Dr. Dong

Regents' Professor (part time)
Leon Henri Charbonnier Endowed Chair for Cellular Biology and Anatomy
Senior Research Career Scientist
Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center

Office: R&E Building, CB1124
Phone: 706-721-2825
Fax: 706-721-6120
envelope-o icon zdong@augusta.edu

Lab Personnel:

Qingqing Wei, PhD, Asst Professor
Man J. Livingston, PhD, Asst Res Scientist
Shixuan Wang, PhD, Asst Res Scientist
Guie Dong, Senior Research Associate
Zhengwei Ma, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Chunyuan Guo, PhD, Research Associate
Jianwen Wang, MD, PhD, Visiting Researcher
Yu Yan, PhD, Visiting Researcher
Fang Wan, PhD, Visiting Researcher
Jin Wen, PhD, Visiting Researcher
Jiefu Zhu, PhD, Visiting Researcher
Jennifer Su, Research Assistant
Jing Liu, Visiting Graduate Student


1985-1989 B.Sc. Microbiology, Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R. China
1989-1994 PhD Physiology, Shanghai Institute of Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Post-doctoral Training

1994-1998 University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) at San Antonio

Honors and Awards

2000 Lyndon B. Johnson Research Award American Heart Association
2001 Lyndon B. Johnson Research Award American Society of Nephrology
2001 Patricia W. Robinson Young Investigator National Kidney Foundation
2004 Career Development Award VISN 7, Department of Veterans Affairs
2005 Distinguished Faculty Award (Basic Science) School of Medicine, MCG
2005 Distinguished Research Award School of Graduate Studies, MCG
2008 Research Career Scientist Award Department of Veterans Affairs
2011 Regents’ Professorship University System of Georgia
2011 Regents’ Professorship University System of Georgia

Editorial Board Member

JASN - Journal of American Society of Nephrology
Kidney International
American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology
Bioinorganic Chemistry and Applications
World Journal of Biological Chemistry
Journal of Geriatric Cardiology
Frontiers in Non-coding RNA
Frontiers in Translational Physiology
Journal of Nephrology and Renal Transplantation
International Journal of Experimental and Clinical Pathology
Open Pathology Journal

Book Editor
1) Essentials of Apoptosis: A Guide for Basic and Clinical ResearchEssentials of Apoptosis
Editors: Xiao-Ming Yin and Zheng Dong
1st edition, Humana Press, 259 pages.
ISBN: 978-1-59259-361-3, 2003

2nd edition, Humana Press, 707 pages.
ISBN: 978-1-60327-380-0, 2009

2) Cell Death in Biology and Diseases
Series Editor: Xiao-Ming Yin and Zheng Dong
Publisher: Springer

Grant Reviewer

NIH: Chartered Member
  PBKD Study Section 2012-2016
  Ad hoc member:
  PBKD Study Section 2006.10
  PBKD Study Section 2007.6
  PBKD Study Section 2008.2
  PBKD Study Section 2010.10
  PBKD Study Section 2011.2
  PBKD Study Section 2011.6
  PCD Study Section 2002.2
  CSD Study Section 2006.2
  Special panel ZRG1 DKUS-G 02, 2009.2
  Special panel ZRG1 DKUS-A 58 2009.7
  Special panel ZRG1 DKUS-K11 2009.8
  Special panel ZRG1 DKUS-G 03, 2009.9
  Special panel ZRG1 DKUS-G11, 2010.3
  Special panel ZRG1 DKUS-A 05, 2011.8
  Special panel ZRG1 OBT-Z 50, 2013.3
  Special panel ZDK1 GRB-N z(J6), 2013.9
  Botanical Dietary Supplement Research Centers (P50), 2014.10
VA: Career Development Award Program 2006.8
  Merit Review Panel for Nephrology 2010.6
  Merit Review Panel for Nephrology 2010.12
  Merit Review Panel for Nephrology 2011.6
  Merit Review Panel for Nephrology 2011.12
  Merit Review Panel for Nephrology 2012.6
DoD: U.S. Army Research Program 2004.6
  EPSCoR IDeA Program 2006.7
  PRCRP 2011 D-Kidney Cancer panel 2011.11

International grant agencies

China: National Basic Research Program 2010.5
  1000 Talents Program for Young Scholars 2012.11
  Changjiang Scholar Program 2013.5, 2015.5
  Outstanding Young Investigator Program 2012; 2015
  Chinese National Science Foundation 2015.5, 2015.07
Germany: German Research Foundation 2013.5
France: French National Research Agency 2015.4
Hong Kong: Research Grant Council (RGC) of Hong Kong 2013.3; 2014.3, 2015.3
Netherland: Dutch Cancer Society 2012.7
Poland: National Science Centre 2013.3
UK: Cancer Research UK 2011.2
  Medical Research Council (MRC) 2011.10
  Yorkshire Cancer Foundation 2013.8
  Kidney Research UK 2013.1, 2014.1

