4): 277-288. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Deng W. (2010) Neurobiology of injury to the developing brain. Nature Reviews Neurology, 6 (6): 328-336.

Liu D, Ander BP, Xu H, Shen Y, Kaur P, Deng W, Sharp FR. (2010) Blood brain barrier breakdown and repair by src after thrombin-induced brain injury. Annals of Neurology, 67 (4):526-533.

Plane JM, Shen Y, Pleasure DE, Deng W. (2010) Prospects for minocycline neuroprotection. Arch Neurol, 67 (12), 1442-1448.

Deng W. (2010) Exploiting pluripotency for therapeutic gain. Panminerva Medica, 52 (2): 167-173.PubMed ID: 20517198

Deng W. (2010) AID in reprogramming: quick and efficient. BioEssays, 32 (5): 385-387.

Shen Y, Plane, JM, Deng W. (2010) Mouse models of periventricular leukomalacia. J Vis Exp, 2010 May 18;(39). pii: 1951. http://www.jove.com/index/Details.stp?ID=1951, doi: 10.3791/1951. PubMed ID: 20485263.

Jiang P, Selvaraj V, Deng W. (2010) Differentiation of embryonic stem cells into oligodendrocyte precursors. J Vis Exp, 2010 May 19;(39). pii: 1960. http://www.jove.com/index/Details.stp?ID=1960, doi: 10.3791/1960. PubMed ID: 20489683.

Jiang P, Rushing SN, Kong C, Fu J, Lieu D, Chan, C, Deng W, Li, R. (2010) Electrophysiological properties of human induced pluripotent stem cells. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 298 (3), C486-495.

Deng W. (2010) Induced pluripotent stem cells: paths to new medicines. EMBO reports, 11 (3), 161-165.

Selvaraj V, Plane, JM, Williams AJ, Deng W. (2010) Switching cell fate: the remarkable rise of induced pluripotent stem cells and lineage reprogramming technologies. Trends in Biotechnology, 28 (4): 214-223.

Deng W. (2010) Stem cells and drug discovery: the time has never been better. Trends in BioPharmaceutical Industry, 6 (1): 12-20. (ISSN: 1943-2518).

Selvaraj V, Soundarapandian MM, Chechneva O, Williams AJ, Sidorov MK, Soulika AM, Pleasure DE,Deng W. (2009) PARP-1 deficiency increases the severity of disease in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. J Biol Chem, 284 (38), 26070–26084.

Deng W. (2009) PARylation: strengthening the connection between cancer and pluripotency. Cell Stem Cell, 5: 349-350.

Deng W*, Xu Y*. (2009) Genome integrity: linking pluripotency and tumorgenicity. Trends in Genetics, 25 (10): 425-427. *Co-correspondence authors.

Deng W, Pleasure J, Pleasure D. (2008) Progress in periventricular leukomalacia. Arch Neurol, 65 (10), 1291-1295.

Deng W, Neve RL, Rosenberg PA, Volpe JJ, Jensen FE. (2006) AMPA receptor composition and CREB regulate oligodendrocyte excitotoxicity. J Biol Chem, 281, 36004-36011.

Deng W, Yue Q, Rosenberg PA, Volpe JJ, Jensen FE. (2006) Oligodendrocyte excitotoxicity determined by local glutamate accumulation and mitochondrial function. J Neurochem 98, 213-222.

Sanchez RM, Deng W, Levada RE, Lippman JJ, Jensen FE. (2005) AMPA/kainite receptor-mediated downregulation of GABAergic synaptic transmission by calcineurin after seizures in the developing rat brain. J Neurosci 25, 3442-3451.

Deng W, Wang H, Rosenberg PA, Volpe JJ, Jensen FE. (2004) Role of metabotropic glutamate receptors in oligodendrocyte excitotoxicity and oxidative stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101, 7751-7756.

Follett PL, Deng W, Talos D, Massillon L, Rosenberg PA, Volpe JJ, Jensen FE. (2004) Glutamate receptor-mediated oligodendrocyte toxicity in periventricular leukomalacia: a protective role for topiramate.J Neurosci 24, 4412-4420.

Deng W, Rosenberg PA, Volpe JJ, Jensen FE. (2003) Calcium-permeable AMPA/kainate receptors mediate toxicity and preconditioning by oxygen-glucose deprivation in oligodendrocyte precursors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100, 6801-6806.

Rosenberg PA, Deng W, Gan XD, Ali S, Fu J, Back SA, Sanchez RM, Segal MM, Follett PL, Jensen FE, Volpe JJ. (2003) Mature myelin basic protein-expressing oligodendrocytes are insensitive to kainate toxicity. J Neurosci Res 71, 237-245.

Deng W, Poretz RD. (2003) Oligodendroglia in developmental neurotoxicity. Neurotoxicology 24, 161-178 (featured with cover illustration).

Deng W, Poretz RD. (2002) Protein kinase C activation is required for the lead-induced inhibition of proliferation and differentiation of cultured oligodendroglial progenitor cells. Brain Res 929, 87-95.

Deng W, Poretz RD. (2001) Chronic dietary lead exposure affects galactolipid metabolic enzymes in the developing rat brain. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 172, 98-107.

Deng W, McKinnon RD, Poretz RD. (2001) Lead exposure delays the differentiation of oligodendroglial progenitors in vitro. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 174, 235-244.

Deng W, Poretz RD. (2001) Lead alters the developmental profile of galactolipid metabolic enzymes in cultured oligodendrocyte lineage cells. Neurotoxicology 22, 429-437.

Poretz RD, Yang A, Deng W, Manowitz P. (2000) The interaction of lead exposure and arylsulfatase A genotype affects sulfatide catabolism in human fibroblasts. Neurotoxicology 21, 379-388.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Cell and Developmental Biology

Molecular Cellular and Integrative Physiology


Comparative Pathology

Pharmacology and Toxicology