Keith Yamamoto, PhD

Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy
Vice Dean for Research, School of Medicine
Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
+1 415 476-8445
Research Overview: 

We study the activity of the intracellular receptors (IRs) in signal transduction and transcriptional control, including receptors for glucocorticoids (GR), androgens (AR) and thyroid hormone (TR).These hormone-receptor complexes bind to specific DNA sequences termed hormone response elements, which enhance or repress linked promoters. We have defined IR domains for hormone and DNA binding, dimerization, nuclear localization, phosphorylation, interac-tion with various cellular factors and transcriptional regulation. IRs functions faithfully when expressed in simpler organisms such as yeast and Drosophila, thus facilitating genetic analyses of their actions and identification of other factors involved in its activities. We are also pursuing 3D structure analyses of various domains of the receptor, and we employ biochemical strategies with purified components for mechanistic analyses. Thus, using genetic, structural, molecular and biochemical approaches, we use IRs as 3biological probes2 to define how a single regulatory protein can specify diverse pat-terns of specific gene expression in different cellular contexts. These reductionist strategies can increasingly be applied to studies of complex physiological and pathological processes. Thus, we are pursuing: (a) a signaling 3crosstalk2 pathway in developing T-cells in which activation of the T-cell receptor abrogates glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis; (b) dramatic shifts in AR activity and ligand responses during prostate cancer ontogeny and progression; (c) the consequences of glutamine repeat expansion in AR, leading to motor neuron degeneration in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Cancer Biology & Cell Signaling
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Research Summary: 
Signal Transduction and Transcriptional Regulation



Embed equity throughout innovation.

Science (New York, N.Y.)

Wailoo KA, Dzau VJ, Yamamoto KR

Institutions' role in trainee success.

Science (New York, N.Y.)

Yamamoto KR

Computational resources to define alleles and altered regulatory motifs at genomically edited candidate response elements.

Nucleic acids research

Ehmsen KT, Knuesel MT, Martinez D, Asahina M, Aridomi H, Yamamoto KR

Time for NIH to lead on data sharing.

Science (New York, N.Y.)

Sim I, Stebbins M, Bierer BE, Butte AJ, Drazen J, Dzau V, Hernandez AF, Krumholz HM, Lo B, Munos B, Perakslis E, Rockhold F, Ross JS, Terry SF, Yamamoto KR, Zarin DA, Li R

Loss of glucocorticoid receptor expression mediates in vivo dexamethasone resistance in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.


Wandler AM, Huang BJ, Craig JW, Hayes K, Yan H, Meyer LK, Scacchetti A, Monsalve G, Dail M, Li Q, Wong JC, Weinberg O, Hasserjian RP, Kogan SC, Jonsson P, Yamamoto K, Sampath D, Nakitandwe J, Downing JR, Zhang J, Aster JC, Taylor BS, Shannon K