Bojun Chen, PHD

Assistant Professor
Molecular and Integrative Physiology

    About me

    My lab studies the molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission using the nematode C. elegans as a model organism. C. elegans is a small free-living soil roundworm with a short life cycle. It is one of the most widely used model systems for fundamental biological research. Currently, our research focuses on the function and regulation of a potassium channel name SLO-2, which is the ortholog of mammalian Slack channel that is widely expressed in the brain and plays important roles in neuronal function. In humans, mutations of Slack are strongly associated with epilepsies and intellectual disability. However, how the physiological function of this channel is regulated has remained largely unknown. Through the use of multifaceted approaches including genetics, molecular and cellular biology, electrophysiology, and behavior, we have been identifying genes that are important to SLO-2 physiological functions. Our long-term goal is to reveal evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of Slo2 channel regulation and their contributions to synaptic transmission.




    Long-Gang Niu, Yan Li, Ping Liu, Yuan Shui, Bojun Chen*, Zhao-Wen Wang*. (2020). Melatonin promotes sleep by activating the BK channel in C. elegans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 117:25128-25137. (*co-corresponding authors).

    Ping Liu, Bojun Chen, Zhao-Wen Wang. (2020). GABAergic motor neurons bias locomotor decision-making in C. elegans. Nat Commun. 11:5076.

    Yuan Shui, Ping Liu, Haiying Zhan, Bojun Chen, and Zhao-Wen Wang. (2020). Molecular basis of junctional current rectification at an electrical synapse. Sci Adv. 6(27):eabb3076.

    Long-Gang Niu, Ping Liu, Zhao-Wen Wang, Bojun Chen. (2020). Slo2 potassium channel function depends on RNA editing-regulated expression of a SCYL1 protein. Elife, 9:e53986.

    Ping Liu, Jason Wang, Zhao-Wen Wang, Bojun Chen. (2018). HRPU-2, a homologue of mammalian hnRNPU, regulates synaptic transmission by controlling the expression of SLO-2 potassium channel in C. elegans. J Neurosci. 38(5):1073-1084.

    Long-Gang Niu, Ping Liu, Yuan Shui, Roger Mailler, Zhao-Wen Wang, Bojun Chen. (2017). BKIP-1, an auxiliary subunit critical to SLO-1 function, inhibit SLO-2 potassium channel in vivo. Sci Rep. 7(1):17843.

    Bojun Chen, Ping Liu, Edward J Hujber, Yan Li, Erik M Jorgensen, Zhao-Wen Wang. (2017). AIP limits neurotransmitter release by inhibiting calcium bursts from the ryanodine receptor. Nat Commun, 8(1):1380.

    Ping Liu, Bojun Chen, Roger Mailler, Zhao-Wen Wang. (2017). Antidromic-rectifying gap junctions amplify chemical transmission at functionally mixed electrical-chemical synapses. Nat Commun, 8:14818.

    Ping Liu, Bojun Chen, Zhao-Wen Wang. (2014). SLO-2 potassium channel is an important regulator of neurotransmitter release in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nat Commun, 5:5155.

    Ping Liu, Bojun Chen, Zeynep F. Altun, Maegan J. Gross, Alan Shan, Benjamin Schuman, David H. Hall, Zhao-Wen Wang. (2013). Six innexins contribute to electrical coupling of C. elegans body-wall muscle. PLoS One. 8(10): e76877.

    Ping Liu, Bojun Chen, Zhao-Wen Wang. (2013). Postsynaptic current bursts instruct action potential firing at a graded synapse. Nat Commun, 4:1911.

    Haiying Zhan, Craig S. Moore, Bojun Chen, Xin Zhou, Xin-Ming Ma, Kumiko Ijichi, Michael V. L. Bennett, Xue-Jun Li, Stephen J. Crocker, and Zhao-Wen Wang. (2012). Stomatin inhibits pannexin-1-mediated whole-cell currents by interacting with its carboxyl terminal. PLoS One. 7(6): e39489.

    Bojun Chen#, Ping Liu#, Haiying Zhan, Zhao-Wen Wang. (2011). Dystrobrevin controls neurotransmitter release and muscle Ca2+ transients by localizing BK channels in C. elegans. J Neurosci, 31(48):17338-47. (#equal contribution).

