Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh
Nobunao Wakabayashi, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
E1316 Biomedical Science Tower
Pittsburgh, PA

Phone: 412-624-5853

Fax: 412-648-2229


Bachelor of Agriculture (Biochemistry), Tohoku University, 1990
Master of Agriculture (Molecular Biology), Tohoku University Graduate School, 1992
PhD (Agricultural Chemistry) Tohoku University Graduate School, 1995

Research Areas
Pharmacology of Cell and Organ Systems
Redox Pharmacology
Drug Discovery
Photo of Nobunao Wakabayashi, PhD

Loss of cellular homeostasis through exposures to endogenous (e.g., inflammation) and exogenous (e.g., carcinogens) stresses contributes to many diseases including carcinogenesis. The Keap1-Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway evokes an adaptive response to these stresses that serves to enhance cell survival. Through gene expression analyses of the signaling cascade linked to Nrf2, using both Keap1- and Nrf2-disrupted mice, it appears that multiple signaling pathways intersect with Nrf2 signaling. Our research goals are to elucidate novel signaling crosstalk based on genes bearing functional ARE (Nrf2-sMaf recognition enhancer element) in the promoter of target genes and the underlying mechanistic roles of the Keap1-Nrf2 system in protecting against chronic degenerative diseases in vivo. Currently, we are focusing on the role of Nrf2 signaling in tissue repair and regeneration.

Important Publications
Wakabayashi N, S Shin, S Slocum, ES Agoston, J Wakabayashi, MK Kwak, V Misra, S Biswal, M Yamamoto and TW Kensler.  Regulation of Notch1 signaling by Nrf2:  Implications for tissue regeneration.  Science Signaling3:ra52, 2010.
Wakabayashi N, SL Slocum, JJ Skoko, S Shin and TW Kensler.  When Nrf2 talks, who's listening?  Antioxid Redox Signal 13:1649-1663, 2010.
Shin S, N Wakabayashi, V Misra, S Biswal, GH Lee, ES Agoston, M Yamamoto and TW Kensler.  NRF2 modulates aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling:  Influence on adipogenesis.  Mol Cell Biol 27:7188-7197, 2007.
Wakabayashi N, AT Dinkova-Kostova, WD Holtzclaw, ML Kang, A Kobayashi, M Yamamoto, TW Kensler and P Talalay.  Protection against electrophile and oxidant stress by induction of the phase 2 response:  Fate of cysteines of the Keap1 sensor modified by inducers.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:2040-2045, 2004.
Wakabayashi N, K Itoh, J Wakabayashi, H Motohashi, S Noda, S Takahashi, S Imakado, T Kotsuji, F Otsuka, DR Roop, T Harada, JD Engel and M Yamamoto.  Keap1-null mutation leads to postnatal lethality due to constitutive Nrf2 activation.  Nat Genet 35:238-245, 2003.
Itoh K, N Wakabayashi, Y Katoh, T Ishii, K Igarashi, JD Engel and M Yamamoto.  Keap1 represses nuclear activation of antioxidant responsive elements by Nrf2 through binding to the amino-terminal Neh2 domain.  Genes & Dev 13:76-86, 1999.

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