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Research in the Lu Lab aims to understand how distinct glial cell subtypes (oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and Schwann cells) in the central and peripheral nervous systems are generated, how they are regenerated after injury, and how their progenitors are transformed into cancerous cells under pathological conditions. We study the development and plasticity of glial progenitor cells using a variety of novel molecular, cellular and imaging technologies in combination with in vivo targeting and fate mapping approaches. A major focus of our lab research is to elucidate the transcriptional, posttranscriptional, epigenetic and signaling regulatory networks that govern glial progenitor fate specification, differentiation and tumor formation. Our long-term goal is to develop effective therapies for treating neurological disorders caused by glial cell dysfunction, promoting nerve regeneration after injury or diseases such as multiple sclerosis, and blocking brain tumor initiation and progression.
Deng, Y., B. Kim, X. He, S. Kim, C. Lu, H. Wang, S. G. Cho, Y. Hou, J. Li, X. Zhao, and Lu, Q.R. (2014) Direct visualization of membrane architecture of myelinating cells in transgenic mice expressing membrane-anchored EGFP. Genesis 52: 341-349. PMID: 24851283.
Dai, Z. M., S. Sun, C. Wang, H. Huang, X. Hu, Z. Zhang, Lu, Q.R. and Qiu, M. (2014). Stage-Specific Regulation of Oligodendrocyte Development by Wnt/beta-Catenin Signaling.J. Neurosci.: 34: 8467-8473. PMID: 24948802.
Shen, Y. A., Y. Chen, D. Q. Dao, S. R. Mayoral, L. Wu, D. Meijer, E. M. Ullian, J. R. Chan#, and Q. R. Lu#. 2014. Phosphorylation of LKB1/Par-4 establishes Schwann cell polarity to initiate and control myelin extent. Nature communications 5: 4991. # co-corresponding authors.
He, X., L. Zhang, Y. Chen, M. Remke, D. Shih, F. Lu, H. Wang, Y. Deng, Y. Yu, Y. Xia, X. Wu, V. Ramaswamy, T. Hu, F. Wang, W. Zhou, D. K. Burns, S. H. Kim, M. Kool, S. M. Pfister, L. S. Weinstein, S. L. Pomeroy, R. J. Gilbertson, J. B. Rubin, Y. Hou, R. Wechsler-Reya, M. D. Taylor, and Q. R. Lu. 2014. The G protein alpha subunit Galphas is a tumor suppressor in Sonic hedgehog-driven medulloblastoma. Nature medicine 20: 1035-1042.
Hennen S*, Wang H*, Peters L, Merten N, Simon K, Spinrath A, Blättermann S, Akkari R, Schrage R, Schröder R, Schulz D, Vermeiren C, Zimmermann K, Kehraus S, Drewke C, Pfeifer A, König G, Mohr K, Gillard M, Müller C, Lu QR, Gomeza J, Kostenis E. Decoding signaling and function of the orphan G protein-coupled receptor Gpr17 with a small molecule agonist. Sci Signal. 2013 Oct 22;6(298):ra93. *Co-first authors.
Limpert AS, Bai S, Narayan M, Wu J, Yoon SO, Carter BD*, Lu QR*. NF-kB forms a complex with the chromatin remodeler BRG1 to regulate Schwann cell differentiation. J Neurosci. 2013 Feb 6;33(6):2388-97. *Co-corresponding authors.
Yu Y, Chen Y, Kim B, Wang H, Zhao C, He X, Liu L, Liu W, Wu, LM, Mao M, Chan JR, Wu J, Lu QR. Olig2 targets chromatin remodelers to enhancers to initiate oligodendrocyte differentiation. Cell. 2013 Jan 17;152(1-2): 248–261.
Chong SY, Rosenberg SS, Fancy SP, Zhao C, Shen YA, Hahn AT, McGee AW, Xu X, Zheng B, Zhang LI, Rowitch DH, Franklin RJ, Lu QR*, Chan JR*. Neurite outgrowth inhibitor Nogo-A establishes spatial segregation and extent of oligodendrocyte myelination. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jan 24:109(4):1299-304. * Co-corresponding authors.
Weng Q, Chen Y, Wang H, Xu X, Yang B, He Q, Shou W, Higashi Y, van den Berghe V, Seuntjens E, Kernie SG, Bukshpun P, Sherr EH, Huylebroeck D, Lu QR. Dual-mode modulation of Smad signaling by Smad-interacting protein Sip1 is required for myelination in the central nervous system. Neuron. 2012 Feb 23;73(4):713-28.
Zhao XH, He X, Han X, Yu Y, Ye F, Chen Y, Hoang T, Xu X, Mi QS, Xin M, Wang F, Appel B, Lu QR. MicroRNA-Mediated Control of Oligodendrocyte Differentiation. Neuron. 2010 Mar 11; 65(5):612-26.
Chen Y, Wu H, Wang S, Koito H, Li J, Ye F, Hoang J, Escobar SS, Arnett HA, Trapp BD, Karandikar NJ, Hsieh J, Lu QR. The oligodendrocyte-specific G-protein coupled receptor GPR17 is a cell-intrinsic timer of myelination. Nat Neurosci. 2009 Nov;12(11):1398-406.
Ye F, Chen Y, Hoang T, Montgomery RL, Zhao XH, Bu H, Taketo MM, van Es JH, Clevers H, Hsieh J, Bassel-Duby R, Olson EN, Lu QR. Histone Deacetylases 1 and 2 Regulate Oligodendrocyte Differentiation By Disrupting beta-Catenin TCF Interaction. Nat Neurosci. 2009 Jul;12(7):829-38.
Chen Y, Miles D, Hoang J, Shi J, Kernie SG, Lu QR. The bHLH Gene Olig2 Is Required for Reactive Astrocyte Proliferation After Cortical Injury. J Neurosci. 2008 Oct;28(44):1-5.
PhD and MD / PhD Students interested in PhD training should contact Richard Lu and apply to the Molecular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program.
Graduates interested in Postdoctoral Training should contact Richard Lu and send their resumes (including publications and contacts of references).
Clinical Fellow applicants should contact Richard Lu and apply to the MSTP program.
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