Major research area:
- Vascular Biology
- Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
- Cell Receptors and Signaling
- Inflammation Signaling Mechanisms
My research interests focus on a role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in vascular biology and pathophysiology, and underlying molecular mechanisms. Although excess ROS is detrimental, ROS at physiological level function as signaling molecule to mediate many biological responses. Our laboraoty is one of the first to demonstrate that ROS derived from NADPH oxidase (NOX) play an important role in reparpative angiogenesis and vasculogenesis (mobilization of stem/progenitor cells from bone marrow (BM) and their forming to ischemic tissues). Mechanistically, we have found that NOX-derived ROS are requried for VEGF receptor type2 (VEGFR2) signaling in endothelial cells and chemotaxis of stem/progenitor cells as well as organizing BM microenvironment which regulates stem/progenitor cell expansion and mobilization. Our long-term goal is to clarify the molecular mechanism of how highly diffusible ROS can active specific redox signaling at specific subcellular compartments to regulate angiogenesis, stem/progenitor cell function as well as BM niche, which is required for tissue regeneration and repair. We also test the hypothesis that disruption of the redox balance in cardiovascular diseases and aging induces dysfunction of endothelial cells and BM cells including stem/progenitor cells and their niche cells. For this aid, we apply highly innovative Cys oxidation-reactive probes and redox proteomics approach to identify and visualize molecular targets of ROS involved in neovascularizaion in ischemic disease with or without diabetes, obesity and aging. We use molecular biology, cell biology and biochemical approaches, cell imaging and signal transduction analysis, various transgenic and knockout mice models. By understanding the redox signaling and biology, we hope to develop new therapies of regenerative medicine for patients with manifested cardiovascular disease and treatment of cancer.