Jim C. Fong
PhD. in Biochemistry, City University of New York
1. The role of adipokines in insulin resistance. In addition to being as the energy depot, adipose tissue also releases adipokines which maintain the homeostasis of energy metabolism. Deregulation of the expression or secretion of these adipokines may lead to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Since obesity is considered as a phenomenon of chronic inflammation, our study will focus on the regulation of expression of pro-inflammatory adipokines and their roles in insulin resistance.
2. The role of a novel SUMO ligase in cancer cell growth. SUMO is an ubiquitin-like protein. Analogous to ubiquitination, conjugation of SUMO to proteins (sumoylation) involves SUMO activation, conjugation and ligation. The last step is mediated by SUMO ligase. Sumoylation of a protein may alter its stability, subcellular localization and interactions with other proteins. Consequently, sumoylation is well-known to play a role in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis. We have cloned a novel mammalian SUMO ligase which seems to play a role in tumorigenesis. The role of this SUMO ligase in cancer cell growth is studied.
3. Cloning and characterization of novel genes. We have cloned several novel genes that may be involved in DNA damage response, transcriptional regulation or protein-protein interactions. The function of these genes will be explored.
4. Anti-cancer research. We have identified a small compound which may induce apoptosis of various cancer cell lines. This compound, on the other hand, has much less apoptotic effect on normal growing cells. The molecular mechanism of its apoptotic effect on cancer cells is the focus of the current study.
5. Endothelin-1 and cancer growth. Endothelin-1 is known as the growth factor for ovarian cancer; however, the mechanism is not fully elucidated. The purpose of this investigation is to delineate the molecular mechanism that endothelin-1 may induce cancer cell growth.
1. Hong, S.-J., Fong, J. C. and Hwang, J.-H. (2000) Effects of crude drugs on glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Kaohsiung J. Med. Sci. 16, 445-451.
2. Fong, J.C., Kao, Y.-S., Tsai, H-y. and Ho, L.-T. (2001) Endothelin-1 increases glucose transporter GLUT1 mRNA accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes by a mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent pathway. Cell. Signal. 13, 491-497.
11.Chiou, G.-Y. and Fong, J.C. (2004) Prostaglandin F2a increases glucose transport in 3T3-L1 adipocytes through enhanced GLUT1 expression by a protein kinase C-dependent pathway. Cell. Signal. 16, 415-421.
12.Fong, J.C., Kao, Y.-S., Tsai, H-y., Chiou, Y.-Y. and Chiou, G.-Y. (2004) Synergistic effect of endothelin-1 and cyclic AMP on glucose transport in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Cell. Signal. 16, 811-821.
13.Chiou, G-Y., and Fong, J.C. (2005) Synergistic effect of prostaglandin F2a and cyclic AMP on glucose transport in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. J. Cell. Biochem. 94, 627-34.
14.Chou, Y.-C. and Fong, J.C. (2005) Pretreatment with muscarinic receptor agonist activates a calcium-inhibitable adenylate cyclase in GH3 pituitary cells. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1722, 148-155.