Yuqing Dong, PhD
055A Life Science Building
190 Collings Street
Clemson, SC 29634
- Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, 2000-2006
- Ph.D. Plant Molecular Biology, Peking University, 1999
- B.S. Biochemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, 1994
Aging is an inevitable universal process in most of
higher order eukaryotic organisms. During the aging process, the physiological
functions of organisms gradually decline, which lead to a variety of
age-related disorders. One of the major challenges in aging research is to find
a way to delay aging and alleviate the impairment of age-related disorders. To
this end, a comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms of lifespan
regulation is imperative. Considering that most cellular behaviors, if not all,
are tightly regulated by the network of signaling pathways, my overall research
centers on the signaling pathways related to aging and the elucidation of how
these signaling pathways modulates aging at the molecular level. Toward this, I
am engaging the genetic model organism, C.
elegans, to investigate 1) how the genetic factors through the signaling
network modulate aging process, and 2) how to intervene in aging and
age-related diseases effectively in a feasible way.
Genetic studies in model systems have shown
that a single gene alteration in conserved signaling pathways can dramatically
influence the lifespan of an organism.
To date, several genome-associated studies have identified a
considerable number of genes which are involved in lifespan regulation (so
called “longevity gene”). Accordingly, my team utilizes genetic, molecular, and
cellular approaches to dissect them in various signaling pathways and determine
their functions in aging process. Characterization of these longevity genes
will reveal the regulatory network of lifespan in C. elegans, and very likely discover new pathways that are novel in
diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and various neurodegenerative disorders,
are generally associated with aging. There is an urgent need to find a way to encourage and maintain a healthy lifespan in large
and increasing populations of elderly individuals. At present, diet
intervention (pharmacological and nutraceutical reagents) has been proven the
most feasible and effective way to combat aging and age-related disorders
through the modulation of metabolism and stress. We hypothesized that
nutraceuticals with prolongevity effects act through many conserved signaling
pathways, such as target-of-rapamycin (TOR),
insulin/IGF-1-like signaling (IIS), and sirtuins, to promote healthy aging. Using our C.
elegans model, we use a variety of nutraceuticals to ask following
questions that test our hypothesis: 1) Do the nutraceuticals that
attenuate aging associated declines with improved healthspan?; 2) Do the
nutraceuticals that act through the major pathways or proteins associated with
D., Cao, M., Dinh, J.,
(2013) Methods for creating mutations in C.
elegans that extend lifespan. In: Biological
Aging: Methods and Protocols; Second Edition (Ed.) T. O. Tollefsbol,
Springer, New York, NY, USA. pp. 65-76. (Book Chapter)
- Guha, S., Klees, M., Wang, X., Li, J., Dong, Y.*, Cao, M.
(2013) Influence of planktonic and sessile Listeria monocytogenes on Caenorhabditis elegans. Arch Microbiol.
2013 Jan; 195(1):19-26. (* co-corresponding author)
- Dong, Y.*, Guha, S., Sun, X.,
Cao, M., Wang, X., Zou, S. (2012) Nutraceutical interventions for
promoting healthy aging in invertebrate models.
Oxid Med Cell Longev.
2012:718491. Epub 2012 Sep 6. (* the first and corresponding author)
- Guha, S., Cao, M., Kane, R.M., Savino, A.M., Zou,
S., Dong, Y. (2012) The longevity effect of cranberry extract in
Caenorhabditis elegans is modulated by daf-16 and osr-1. AGE (Dordr). 2012 Aug 4. [Epub ahead of print]
- Dong, Y., Zou, S. (2010) Sirtuins and Aging. In: Epigenetics
of Aging (Ed.) T. O. Tollefsbol, Springer, New York, NY, USA, pp. 51-76.
- Li, J., Ebata, A., Dong, Y., Rizki, G., Iwata, T., Lee,
S.S. (2008) Caenorhabditis elegans HCF-1 functions in longevity maintenance
as a DAF-16 regulator. PLoS Biol. 2008 Sep 30;6(9):e233
B., Dong, Y., Shindo, M., Liu, W.,
Ruvkun, G., Lee S. (2005) A Systematic RNAi Screen for Longevity Genes in C. elegans. Genes Dev. 2005 Jul 1;
D., Legesse-Miller, A., Gao, L., Dong,
Y. and Bretscher, A. (2004) Mechanisms of polarized growth and organelle
segregation in yeast. Annu rev cell dev biol. 2004;
X., Dong, Y., Zhao, J. (2004) HetR
homodimer is a DNA-binding protein required for heterocyst differentiation, and
the DNA-binding activity is inhibited by PatS. Proc Natl Acad Sci, USA
- Dong, Y., Pruyne, D., Bretscher,
A. (2003) Formin-dependent actin assembly is regulated by distinct modes of Rho
signaling in yeast. J Cell Biol. 161(6):1081-92.
- Dong, Y., Huang, X., Wu, X.,
Zhao, J. (2000) Identification of the active site of HetR protease and its
requirement for heterocyst differentiation in the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp.
Strain PCC 7120. J Bacteriol. 182(6):
R., Wei, X., Jiang, N., Li, H., Dong, Y.,
His, K., Zhao, J. (1998) Evidence that HetR Protein is an unusual Serine-type
Protease. Proc Natl Acad Sci, USA 95(9): 4959-4963.
- MICRO 4170/H4170/6170 – Cancer and Aging
- MICRO 4270 - Cancer and Aging Lab
- BIOSC 8260 - Epigenetics
Current Graduate Students
- Xiaoxia Wang, Ph.D. (2011- )
- Ojas Natararjin, Ph.D. (2012- )
Past Graduate Students
- Sujay Guha, Ph.D. (2008 – 2013)
Currently a Postdoc Fellow in the Scripps Research Institute
- Yao Yao, M.S. (2008 – 2011)
Currently a staff scientist at Axio Research in Seattle, WA
- American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB)
- American Aging Association