SungHee Chang   Assistant Professor of Research in Medicine

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Angiogenesis is a complex multistep process that requires the tight control and coordination of endothelial cell behavior. This process is governed by key signaling pathways fine-tuned at multiple levels of gene regulation. My research is focused on understanding the post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms in angiogenesis. In particular, I am investigating the molecular mechanisms and roles of HuR (Elavl1), an RNA binding protein that modulates gene expression mainly by regulating mRNA stability and/or translation. Current projects are as follow:

1) the posttranscriptional gene regulation of angiogenesis by an intricate network of HuR and miRNAs.

:We recently identified Vegf-a mRNA is directly bound with HuR and on the same site, bound with miR-200b/RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). Through this competitive interaction, HuR antagonized the suppressive effect of miR-200b, allowing Vegfa expression and supporting tumor angiogenesis.

:We are currently investigating the cooperative interaction of HuR and miRNAs in endothelial gene expression controlling vascular sprouting and remodeling.

2) the novel role of HuR as a regulator of Eif4enif1 alternative splicing.

:We found that HuR regulates alternative splicing of Eif4enif1 (4E-transporter, 4E-T) and this regulation controls the localization of Vegfa mRNA between cytoplasmic processing bodies (P-bodies, PBs) and polysomes.

: We will further investigate the functional link between HuR-regulated Eif4enif1-long isoform and the mRNA decay and/or translational machinery that controls pathological angiogenesis.


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Grants awarded

  • Sphingolipid Modulators of Vascular Growth and Homeostasis  awarded by National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute Key Personnel 2011 -



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