Shingo Kajimura, PhD

Associate Professor
Diabetes Center
Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research
Department of Cell & Tissue Biology
Research Description: 

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: 

The regulation of glucose and lipid homeostasis via PLTP as a mediator of BAT-liver communication.

EMBO reports

Sponton CH, Hosono T, Taura J, Jedrychowski MP, Yoneshiro T, Wang Q, Takahashi M, Matsui Y, Ikeda K, Oguri Y, Tajima K, Shinoda K, Pradhan RN, Chen Y, Brown Z, Roberts LS, Ward CC, Taoka H, Yokoyama Y, Watanabe M, Karasawa H, Nomura DK, Kajimura S

A new way to ignite thermogenesis in human adipose tissue.

Nature reviews. Endocrinology

Verkerke ARP, Kajimura S

CD81 Controls Beige Fat Progenitor Cell Growth and Energy Balance via FAK Signaling.

Cell

Oguri Y, Shinoda K, Kim H, Alba DL, Bolus WR, Wang Q, Brown Z, Pradhan RN, Tajima K, Yoneshiro T, Ikeda K, Chen Y, Cheang RT, Tsujino K, Kim CR, Greiner VJ, Datta R, Yang CD, Atabai K, McManus MT, Koliwad SK, Spiegelman BM, Kajimura S

Beta-3 Adrenergic Receptor Agonist Treats Rotator Cuff Fatty Infiltration by Activating Brown/beige Fat in Mice.

Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery

Wang Z, Liu X, Liu M, Jiang K, Kajimura S, Kim H, Feeley BT

Adrenergic-Independent Signaling via CHRNA2 Regulates Beige Fat Activation.

Developmental cell

Jun H, Ma Y, Chen Y, Gong J, Liu S, Wang J, Knights AJ, Qiao X, Emont MP, Xu XZS, Kajimura S, Wu J