Being overweight or obese increases the risk of the development of many diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It is known that the proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of preadipocytes are all related to the hyperplasia of adipose tissue. Mitochodrial biogenesis has been reported to accompany with brown and white adipose cell differentiation. Prohibitins are highly conserved proteins mostly locating in mitochondria and play important roles in the proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis in a lot of different types of cells. One of the interests in Dr. Liu's laboratory is focused on the role of prohibitins during adipogenesis.
The emerging field of regenerative medicine will require a reliable and accessible source of stem cells in addition to biomaterial scaffolds and cytokine growth factors. Adipose-derived stem cells have demonstrated very similar phenotypic and functional characteristics to that of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells with the ability to differentiate along multiple lineage pathways besides adipocyte. Another interest in Dong Liu's laboratory is to define the role of prohibitins in regenerative capacity of adult stem cells by testing the effect of prohibitins on adipose-derived stem cells differentiation into cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells.
Liu, Dong, M.D., Ph.D.
Role: Research Instructor, Cardiovascular Research Institute & Department of Physiology