Research Interests

The long-term goal of our research is to delineate the molecular mechanism of cell injury/death, its protection and subsequent regeneration. Our focus has continued to be the response of kidney and cancer cells/tissues to pathological conditions of hypoxia/ischemia, metabolic stress, and DNA damage. The current work includes the investigation of cell death, cell cycle, DNA damage response, autophagy, and microRNA regulation. We have thus far published over 180 full-length articles in these and related fields, contributing to the understanding of kidney injury in renal diseases and, cell death in general: (1) We have delineated the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis during hypoxic/ischemic kidney cell injury (Oncogene 1998; JBC 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007; AJP-renal 2004, 2006; JASN 2006; KI 2007). (2) We have revealed a rapid DNA damage response during cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity and have further determined its pathogenic role (AJP-renal 2004, 2007; Oncogene 2006; KI 2008; JBC 2008, JBC2011, JASN2014). (3) We have discovered a novel role of Bcl-2 proteins in the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics (PNAS 2007; Cell Cycle 2007; AJP-cell 2011; KI 2013) and have demonstrated the first evidence for disruption of mitochondrial dynamics in the pathogenesis of acute kidney injury (JCI 2009; AJP-renal 2010, 2014). (4) We have also demonstrated the first evidence for autophagy and its protective role in kidney injury (KI 2008, AJP-renal 2010; AJPath 2010; KI 2012). (5) We have reported the first evidence for an important role of microRNAs in ischemia- and cisplatin-induced AKI (JASN 2010, Mol Med 2010; AJP-renal 2011, IUBUB Life 2013). (6) We have delineated the differential PKCδ signaling pathways in malignant and normal tissues during cisplatin chemotherapy and suggested an effective approach for kidney protection (JCI 2011; JASN 2010; Oncotarget 2012). (7) Our recent work has discovered Chk1-S as a novel regulator of cell cycle and DNA damage response (PNAS, 2012; Cell Cycle 2012).



Confocal image of mitochondria. In control cells, mitochondria are elongated and filamentous. After injury, mitochondria are fragmented into short rods or spheres. The morphological change contributes to mitochondrial damage and apoptosis (Brooks et al. PNAS 104: 11649-11654, 2007. JCI 119:1275-85, 2009).




Dong MiceOvarian cancer xenografts were established in nude mice, which were then treated with cisplatin with or without Rottlerin, a PKCδ inhibitor. In this and other tumor models, Rottlerin and relevant protect protect kidneys and enhance cancer therapy effect during cisplatin treatment. (Pabla et al. JCI 2011).





Gene cloning, transfection, expression, knockout (antisense and RNAi), promoter assay, genotyping, Northern/Southern blot, microRNA analysis, immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry and light/fluorescence/confocal microscopy. In vitro and in vivo experimental models, gene knockout mice.

Grant Support:

National Institutes of Health; Department of Veterans Affairs; American Heart Association

Representative Publications (selected from 152):

  1. Pabla N, Bhatt K, Dong Z. Chk1-S is a splice variant and endogenous inhibitor of Chk1 that regulates cell cycle and DNA damage checkpoints. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (USA) 109:197-202, 2012. (with media/news report)
  2. Peng J, Ramesh G, Sun L, Dong Z. Impaired Wound Healing in Hypoxic Renal Tubular Cells: Roles of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 and Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β/β-Catenin Signaling. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 340(1):176-84, 2012.
  3. Jiang M, Wei Q, Dong G, Komatsu M, Su Y, Dong Z. Autophagy in proximal tubules protects against acute kidney injury. Kidney International, 82: 1271-1283, 2012. (Editorial Commentary by G. Kaushal. Kidney Int 82: 1250-3; also Highlighted in Nature Reviews Nephrology 8:553)
  4. Zhang D, Li Y, Liu Y, Xiang X, Dong Z. Paclitaxel ameliorates LPS-induced kidney injury by binding MD-2 to block TLR4-mediated NFkB activation and cytokine production. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 345(1):69-75, 2013.
  5. Wang S, Wei Q, Dong G, Dong Z. ERK-mediated suppression of cilia in cisplatin-induced tubular cell apoptosis and acute kidney injury. BBA - Molecular Basis of Disease 1832:1582-1590, 2013.
  6. Patil M, Pabla N, Ding HF, Dong Z. Nek1 interacts with Ku80 to assist chromatin loading of replication factors and S-phase progression. Cell Cycle 15;12(16):2608-16, 2013
  7. Wei Q, Dong G, Chen J, Ramesh G, Dong Z. Role of Bax and Bak in ischemic acute kidney injury shown by global and proximal tubule-specific knockout mouse models. Kidney International 84(1):138-48, 2013
  8. Zhang D, Liu Y, Wei Q, Huo Y, Liu K, Liu F, Dong Z. Tubular p53 regulates multiple genes to mediate acute kidney injury. Journal of American Society of Nephrology 25(10):2278-89, 2014 PMCID:PMC4178437 (highlighted on journal cover)
  9. Ma Z, Wei Q, Dong G, Huo Y, Dong Z. DNA damage response in renal ischemia-reperfusion and ATP-depletion injury of renal tubular cells. BBA - Molecular Basis of Disease 1842(7):1088-96, 2014. PMCID:PMC4038345
  10. 10. Xiao X, Hu Y, Quirós PM, Wei Q, López-Otín C, Dong Z. OMA1 mediates OPA1 proteolysis and mitochondrial fragmentation in experimental models of ischemic kidney injury. American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology 306:F1318-26, 2014 PMCID:PMC4042105
  11. Wei Q, Xiao X, Fogle P, Dong Z. Changes in metabolic profiles during acute kidney injury and recovery following ischemia/reperfusion. PLOS One 9(9):e106647, 2014. PMCID:PMC4156324
  12. Guo C, Wei Q, Su Y, Dong Z. SUMOylation Occurs in Acute Kidney Injury and Plays a Cytoprotective Role. BBA - Molecular Basis of Disease 1852(3):482-489. 2015 PMCID:PMC4386022
  13. Peng J, Li X, Zhang D, Chen J, Su Y, Smith SB, Dong Z. Hyperglycemia, p53 and mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis in the susceptibility of diabetic models to ischemic acute kidney injury. Kidney International 87(1):137-50, 2015 PMCID:PMC4276728(highlighted by Nature Rev Nephrology)
  14. Dong G, Liu Y, Zhang L, Huang S, Ding HF, Dong Z. mTOR contributes to ER stress and associated apoptosis in renal tubular cells. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 308(3):F267-74, 2015 PMCID:PMC4312961
  15. Bhatt K, Wei Q, Pabla N, Dong G, Mi Q, Mei C, Dong Z. microRNA-687 induced by HIF-1 targets PTEN in renal ischemia-reperfusion injury. Journal of American Society of Nephrology Epub 2015 Jan 13 (Editorial by Nangaku M JASN)
  16. Wang S, Livingston M, Su Y, Dong Z. Reciprocal regulation of cilia and autophagy via MTOR and proteasome pathways. Autophagy 11(4):607-16, 2015

