Shingo Kajimura, PhD

Associate Professor
Diabetes Center
Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research
Department of Cell & Tissue Biology
SKajimura@diabetes.ucsf.edu

Obesity is a major risk factor for metabolic disorders such as type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A fundamental concept in understanding obesity is energy balance; obesity develops when energy intake (i.e., feeding) chronically exceeds total energy expenditure.

Adipose tissue serves as a central regulator of energy balance. Two types of adipose tissue, white and brown, are found in mammals: white adipose tissue (WAT) functions exclusively in the storage of excess energy, while brown adipose tissue (BAT) is specialized to dissipate chemical energy in the form of heat through a process called non-shivering thermogenesis. Due to its remarkable oxidative capacity to dissipate excess chemical energy, brown fat function is tightly linked to the development of obesity and metabolic disorders in rodents and humans. The main focus of our lab is to uncover the molecular circuits that control brown and white fat cell development and their roles in energy metabolism.

Over the last several years, we have been studying the transcriptional regulation of brown fat development. As an example, we have defined key transcriptional regulators, such as PRDM16 (PR-domain containing 16), C/EBPß, and EHMT1 that determine the cellular fate of brown and beige adipocytes. By employing a wide range of molecular biology, developmental biology, and biochemical/pharmacological approaches, we aim to engineer adipose cell fate and generate energy-burning brown/beige adipocytes in vivo. We hope these studies lead to the development of novel therapeutic interventions for obesity and obesity-related metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Tissue / Organ Biology & Endocrinology
Research Summary: 
Molecular Basis of Fat Cell Development and Energy Homeostasis

Websites

Publications: 

Mitochondrial Patch Clamp of Beige Adipocytes Reveals UCP1-Positive and UCP1-Negative Cells Both Exhibiting Futile Creatine Cycling.

Cell metabolism

Bertholet AM, Kazak L, Chouchani ET, Bogaczynska MG, Paranjpe I, Wainwright GL, Bétourné A, Kajimura S, Spiegelman BM, Kirichok Y

Beige Adipocyte Maintenance Is Regulated by Autophagy-Induced Mitochondrial Clearance.

Cell metabolism

Altshuler-Keylin S, Shinoda K, Hasegawa Y, Ikeda K, Hong H, Kang Q, Yang Y, Perera RM, Debnath J, Kajimura S

Transcriptional and epigenetic control of brown and beige adipose cell fate and function.

Nature reviews. Molecular cell biology

Inagaki T, Sakai J, Kajimura S

Brown Adipose Tissue Activation Is Linked to Distinct Systemic Effects on Lipid Metabolism in Humans.

Cell metabolism

Chondronikola M, Volpi E, Børsheim E, Porter C, Saraf MK, Annamalai P, Yfanti C, Chao T, Wong D, Shinoda K, Labbe SM, Hurren NM, Cesani F, Kajimura S, Sidossis LS