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

Email:
yuj5@pitt.edu
Phone: 412-648-3390

Fax: 412-648-1945


Education

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).




Important Publications
Wang J, D Saralin, S Menon, J Zhang, J Ding, S Cervantes, E Miller, Y Jiang and S Ferro-Novick. Ypt1/Rab1 regulates ER-Golgi traffic and autophagosome formation by a common mechanism. J Cell Biol,  in press, 2015
Zou H, Yi Lai, D Ma, N Cardenes, S Shiva, Y Liu, X Bai, Y Jiang and Y Jiang. Regulation of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 by anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL. J Biol Chem 288:28824-28830, 2013

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 Zou 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(6):e6089, 2009
Bai X, D Ma, A Liu, X Shen, QJ Wang, Y Liu and Y Jiang.  Rheb activitates mTOR by antagonizing its endogenous inhibitor, FKBP38.  Science 318:977-980, 2007




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