The TRIM protein Mitsugumin 53 enhances survival and therapeutic efficacy of stem cells in murine traumatic brain injury

Fangxia Guan, Tuanjie Huang, Xinxin Wang, Qu Xing, Kristyn Gumpper, Peng Li, Jishi Song, Tao Tan, Greta Luyuan Yang, Xingxing Zang, Jiewen Zhang, Yuming Wang, Yunlei Yang, Yashi Liu, Yanting Zhang, Bo Yang, Jianjie Ma, Shanshan Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common neurotrauma leading to brain dysfunction and death. Human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) hold promise in the treatment of TBI. However, their efficacy is modest due to low survival and differentiation under the harsh microenvironment of the injured brain. MG53, a member of TRIM family protein, plays a vital role in cell and tissue damage repair. The present study aims to test whether MG53 preserves hUC-MSCs against oxidative stress and enhances stem cell survival and efficacy in TBI treatment. Methods: In this study, we performed a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments in hUC-MSCs and mice to define the function of MG53 enhancing survival, neurogenesis, and therapeutic efficacy of stem cells in murine traumatic brain injury. Results: We found that recombinant human MG53 (rhMG53) protein protected hUC-MSCs against H2O2-induced oxidative damage and stimulated hUC-MSC proliferation and migration. In a mouse model of contusion-induced TBI, intravenous administration of MG53 protein preserved the survival of transplanted hUC-MSCs, mitigated brain edema, reduced neurological deficits, and relieved anxiety and depressive-like behaviors. Co-treatment of MG53 and hUC-MSCs enhanced neurogenesis by reducing apoptosis and improving PI3K/Akt-GSK3β signaling. Conclusion: MG53 enhances the efficacy of hUC-MSCs in the recovery of TBI, indicating that such adjunctive therapy may provide a novel strategy to lessen damage and optimize recovery for brain injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number352
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 28 2019
Externally publishedYes



  • Mitsugumin 53
  • Neuroprotection
  • PI3K-Akt-GSK3β
  • Stem cells
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Cell Biology

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