Invited Reviews and Commentaries 

  1. Pabla N, Dong Z. Curtailing side effects in chemotherapy: a tale of PKCδ in cisplatin treatment. Oncotarget 3(1): 107-111, 2012
  2. Peng J, Dong Z. Role changes of β-catenin in kidney injury and repair. Kidney International 82(5):509-11, 2012
  3. Huber T, Edelstein CL, Hartleben B, Inoki K, Jiang M, Koya D, Kume S, Lieberthal W, Pallet N, Quiroga A, Ravichandran K, Susztak K, Yoshida, Dong Z. Emerging role of autophagy in kidney function, diseases and aging. Autophagy 8:7, 1–23; 2012
  4. Wei Q, Dong Z. Mouse model of ischemic acute kidney injury: tricks and technical notes. American Journal of Physiology (renal) 303(11):F1487-94. 2012
  5. Zhan M, Brooks C, Liu F, Sun L, Dong Z. Mitochondrial dynamics: regulatory mechanisms and emerging role in renal pathophysiology. Kidney International 83(4):568-81, 2013
  6. Patil M, Pabla N, Dong Z. Checkpoint kinase 1 in DNA damage response and cell cycle regulation. Cellular Molecular Life Sciences 70(21):4009-21, 2013
  7. Dong Z. Acetylation of Ets-1 is the key to chromatin remodeling for miR-192 expression. Science Signaling 6, pe21, 2013
  8. Wang S, Dong Z. Primary cilia and kidney injury: current research status and future perspectives. American Journal of Physiology (renal) 305(8):F1085-98. 2013
  9. Pallet N, Livingston M, Dong Z. Emerging functions of autophagy in kidney transplantation. American Journal of Transplantation 14(1):13-20, 2014
  10. Livingston M, Dong Z. Lithium in kidney pathogenesis: big roles for smallest metal. Journal of American Society of Nephrology 25(3):421-3. 2014
  11. Yang Y, Liu H, Liu FY, Dong Z. Mitochondrial Dysregulation and Protection in Cisplatin Nephrotoxicity. Archives in Toxicology 88:1249-56, 2014
  12. Linkermann A, Chen G, Dong G, Kunzendorf U, Krautwald S, Dong Z. Regulated Cell Death in Acute Kidney Injury. Journal of American Society of Nephrology 25(12):2689-701, 2014 PMCID:PMC4243360
  13. Wei Q, Dong Z. HDAC4 blocks autophagy to trigger podocyte injury: non-epigenetic action in diabetic nephropathy. Kidney International 86(4):666-8, 2014 PMCID:PMC4181378
  14. Parikh SM, Yang Y, He L, Tang C, Zhan M, Dong Z. Mitochondrial function and disturbances in the septic kidney. Semin Nephrol. 2015 Jan;35(1):108-19.
  15. Zhu S, Pabla N, Tang C, Dong Z. DNA damage response in cisplatin nephrotoxicity. Archives in Toxicology 89(12):2197-205, 2015
  16. Tang C, Dong Z. Epigenetic regulation in acute kidney injury: new light in a dark area. Kidney Int. 2015 Oct;88(4):665-668,2015