Se-Jin Lee

Academic Titles: 

802 PCTB
725 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205

Research Interest: 
Regulation of mammalian development and adult tissue homeostasis by growth and differentiation factors

The primary interest of my laboratory is to understand the role of signaling molecules in regulating embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis. We have focused on the superfamily of secreted proteins that are structurally related to transforming growth factor-ß (TGF-ß). Members of this growth factor family have been shown to play important roles in regulating the development and function of many different tissues, and as a result, many of these factors have shown enormous therapeutic potential for a wide range of clinical applications. Using molecular genetic approaches, we have identified a large number of novel mammalian TGF-ß family members that we have designated growth/differentiation factors (GDFs). We have been using a variety of experimental approaches, including genetic manipulation of mice, to attempt to understand the precise biological functions of these molecules. We are particularly interested in understanding the roles of these molecules in regulating tissue growth.

Much of our work has focused on a molecule that we have designated myostatin. We have shown that myostatin is expressed specifically in developing and adult skeletal muscle and that mice engineered to lack myostatin exhibit dramatic increases in skeletal muscle mass throughout the body. Based on these and other studies, we believe that myostatin normally acts to block skeletal muscle growth. We are currently attempting to elucidate the mechanism of action of myostatin as well as the mechanisms by which the activity of myostatin is regulated. Our long term goal is to attempt to exploit the biological properties of myostatin to develop novel therapeutic strategies for treating patients with muscle degenerative and wasting conditions, such as muscular dystrophy, sarcopenia, and cachexia resulting from diseases like cancer, AIDS, and sepsis.

Lab Members:
Namesort descending Classification Email
Adam Lehar Research Technologist
Suzi Sebald Research Specialist
Xiaoli Chang Research Specialist
Yun-Sil Lee Postdoctoral Fellow
Selected Publications:
DiGirolamo DJ, Singhal V, Chang X, Lee SJ, Germain-Lee EL. (2015) Administration of soluble activin receptor 2B increases bone and muscle mass in a mouse model of osteogenesis imperfecta. Bone Research Feb 10;3:14042. [ pdf ]
Lee YS, Lehar A, Sebald S, Liu M, Swaggart KA, Talbot CC Jr, Pytel P, Barton ER, McNally EM, Lee SJ. (2015) Muscle hypertrophy induced by myostatin inhibition accelerates degeneration in dysferlinopathy. Human Molecular Genetics 24:(20):5711-9.  [ pdf ]
Lee Y-S, Lee S-J. (2013) Regulation of GDF-11 and myostatin activity by GASP-1 and GASP-2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110, E3713–22. [ link ]
Liu-Chittenden Y, Huang B, Shim JS, Chen Q, Lee S-J, Anders RA, Liu JO, Pan D. (2012) Genetic and pharmacological disruption of the TEAD-YAP complex suppresses the oncogenic activity of YAP. Genes & Development 26, 1300–1305. [ link ] [ pdf ]
Roby YA, Bushey MA, Cheng LE, Kulaga HM, Lee S-J, Reed RR. (2012) Zfp423/OAZ mutation reveals the importance of Olf/EBF transcription activity in olfactory neuronal maturation. Journal of Neuroscience 32, 13679–88a. [ link ]
Lee SJ, Huynh TV, Lee YS, Sebald SM, Wilcox-Adelman SA, Iwamori N, Lepper C, Matzuk MM, Fan CM. (2012) Role of satellite cells versus myofibers in muscle hypertrophy induced by inhibition of the myostatin/activin signaling pathway. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109, E2353-2360. [ link ]
Ricard N, Ciais D, Levet S, Subileau M, Mallet C, Zimmers TA, Lee S-J, Bidart M, Feige J-J, Bailly S. (2012) BMP9 and BMP10 are critical for postnatal retinal vascular remodeling. Blood 119, 6162–6171. [ link ]