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Biochemistry Department - Primary Faculty

Hung-Ying Kao, Ph.D.



  • Ph.D.: University of Minnesota, 1996
  • Postdoc: The Salk Institute for biological studies, 2001

Research Interests

Our lab is interested in transcriptional regulation in human health and diseases. Currently, we have two ongoing projects:

  • 1. Characterizing the biological function of histone deacetylase 7 (HDAC7) and its interacting proteins including alpha actinin 4 (ACTN4).
    HDAC7 is a member of class II HDACs. Precise regulation of the subcellular distribution of class II HDACs plays a pivotal role in cell differentiation and animal development. ACTN4 is an HDAC7 interacting protein and mutations in ACTN4 are associated with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a kidney disease characterized by proteinuria. We are investigating the function and regulation of HDAC7 and ACTN4 in endothelial cells and podocytes.
  • 2. Investigating the function and regulation of promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML).
    PML is a tumor suppressor protein that control many cellular processes including apoptosis, cell proliferation, senescence, and transcription. PML is subjected to several post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation, sumoylation, acetylation, ubiquitination, and isgylation. We are interested in the following questions:
    • How do translational modifications regulate PML function?
    • How do the post-translational modifications of PML cross-talk with each other?
    • How do PML target genes mediate its cellular function?

Selected References

  • Guan D., Lim J. H., Peng L., Liu Y., Lam M., Seto E., and Kao H. Y.
    “Deacetylation of the tumor suppressor protein PML regulates hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death”
    Cell Death Dis 5: e1340 (2014). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Guo S., Cheng X., Lim J. H., Liu Y., and Kao H. Y.
    “Control of antioxidative response by the tumor suppressor protein PML through regulating Nrf2 activity”
    Mol Biol Cell 25 (16): 2485-98 (2014). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Cheng X., Guo S., Liu Y., Chu H., Hakimi P., Berger N. A., Hanson R. W., and Kao H.Y.
    “Ablation of promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) re-patterns energy balance and protects mice from obesity induced by a Western diet”
    J Biol Chem 288 (41): 29746-59 (2013). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Hsu K. S. and Kao H. Y.
    “beta-Transducin repeat-containing protein 1 (beta-TrCP1)-mediated silencing mediator of retinoic acid and thyroid hormone receptor (SMRT) protein degradation promotes tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha)-induced inflammatory gene expression”
    J Biol Chem 288 (35): 25375-86 (2013). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Hsu K. S. and Kao H. Y.
    “Alpha-actinin 4 and tumorigenesis of breast cancer”
    Vitam Horm 93: 323-51 (2013). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Su Y. T., Gao C., Liu Y., Guo S., Wang A., Wang B., Erdjument-Bromage H., Miyagi M., Tempst P., and Kao H. Y.
    “Monoubiquitination of filamin B regulates vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated trafficking of histone deacetylase 7”
    Mol Cell Biol 33 (8): 1546-60 (2013).
  • Cheng X., Zhao X., Khurana S., Bruggeman L., and Kao H.
    “Microarray Analyses of Glucocorticoid and Vitamin D3 Target Genes in Differentiating Cultured Human Podocytes”
    PLOS ONE 8 (4): e60213. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060213 (2013).
  • Khurana S., Chakraborty S., Zhao X., Liu Y., Guan D., Lam M., Huang W., Yang S., and Kao H. Y.
    “Identification of a novel LXXLL motif in alpha-actinin 4-spliced isoform that is critical for its interaction with estrogen receptor alpha and co-activators”
    J Biol Chem 287 (42): 35418-29 (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Khurana S., Chakraborty S., Lam M., Liu Y., Su Y. T., Zhao X., Saleem M. A., Mathieson P. W., Bruggeman L. A., and Kao H. Y.
    “Familial focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS)-linked alpha-actinin 4 (ACTN4) protein mutants lose ability to activate transcription by nuclear hormone receptors”
    J Biol Chem 287 (15): 12027-35 (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Khurana S., Bruggeman L. A., and Kao H. Y.
    “Nuclear hormone receptors in podocytes”
    Cell Biosci 2 (1): 33 (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Kadiyala C. S., Zheng L., Du Y., Yohannes E., Kao H. Y., Miyagi M., and Kern T. S.
    “Acetylation of retinal histones in diabetes increases inflammatory proteins: effects of minocycline and manipulation of histone acetyltransferase (HAT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC)”
    J Biol Chem 287 (31): 25869-80 (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Guan D., Factor D., Liu Y., Wang Z., and Kao H. Y.
    “The epigenetic regulator UHRF1 promotes ubiquitination-mediated degradation of the tumor-suppressor protein promyelocytic leukemia protein”
    Oncogene : (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Cheng X., Liu Y., Chu H., and Kao H. Y.
    “Promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) regulates endothelial cell network formation and migration in response to tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and interferon alpha (IFNalpha)”
    J Biol Chem 287 (28): 23356-67 (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Cheng X. and Kao H. Y.
    “Microarray analysis revealing common and distinct functions of promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) signaling in endothelial cells”
    BMC Genomics 13: 453 (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Cheng X. and Kao H. Y.
    “Post-translational modifications of PML: consequences and implications”
    Front Oncol 2: 210 (2012). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Lim J. H., Liu Y., Reineke E., and Kao H. Y.
    “Mitogen-activated protein kinase extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 phosphorylates and promotes Pin1 protein-dependent promyelocytic leukemia protein turnover”
    J Biol Chem 286 (52): 44403-11 (2011). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Khurana S., Chakraborty S., Cheng X., Su Y. T., and Kao H. Y.
    “The Actin-binding Protein, Actinin Alpha 4 (ACTN4), Is a Nuclear Receptor Coactivator that Promotes Proliferation of MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells”
    J Biol Chem 286 (3): 1850-9 (2011).
  • Reineke E. L., Liu Y., and Kao H. Y.
    “Promyelocytic leukemia protein controls cell migration in response to hydrogen peroxide and insulin-like growth factor-1”
    J Biol Chem 285 (13): 9485-92 (2010). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Gao C., Liu Y., Lam M., and Kao H. Y.
    “Histone deacetylase 7 (HDAC7) regulates myocyte migration and differentiation”
    Biochim Biophys Acta 1803 (10): 1186-97 (2010). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Du Z., Song J., Wang Y., Zhao Y., Guda K., Yang S., Kao H. Y., Xu Y., Willis J., Markowitz S. D., Sedwick D., Ewing R. M., and Wang Z.
    “DNMT1 stability is regulated by proteins coordinating deubiquitination and acetylation-driven ubiquitination”
    Sci Signal 3 (146): ra80 (2010).
  • Stanya K. J. and Kao H. Y.
    “New insights into the functions and regulation of the transcriptional corepressors SMRT and N-CoR”
    Cell Div 4: 7 (2009). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Reineke E. L. and Kao H. Y.
    “PML: An emerging tumor suppressor and a target with therapeutic potential”
    Cancer Ther 7 (A): 219-26 (2009). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Reineke E. L. and Kao H. Y.
    “Targeting promyelocytic leukemia protein: a means to regulating PML nuclear bodies”
    Int J Biol Sci 5 (4): 366-76 (2009). Read article in PubMedCentral
  • Cheng X. and Kao H. Y.
    “G protein pathway suppressor 2 (GPS2) is a transcriptional corepressor important for estrogen receptor alpha-mediated transcriptional regulation”
    J Biol Chem 284 (52): 36395-404 (2009). Read article in PubMedCentral
Hung-Ying Kao Faculty's publications at pubmed