Professor (also with Endocrinology); Ph.D., UT MD Anderson Cancer
Center, 2005; Obesity and diabetes; the leptin signaling pathway and
mechanisms of leptin resistance; molecular evolution and comparative
metabolic syndrome, a common disorder including glucose intolerance and
dyslipidemia, poses a major public health issue. Patients with high
blood lipids, such as triglycerides, are at high risk in developing
atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. We recently identified a novel
blood lipid regulator, lipasin, which is a liver-enriched
nutritionally-regulated circulating factor that regulates triglyceride
metabolism by inhibiting lipoprotein lipase activity. Lipasin is later
known as betatrophin, which potently stimulates pancreatic beta-cell
proliferation. We are characterizing lipasin/betatrophin functions by
genomic and genetic approaches. Students in the lab will be exposed to
techniques of molecular biology, cell culture and mouse genetics.
Z, Abou-Samra AB and Zhang R, An explanation for recent discrepancies
in human circulating betatrophin, Diabetologia, 2014, in press.
Fu Z, Berhane F, Fite A, Seyoum B, Abou-Samra AB and Zhang R, Elevated
circulating lipasin/betatrophin in human type 2 diabetes and obesity,
Sci Rep. 2014, 4, 5013.
Zhang, R., Ou HY, Gao, F and Luo H. (2014) Review: Identification of
Horizontally-transferred Genomic Islands and Genome Segmentation Points
by Using the GC Profile Method. Current Genomics, 15: 113-121.
Zhang R, Abou-Samra AB, Review: Emerging roles of Lipasin as a critical
lipid regulator, Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013, 432, 401-5.
Fu, Z, Yao, F, Abou-Samra, AB and Zhang, R, Lipasin, thermoregulated in
brown fat, is a novel but atypical member of the angiopoietin-like
protein family. Biochem Biophys Res Commun., 2012, 430, 1126-31.
Zhang, R., Yao, F, Gao, F and Abou-Samra, AB, Nrac, a novel
nutritionally-regulated adipose and cardiac-enriched gene. PLoS ONE,
2012, 7: e46254.
Zhang, R., Lipasin, a novel nutritionally-regulated liver-enriched
factor that regulates serum triglyceride levels. Biochem Biophys Res
Commun., 2012, 424: 786-792.
Lin, Y. and Zhang, R. (2011) Putative essential and core-essential genes in Mycoplasma genomes. Sci. Rep. 1, 53.
Gao, F. and Zhang, R. Enzymes are enriched in bacterial essential genes. PLoS ONE, 2011, 6: e21683.
Zhang, R. and Lin, Y., DEG 5.0, a database of essential genes in both
prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Nucleic Acids Res, 2009, 37: D455-8.
Zhang, R., Maratos-Flier, E., and Flier, J.S., Reduced adiposity and
high-fat diet-induced adipose inflammation in mice deficient for
phosphodiesterase 4B. Endocrinology, 2009, 150: 3076-82.
Zhang, R., Dhillon, H., Yin, H., Yoshimura, A., Lowell, B.B.,
Maratos-Flier, E., and Flier, J.S., Selective inactivation of Socs3 in
SF1 neurons improves glucose homeostasis without affecting body weight.
Endocrinology, 2008, 149: 5654-61.
Zhang, R., Murakami, S., Coustry, F., Wang, Y., and de Crombrugghe, B.,
Constitutive activation of MKK6 in chondrocytes of transgenic mice
inhibits proliferation and delays endochondral bone formation. Proc
Natl Acad Sci, 2006, 103: 365-70.