Zijian Xie, PhD
Director, Marshall Institute of Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR)

Phone: (304) 696-3852

Research Interests

For the past 25 years, I have been interested in the cell biology of Na/K-ATPase in epithelial and cardiac cells. Specifically, I have been focused on revealing the non-pumping functions of this plasma membrane protein. Much of this investigation has been funded by grants from NIH. My lab has demonstrated that the Na/K-ATPase has an ion-pumping independent signaling function. Moreover, we have shown the relevance of the signaling function of Na/K-ATPase to the pathophysiology of renal and cardiovascular diseases. Recently, we have developed a novel peptide (pNaKtide) antagonist of receptor Na/K-ATPase and shown that pNaKtide blocks ouabain-induced signal transduction in cultured cardiac myocytes. We have further demonstrated the effectiveness of pNaKtide in intact animals. In the current project, Dr. Jiang Tian proposes to study the role of Na/K-ATPase and its signaling function in regulating cardiac fibrosis through miR-29b related mechanism using an animal model with chronic kidney disease. Dr. Tian’s lab has found that pNaKtide can attenuate ouabaininduced decrease in miR-29b expression, which is a novel finding and will potentially advance the understanding the role of Na/K-ATPase on regulation of cardiac fibrosis in CKD models. I will collaborate with Dr. Tian and provide him with my expertise and established tools for the proposed studies.