    Ping Liu, Bojun Chen, and Zhao-Wen Wang. (2011). Gap junctions synchronize action potentials and Ca2+ transients in C. elegans body-wall muscle cells. J Biol Chem, 286(51):44285-93.

    Ping Liu, Qian Ge, Bojun Chen, Lawrence Salkoff, Michael I. Kotlikoff, Zhao-Wen Wang. (2011). Genetic dissection of ion currents underlying all-or-none action potentials in C. elegans body-wall muscle cells. J Physiol, 589 (1): 101-117.

    Bojun Chen, Qian Ge, Xiao-Ming Xia, Ping Liu, Sijie J. Wang, Hai-Ying Zhan, Betty A. Eipper, Zhao-Wen Wang. (2010). A novel auxiliary subunit critical to BK channel function in C. elegans. J Neurosci, 30:16651-61.

    Bojun Chen, Ping Liu, Sijie J. Wang, Qian Ge, Haiying Zhan, William A. Mohler, and Zhao-Wen Wang. (2010). α-Catulin CTN-1 is required for BK channel subcellular localization in C. elegans body-wall muscle cells. EMBO J, 29:3184-95.

    Zeynep F. Altun,Bojun Chen, Zhao-Wen Wang, and David H. Hall. (2009). A High Resolution Map of C. elegans Gap Junction Proteins. Dev Dyn, 238:1936-50.

    Bojun Chen#, Qiang Liu#, Qian Ge#, Jia Xie, and Zhao-Wen Wang. (2007). UNC-1 regulates gap junctions important to locomotion in C. elegans. Curr Biol, 17:1334-9 (#equal contribution).

    Qiang Liu#, Bojun Chen#, Qian Ge#, and Zhao-Wen Wang. (2007). Presynaptic Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II modulates neurotransmitter release by activating BK channels at Caenorhabditis elegans neuromuscular junction. J Neurosci, 27:10404-13 (#equal contribution).

    Qiang Liu, Bojun Chen, David H Hall, and Zhao-Wen Wang. (2007). A quantum of neurotransmitter causes minis in multiple postsynaptic cells at the Caenorhabditis elegans neuromuscular junction. Dev Neurobiol, 67:123-8.

    Qiang Liu#, Bojun Chen#, Eric Gaier, Jaya Joshi, and Zhao-Wen Wang. (2006). Low conductance gap junctions mediate specific electrical coupling in body-wall muscle cells of Caenorhabditis elegans. J Biol Chem, 281:7881-9 (#equal contribution).

    Qiang Liu, Bojun Chen, Arthur Hand, Maya Yankova, Kent Morest, Micheal L. Nonet, and Zhao-Wen Wang. (2005). Presynaptic ryanodine receptors are required for normal quantal size at the C. elegans neuromuscular junction. J Neurosci, 25:6745-54.

    Bojun Chen, Yong Wang, Yuanlei Hu, Qi Wu and Zhongping Lin. (2005). Cloning and characterization of a drought-inducible MYB gene from Boea crassifolia. Plant Sci, 168: 493-00.

    Yong Wang, Bojun Chen, Yuanlei Hu, Jingfu Li and Zhongping Lin. (2005). Inducible excision of selectable marker gene from transgenic plants by the Cre/lox site-specific recombination system. Transgenic Res, 14:605-14.

    CHEN Bojun, SUN Shao, WANG Yong, HU Yuanlei and LIN Zhongping. (2004). Anchored PCR (A-PCR): A new method for chromosome walking. Chinese Science Bulletin, 49:1772-4.

    Bojun Chen, Xiqing Wang, Yuanlei Hu, Yong Wang, and Zhongping Lin. (2004). Ectopic expression of a c1-I allele from maize inhibits pigment formation in the flower of transgenic tobacco. Mol Biotechnol, 26:187-92.

    Yuanlei Hu, Bojun Chen, Ting Ni, Ning Li, and Zhongping Lin. (2003). Promoter of the rolC gene of Agrobacterium rhizogenes can be strongly regulated in glandular cell of transgenic tobacco. Mol Biotechnol, 24:121-6.