Kezhong Zhang, PhD, Wayne State University

Kezhong Zhang, PhD
Kezhong Zhang, PhD

Research in the Zhang laboratory is focused on intracellular stress response originated from the ER and mitochondria that modulate inflammation and metabolism associated with metabolic disease and cancer. Biochemical, physiological or pathological stimuli, such as viral infection, chemical insult, genetic mutation, metabolic syndromes, nutrient deprivation and even normal differentiation of specialized cells, can disrupt ER homeostasis and subsequently cause accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins in the ER lumen-a condition referred to as â??ER stressâ?. Under those conditions, the ER and mitochondria can interact with each other and build up a dynamic network where they generate calcium signal, oxidative stress and the inflammatory responses. They use biochemical approaches and animal genetics to investigate how cellular stress activates stress sensor molecules including the kinase/endoribonuclease IRE1a and the bZIP transcription factor CREBH to mediate pathophysiological responses.

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  1. Kim, H., Mendez, R., Zheng, Z., Chang, L., Cai, J., Zhang, R., and Zhang, K. 2014. Liver-enriched Transcription Factor CREBH Interacts with Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor α to Regulate Metabolic Hormone FGF21. Endocrinology 155: 769-782. 2014 Mar;155(3):769-82.
  2. Zhang, C., Wang, G., Zheng, Z., Maddipati, K.R., Zhang, X., Dyson, G., Williams, P., Duncan, S.A., Kaufman, R.J., and Zhang, K. 2012. ER-tethered Transcription Factor CREBH Regulates Hepatic Lipogenesis, Fatty Acid Oxidation, and Lipolysis upon Metabolic Stress. Hepatology 55 (4): 1070-1082. PMCID: PMC3319338.