Assistant Professor
Member of the Center for Molecular Medicine

Contact Info

Office:
2228 Center for Molecular Medicine
Phone Number:
Other Affiliations:

The research in Yin laboratory focuses on adult stem cell populations in skeletal muscle and adipose tissues. We use molecular genetic tools, and small molecule compounds to identify therapeutic targets/agents for skeletal muscle atrophy, injury, muscular dystrophies, obesity and type 2 diabetes. My laboratory uses various transgenic mouse models and primary cell cultures to understand gene functions and to model human diseases. We are particularly interested in characterizing functions of metabolism-related genes, epigenetic/chromatin factors, RNA-binding factors and non-coding RNAs in controlling adult stem cell behaviors (lineage determination, proliferation, differentiation, etc.).

Muscle stem cells and muscle diseases: Skeletal muscles have critical functions in locomotion, exercise, and metabolism. The homeostasis of skeletal muscle mass and function is maintained via muscle stem cell-dependent repairing mechanisms.  We recently discovered that muscle stem cells (also called satellite cells) in adult skeletal muscles have low intracellular oxygen tension (hypoxia), which is a distinct characteristic comparing to adjacent mature muscle fibers. Based on this finding, we further identified hypoxia-inducible factor 2A (HIF2A) as a critical regulator of muscle stem cell quiescence, self-renewal, proliferation, differentiation. Using small molecular compounds, we can manipulate the behaviors of muscle stem cells and improve muscle repair/regeneration. We are currently characterizing the molecular functions of HIF2A and exploring the applications of HIF2A inhibitor in muscle diseases.

  • Xie L, Yin A, Nichenko A, Beedle A, Call J, Yin H. (2018) Transient HIF2A inhibition promotes satellite cell proliferation and muscle regeneration. Journal of Clinical Investigation. PMID: 29533927

Aging of adipose tissues and type 2 diabetes: We are interested to understand how the dynamics and remodeling of adipose (fat) tissues change during aging. Adipose tissues play pivotal roles in glucose, lipids, and energy metabolism. The aging of adipose tissues underlies the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerosis. We recently found that the stabilization of tumor suppressor p53 in aged white fat cells prevents the increase of mitochondria number by inducing mitophagy and causes age-related insulin resistance. We are currently exploring more cellular/molecular mechanisms that control the dynamic distribution and remodeling of adipose tissues.

  • Fu W, Liu Y, Sun C, Yin H. (2018) Transient p53 inhibition sensitizes aged white adipose tissue for beige adipocyte recruitment by blocking mitophagy. FASEB Journal. PMID: 30052487

Brown adipose tissue and obesity: Brown fat is a specialized heat-generating (thermogenic) tissue in mammals. Inducing the expansion and activity of brown fat holds promise to prevent obesity and treat diabetic hyperglycemia. We are investigating the mechanisms that control the formation and activity of brown fat in mouse models. 

 

Research Interests:

My research focuses on adult stem cell populations in skeletal muscle and adipose tissues. We use molecular genetic tools and small molecule compounds to identify therapeutic targets/agents for skeletal muscle atrophy, injury, muscular dystrophies, obesity and type 2 diabetes. My laboratory uses various transgenic mouse models and primary cell cultures to understand gene functions and to model human diseases. We are particularly interested in dissecting functions of metabolism-related genes, epigenetic/chromatin factors, RNA-binding factors and non-coding RNAs in controlling adult stem cell behaviors (lineage determination, proliferation, differentiation, etc.).

Labs:
Labs (via personnel):
Courses Regularly Taught:
Education:
  • 1996-2001   Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 2001-2006   Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  • 2006-2008   Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  • 2008-2013   Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Grants:

National Institutes of Health R01 (5R01AR070178)

American Heart Association Grant-in-Aid (17GRNT33700260)

Selected Publications:
  • Xie L, Yin A, Nichenko A, Beedle A, Call J, Yin H. (2018) Transient HIF2A inhibition promotes satellite cell proliferation and muscle regeneration. Journal of Clinical Investigation. PMID: 29533927
  • Fu W, Liu Y, Sun C, Yin H. (2018) Transient p53 inhibition sensitizes aged white adipose tissue for beige adipocyte recruitment by blocking mitophagy. FASEB Journal. PMID: 30052487

     View the full list of our publications (PubMed)