Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh
Yu Jiang, PhD
Associate Professor
W1058 Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Phone: 412-648-3390

Fax: 412-648-1945


BA (Genetics), Sichuan University, Sichuan, China, 1985. MS (Molecular Biology), Graduate School of the University of Science and Technology of China, Beijing, China, 1988. PhD (Cell Biology), Yale University, 1995. Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University, 2000.

Research Areas
Drug Discovery
Cardiovascular and Renal Pharmacology
Protein Kinases & Phosphatases
Cancer Pharmacology
Signal Transduction
Photo of Yu Jiang, PhD

Dr. Jiang’s laboratory is interested in intracellular signaling pathways governing cell growth and metabolism. The laboratory’s current research projects concern the signaling mechanism of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).  mTOR is a protein ser/thr kinase that plays a key role in translation, autophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis. Its activity is regulated by signals of various origins, including nutrient, growth factor, energy and stress.  The laboratory has previously identified FKBP38 that acts as an inhibitor of mTOR.  Three projects centering on the role of FKBP38 in mTOR regulation are on-going. The first project concerns the activity of mTOR in mitochondrial function. We have recently found that FKBP38 is involved in recruitment of mTOR to mitochondria. The project investigates the role of the mitochondrial localized mTOR in mitochondrial function and cell senescence.  The second project aims at the mechanism of FKBP38 in apoptosis regulation. FKBP38 has been shown to interact with the anti-apoptotic proteins, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. The project is to determine whether nutrient, growth factor and oxygen levels control the anti-apoptotic activity of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL through FKBP38. The third project focuses on the role of primary cilium in mTOR regulation. Primary cilium is a vital cellular organelle that functions as a signaling hub in many eukaryotic cells. mTOR has been recently found to be a key effector of primary cilium-mediated signaling. This project explores the mechanisms through which primary cilium controls mTOR activity.

Primary cilia in human kidney epithelial HKC-8 cells were stained with anti-acetylated tubulin antibody (green bar-like structure).

The mutual interactions of mTOR and mitochondria

Important Publications
Wang J, S Menon, A Yamasaki, HT Chou, T Walz, Y Jiang and S Ferro-Novick.  Ypt1 recruits the Atg1 kinase to the preautophagosomal structure.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110:9800-9805, 2013.
Yan G, Y Lai and Y Jiang.  TORC1 is a direct target of Rho1 GTPase.  Molecular Cell 45:743-753, 2012.
Ma D, X Bai, H Gou and Y Jiang.  Rheb GTPase controls apoptosis by regulating interaction of FKBP38 with Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL.  J Biol Chem 285:8621-8627, 2010.
Guo S, X Shen, G Yan, D Ma, X Bai, S Li and Y Jiang.  A MAP kinase dependent feedback mechanism controls Rho1 GTPase and actin distribution in yeast.  PLos One 4:e6089, 2009.
Bommareddy A, ER Hahm, D Xiao, AA Powolny, A Fisher, Y Jiang and SV Singh.  ATG5 regulates phenethyl isothiocyanate-induced autophagic and apoptotic cell death in human prostate cancer cells.  Cancer Research 69:3704-3712, 2009.
Ma D, X Bai, S Guo and Y Jiang.  The switch I region of Rheb is critical for its interaction with FKBP38.  J Biol Chem 283:25963-25970, 2008.
Bai X, D Ma, A Liu, X Shen, QJ Wang, Y Liu and Y Jiang. Rheb activates mTOR  by antagonizing its endogenous inhibitor, FKBP38. Science 318:977-980, 2007.
Yan C, X Shen and Y Jiang. Rapamycin activates the Tap42-associated phosphatases by abrogating their association with Tor complex 1. EMBO J 25(15):3546-3555, 2006.
Jiang Y.  Regulation of the cell cycle by protein phosphatase 2A in yeast. Microbio Mol Biol Review 70(2):440-449, 2006.

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