Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine - Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program

CBMP Faculty

Yusuke Sekine, PhD

Image - Yusuke Sekine

Research Interests

Our laboratory is working on the molecular mechanisms and cellular stress responses that allow a cell to adapt to metabolic alterations. Currently, we are focused on the metabolite acetyl-CoA, which plays a central role in the biosynthesis of various biomaterials, as well as in protein acetylation. We developed an experimental system to manipulate acetyl-CoA levels in cells and organisms and are investigating acetyl-CoA fluctuation-dependent functional alterations in organelles (including nucleoli, ER, mitochondria and lysosomes) and the subsequent activation of organelle-associated stress signaling pathways. A long-term goal is to understand the sensing mechanisms for various metabolite fluctuations in cells and to reveal their relevance to human aging and age-related diseases.

Key questions defining research program

  1. What are the molecular mechanisms for sensing metabolite fluctuations in cells?
  2. How do alterations in protein acetylation affect cellular responses under acetyl-CoA-limited conditions?
  3. How do metabolic alterations affect organelle functions and organelle-associated signaling pathways?
  4. How do acetyl-CoA-dependent responses relate to aging and age-related diseases?