Golgi Trafficking Controlled by G-Proteins

A family of proteins called G proteins are a recognized component of the communication system the human body uses to sense hormones and other chemicals in the bloodstream and to send messages to cells. In work that further illuminates how cells work, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a new role for G proteins that may have relevance to halting solid tumor cancer metastasis.

The study is reported online April 9 in Developmental Cell.

“Our work provides the first direct evidence that G proteins are signaling on membranes inside cells, not just at the cell surface as has been widely believed for several decades,” said Pradipta Ghosh, MD, associate professor and senior author. “This is significant because the G-protein pathway is a target of at least 30 percent of all current drugs on the market.” … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Pradipta Ghosh, MDDr. Pradipta Ghosh, is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Visit the Ghosh Laboratory website

See Full Text of Article in Developmental Cell (UC San Diego only)

Cholesterol Sets Off Chaotic Blood Vessel Growth

A study at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine identified a protein that is responsible for regulating blood vessel growth by mediating the efficient removal of cholesterol from the cells. Unregulated development of blood vessels can feed the growth of tumors.  … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Yury MillerYury Miller, MD, PhD, left, is senior author of the study report. He is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism and faculty member in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.

He first joined UC San Diego as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Joseph Witztum’s laboratory in 1998.

Miller is principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health R01 research grant, “Zebrafish Models of Vascular Inflammation and Atherosclerosis,” and a subproject of a P01 research program project with the La Jolla Institute of Allergy & Immunology, “Oxidized lipids and endotoxemia in vascular inflammation.”

Longhou Fang, PhDFirst author Longhou Fang, PhD, left, is a postdoctoral fellow in the Miller laboratory. He is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health K99 postdoctoral award for the project, “AIBP-mediated cholesterol efflux and angiogenesis.”

The other coauthors excepting Drs. Ulrich and Torres-Vásquez are affiliated with the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Philipp Wiesner.

Second-year internal medicine resident Philipp Wiesner, MD, right, who chose Miller as one of his mentors for the investigations he performed during his residency program research rotation, presented data from the vascular inflammation project at Medicine Grand Rounds on May 15.

Wiesner is also a coauthor of the study reported in Nature.

Citation for the study report:  Longhou Fang, Soo-Ho Choi, Ji Sun Baek, Chao Liu, Felicidad Almazan, Florian Ulrich, Philipp Wiesner, Adam Taleb, Elena Deer, Jennifer Pattison, Jesús Torres-Vázquez, Andrew C. Li & Yury I. Miller. Control of angiogenesis by AIBP-mediated cholesterol efflux. Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature12166. Published online 29 May 2013.  |  Read the full text (UCSD only)

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Philipp Wiesner’s May 15 Medicine Grand Rounds presentation “Oxidized Phospholipids in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis”  |  Watch video (UCSD only)

Insulin Resistance, Inflammation and a Muscle-Saving Protein

In the online May 2 issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine publish three distinct articles exploring:

  • the complex interactions of lipids and inflammation in insulin resistance
  • the roles of omega 3 fatty acids and a particular gene in fighting inflammation
  • how elevated levels of a particular protein might delay the muscle-destroying effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions around the world … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Jerrold Olefsky
Dr. Jerrold Olefsky coauthored two of the three articles published:

  • Perspective article: Inflammation and Lipid Signaling in the Etiology of Insulin Resistance – Free full text
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids and GPR120 – Article summary

Dr. Olefsky is Associate Dean for Scientific Affairs, UC San Diego Health Sciences; and Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Plasticity of Hormonal Response Permits Rapid Gene Expression Reprogramming

Gene expression reprogramming may allow cancer cell growth as well as normal differentiation

Gene expression is the process of converting the genetic information encoded in DNA into a final gene product such as a protein or any of several types of RNA. Scientists have long thought that the gene programs regulated by different physiological processes throughout the body are robustly pre-determined and relatively fixed for every specialized cell. But a new study by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reveals the unsuspected plasticity of some of these gene expression programs. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld, MD

Co-principal investigator of the study is Dr. M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld (pictured at left). M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld, MD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Department of Medicine coauthor Christopher K. Glass, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Read the published study in Nature (free full text).

Researchers Discover New Signaling Pathway Linked to Inflammatory Disease

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have described for the first time a key inhibitory role for the IL-1 signaling pathway in the human innate immune system, providing novel insights into human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and potential new treatments… Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Senior author of the study is Eyal Raz, M.D., Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, pictured above.  First author is José M. González-Navajas, Ph.D. Other Department of Medicine faculty coauthors include Lars Eckmann, M.D., Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Read the report in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Protein Found to be Key in Protecting the Gut from Infection

Dr. Martin Kagnoff and coworkers in the Division of Gastroenterology conducted the study described in the UCSD Newsroom story, “Protein Found to be Key in Protecting the Gut from Infection.”

Read the story from the UCSD Newsroom.

Dr. Kagnoff is Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics; Director, Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology; and Director, Wm. K. Warren Medical Research Center for Celiac Disease.

The news story has appeared in BusinessWeek and PhysOrg.com.

Defective Signaling Pathway Sheds Light on Cystic Fibrosis

New findings from Dr. Gregory Harmon, Dr. Christopher Glass and colleagues are the subject of the story, “Defective Signaling Pathway Sheds Light on Cystic Fibrosis” from the UCSD Newsroom.

Dr. Harmon, Division of Gastroenterology, is lead author of the study report, which was published in Nature Medicine. Christopher K. Glass, MD, PhD, who supervised the project, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Other Department of Medicine coauthors are Dr. Kim E. Barrett, Professor of Medicine and Dean of Graduate Studies, and Dr. Hui Dong, Assistant Professor of Medicine. Both are members of the Division of Gastroenterology.

Read the abstract of the Nature Medicine article

The UCSD news story has appeared in various media including BusinessWeek and HealthCanal.com.

Dr. Seth J. Field Wins NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Grant

Dr. Seth J. Field is one of two UC San Diego faculty members to win an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award grant from the National Institutes of Health for 2008.

Seth J. Field, M.D., Ph.D.Seth J. Field, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The five-year, $1.5-million grant will support his research in phosphoinositides, a group of membrane molecules that function in intracellular signaling.

Although phosphoinositides are known to be involved in causing cardiovascular, inflammatory, and neurologic disease as well as diabetes and cancer, they are not well understood.

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Dr. Field’s project will use three new approaches to arrive at a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the roles the phosphoinositides play in health and disease. |   Read the public abstract of Dr. Field’s research project

The NIH Director’s New Innovator grants are awarded to a small number of promising new biomedical or behavioral research investigators each year.

Award recipients are selected for the exceptional creativity and potential impact of their research.

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