Youngsook Lee, PhD

Portrait of Youngsook Lee, PhD
Associate Professor
Cell and Regenerative Biology
4431 WIMR II
1111 Highland Avenue 4431
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 265-6352
Focus Groups: 
Signal Transduction
Research Summary: 
Transcriptional control of normal cardiovascular development and function
Research Detail: 

Malformation of the cardiovascular system is the most common form of human birth defect and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality. However, the molecular mechanisms that cause these heart diseases remain poorly understood.

The long-term goal of my laboratory is to advance our understanding of the transcriptional controls that guide cardiovascular differentiation / development and maintenance of normal cardiac function. The focus of our current research is to identify novel cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to normal cardiac morphogenesis and function. For this, we are investigating molecular mechanisms that regulate cardiac-specific gene expression in vitro and role of transcription factors in cardiovascular development in vivo by generating transgenic mice. For example, we are studying molecular functions of the cardiac-restricted homeobox protein Nkx2.5, zinc finger protein GATA4, muscle-specific factor MEF2, and the nuclear factor Jumonji in regulating target genes and guiding normal cardiovascular development.

Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells. One goal of stem cell research is the development of specialized cells such as heart muscle cells. The directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells is then vital to the ultimate use of such cells in the development of new therapies. We are currently developing methods to isolate and enrich embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.

Selected Publications: 
Mysliwiec, M.R., Carlson C.D., Tietjen, J., Hung, H., Ansari A.Z., and Lee, Y. Jarid2 (JUMONJI, AT rich interactive domain 2) regulates Notch1 expression via histone modification in the developing heart. J. Biol. Chem. 287:1235-1241, 2012. PMCID:PMC3244653.
Lee, M.J., Kim, D.E., Zakrzewska, A., Yoo Y.D., Kim, S., Kim, S.T., Seo, J.W., Lee, Y., Dorn, G.W., Oh, U.T., Kim, B.Y., and Kwon, Y.T. Characterization of the arginylation branch of the N–End rule pathway in G-protein mediated proliferation and signaling of cardiomyocytes. J. Biol. Chem. Published on line. May 2012.
Zang, Z, Jones, A., Sun C.-W., Li, C., Chang, C.-W., Joo H.Y., Dai, Q., Mysliwiec M.R., Wu, L.-C., Guo, Y., Yang, W., Liu, K., Pawlik, K., Erdjument-Bromage, H., Tempst, P., Lee, Y., Min, J., Townes, T.M., and Wang, H. Jarid2/MTF2/esPRC2p48 complex with PRC2 in ES cells and modulate ES cell pluripotency and somatic cell reprogramming. Stem Cells. 29:229-240. 2011.
Mysliwiec, M.R., Bresnick, E.H., and Lee, Y. Endothelial Jarid2/Jumonji is required for normal cardiac development and proper Notch1 expression. J. Biol. Chem. 286:17193-17204. 2011. PMCID:PMC 3089562.
Mejetta, S., Morey, L., Pascual, G., Kuebler B., Mysliwiec M.R., Lee, Y., Shiekhattar R., Croce L.D., Benitah, S.A. Jarid2 regulates mouse epidermal stem cell activation and differentiation. EMBO J. 30:3635-3646, 2011. PMCID:PMC3181486.
Lee, Y. To proliferate or not to proliferate. Cardiovascular Research, 86:347-348. Editorial. 2010.
Carlson C.D., Warren, C.L., Hauschild, K.E., Ozers, M.S., Qadir, N., Lee, Y., Bhimsaria, D., and Ansari, A.Z. Specificity Landscapes of natural and engineered DNA binding molecules predict biological function. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:4544-4549. 2010. PMCID:PMC2842033.
Shen, X., Kim, W., Fujiwara, Y., Liu Y., Mysliwiec, M.R., Yuan G-C., Lee, Y., and Orkin, S.H. Jumonji modulates polycomb activity and self-renewal versus differentiation of stem cells. Cell 139:1303-1314, 2009. PMCID:PMC2810107.
Wozniak R.J., Boyer, M.E., Grass, J.A., Lee, Y., and Bresnick, E.H. Context-dependent GATA factor function: Combinatorial requirements for transcriptional control in hematopoietic and endothelial cells. J of Biological Chemistry, 282(19):14665-74, 2007.
Kim, K.-H., Antkiewicz, D.S., Yan, L., Eliceiri, K.W., Heideman, W., Peterson, R.E., and Lee, Y. Lrrc10 is required for early heart development and function in zebrafish. Developmental Biology, 308:494-506, 2007.