Sun-Kyeong Lee, Ph.D.Associate Professor of Medicine, UConn Center on Aging
|Ph.D.||University of Connecticut||Physiology|
|Postdoctoral||University of Connecticut Health Center||Bone Biology|
|Name of Award/Honor||Awarding Organization|
|Accepted for NIA Summer Institute on Aging Research|
|Mazess Research Grant Award||National Osteoporosis Foundation|
|Annual Judge Award for outstanding Presentation||The New England Endocrinology Conference|
|Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award|
|Name & Description||Category||Role||Type||Scope||Start Year||End Year|
|American Society for Bone and Mineral Research||Professional/Scientific Organization||Member||External||National||1999|
|Member-in-Training, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research||Professional/Scientific Organization||Member||External||National||1991||1998|
|American Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology||Professional/Scientific Organization||Member||External||National||1987||1996|
|Korean Entomological Society||Professional/Scientific Organization||Member||External||National||1982||1985|
|Korean Zoological Society||Professional/Scientific Organization||Member||External||National||1982||1985|
1. Understanding the role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in osteoclastogenesis. MIF plays an important role in systemic as well as local inflammatory and immune responses. However, the precise role of MIF in the regulation of normal and abnormal bone metabolism has not been fully defined. Specific studies ongoing in my lab include the examination if MIF acts through a putative receptor CD74 and coreceptor (CD44) in osteoclastogenesis and the role of MIF in osteoclast fusion process using MIF knockout, CD74 knockout and CD44 knockout mouse models. We are particularly interested in the role of MIF in osteoclast precursor population and differentiation including fusion process of multinucleated osteoclastogenesis.
2. Role of interleukin-7 (IL-7) in bone. IL-7 is a cytokine to be involved in the regulation of hematopoiesis, which primarily acts on the lymphoid cell (B and T lymphocytes) compartment of the immune system. We are examining the local effect of IL-7 in osteoclastogenesis as well as bone mass using targeted overexpression of IL-7 in osteoblasts. In addition using IL-7 knockout mouse model, we are developing the role of T or B cells in bone marrow compartment in osteoclastogenesis and how alteration in bone mass occurs in response to local IL-7 overexpression in IL-7 KO mice. We are also interested in examining the possible role of IL-7 in osteoblastogenesis in these mouse models.
3. Role of CD97 in osteoclastogenesis. CD97 is a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) seven-span transmembrane (7TM) subfamily of adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Different from other membrane proteins of these subfamilies, CD97 possesses several EGF-like domains at the large N-terminal extracellular domain suggesting a potential function associated with adhesion. However, the presence of seven transmembrane domains with homology to GPCRs leads to the speculation that may also acts as cell surface receptor to transduce signals across the cell membrane. In mice CD97 is detected in most myeloid cells and variable portions of lymphocytes including T and B cells, and NK cells. Despite all data regarding the expression of CD97 in human and mice, the precise role of CD97 in the regulation of normal and abnormal bone metabolism has not been fully defined. We are interested in the possible role of CD97 and its interaction with its known ligand, CD55 in osteoclastogenesis.
Not accepting lab rotation students at this time
Lab Rotation Projects
Our lab studies osteoclast biology with specific interest in the role of MIF and IL-7 in bone formation and resorption. Models range from cell cultures to transgenic mice. Possible student projects include the following:
1. Role of MIF in osteoclast precursor population in bone marrow. This study involves isolation of highly purified osteoclast precursors from bone marrow by FACS sorting and examination of genes by microarray analysis. Examination of signaling related genes identified by microarray analysis by MIF treatment needs to be confirmed by real-time RT PCR and/or western blot analysis. Signaling pathways in the induction of expression will be examined.
2. Bone phenotype analysis of CD74/CD44 knockout mice. This study involves examination of bone phenotype by microCT and histomorphometric analyses, osteoclast and osteoblast formation assay, flow cytometric analysis and bone resorption pit assay.
3. Role of MIF in osteoclast fusion process. Highly purified FACS sorted osteoclast precursor cells will be utilized and examined if MIF alters the fusion process using time-lapse images, overexpression of fusion related gene expression and cell migration assay.
4. Role of T cells in IL-7 KO mice. Rescued IL-7 KO mice which only overexpress IL-7 in the osteoblast cells, will be studied to determine if T cells are critical for osteoclastogenesis. Highly purified T cells will be repleted into rescued IL-7 KO mice and examine their bone phenotype. This study involves examination of bone phenotype by microCT and histomorphometric analyses, osteoclast and osteoblast formation assay and bone resorption pit assay.
5. Role of CD97 and CD55 in osteoclastogenesis. Using CD97 Knock-in mice we will be investigating the role of CD97 in bone in vivo and in vitro. This study involves the examination of bone phenotype by microCT and histomorphometric analyses, osteoclast and osteoblast formation assay, flow cytometric analysis.