Project Title: “Identification of cardioprotective signatures induced by targeting MuRF1 and Vitamin D signaling in glucocorticoid-associated cardiac disease”
Amy Y. Sato Ph.D. recently joined the College of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology on March 1st 2022. The KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award will support her long-term career goal of establishing an independent line of research focused on the identification of cardioprotective mechanisms and novel target for therapeutic intervention in GC-associated cardiovascular disease.
Glucocorticoids (GC) are commonly used as immunosuppressants to manage a wide range of conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, autoimmune disease, organ transplantation and even some cancers, resulting in an estimated 4 million being prescribed GC as immunosuppressants in the United States. Unfortunately, GC excess leads to harmful cardiac effects with marked increases in cardiovascular disease and mortality risks. Currently, there is an unmet need for identifying the mechanisms by which GC excess promotes heart failure. Recent preliminary findings by Dr. Sato and published preclinical and clinical observations support the notion that MuRF1 upregulation and insufficient Vitamin D signaling contribute to heart failure. During her KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award, Dr. Sato will investigate the hypothesis that MuRF1-mediated ubiquitination is critical for GC-induced cardiac disease, and that the active metabolite 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3) counteracts the pathological gene expression patterns induced by GC that lead to cardiotoxicity. The overall goal of these studies is to identify cardioprotective mechanisms and novel targets for therapeutic intervention in the context of GC-induced cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Sato completed her Ph.D. program in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) in 2017. She then became a postdoctoral fellow at IUSM and moved to UAMS during the 2020 COVID pandemic with Dr. Teresita Bellido’s laboratory into the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology. She recently accepted the Assistant Professor position in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology as of March 1st 2022 in the College of Medicine, and is excited for the TRI KL2 opportunity which will further support the development of her independent line of research investigating the effects of GC on cardiac tissue.
Marjan Boerma, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Department; Director of UAMS Ultrasound Imaging Core, UAMS
Alan Tackett, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department; Director of Quantitative Proteomics Facility, UAMS
Jawahar Mehta, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Internal Medicine; Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine; Stebbins Chair in Cardiology, UAMS
Teresita Bellido, Ph.D., Chair of Physiology and Cell Biology Department, Center for Musuloskeletal Disease Research Investigator, UAMS; VA Career Research Scientist Expertise