ThegoalofthisK99/R00programistopreparemyreadinessinaresearchcareerandfacilitatemytransition from a post-doc fellow to an independent investigator position. To achieve this goal, I have developed (1) an originalresearchproposaltocontinuepursuingthecutting-edgeresearchinvascularbioengineeringand(2)a career development plan to gain the knowledge and additional expertise that will contribute to the proposed study and beyond. I will receive rigorous training from a superb advisory committee consisting of five world- renowned experts including Drs. Shu Chien (primary mentor), Kun-Liang Guan, Shankar Subramaniam, Liangfang Zhang, and Ju Chen, at University of California San Diego, who will give me valuable advice and collaborationtoaccomplishtheproposedresearchobjectives. Thefocalnatureofatheroscleroticlesionsindisturbedflowregionssuggestsaregulatorymechanismacting ontheendotheliumbylocalhemodynamicenvironment.RecentreportssuggestthatYAP/TAZ,atranscription co-activator complex in controlling tissue growth and organ size, functions as a mechanosensor to mediate biophysicalregulationofstemcellfate.However,itremainstobedeterminedwhetherYAP/TAZplaysarolein modulating cardiovascular homeostasis and diseases. I recently discovered that the differential regulation of YAP/TAZ activity in vascular endothelial cells (ECs) by local flow patterns contributes significantly to the atheroprone endothelial phenotypes regarding proliferation and inflammation. My in vivo studies indicate that systemic inhibition of YAP/TAZ expression attenuates the disturbed flow-induced carotid atherosclerosis in ApolipoproteinE-nullmice.WhetherlocalinhibitionofYAP/TAZatatheropronesitesissufficienttoprevent/treat progressionofatherosclerosisrequiresfurtherinvestigation.Myfindingsindicatethatitisofprimeimportance todeciphertheregulatorymechanismsofYAP/TAZactivationinmediatingtheatheroproneECphenotypes,and todevelopatherapeuticstrategybasedonYAP/TAZinhibitionatatheropronesites.Ourresearchteamrecently havedevelopedtheplatelet-membranecloakednanoparticles(PNPs)-deliverysystemtotargetvascularinjuries andatheroscleroticlesions.ThePNPswillbeapowerfulvehicleforustodeliverYAP/TAZinhibitorsspecifically topre-existingplaquesandexamineYAP/TAZasatherapeutictargetintheprogressionofatherosclerosis.This research proposal tests the overall hypothesis that YAP/TAZ serves as a novel and important mechanotransducer in atherogenesis. The proposed studies will determine (1) the role of flow regulation of YAP/TAZsignalingpathwayinvascularhomeostasisandatherosclerosis,(2)theYAP/TAZtargetgenesthat mediate the atheroprone EC phenotypes, and (3) lesion-targeted YAP/TAZ inhibition as a novel therapeutic strategytoprevent/treatatherosclerosis.Thisworkwillincreaseourunderstandingofthemechanismsbywhich disturbed flow mediates atherorprone phenotypes and lesion progression, as well as contributing to novel approachesforatherosclerosispreventionand/ortreatment.

Public Health Relevance

Atherosclerosis, the most common cause of acute myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and peripheral vasculardiseases,resultsfromendothelialdysfunctionandmaladaptiveinflammationinthearterialwall.The objectives of this proposed study are to (1) elucidate a novel mechanism by which local hemodynamics regulates the activities of two novel transcription co-activators YAP/TAZ to modulate endothelial phenotypes and atherogenesis, and (2) develop anti-YAP/TAZ nanomedicine for treatment/prevention of atherosclerosis. The knowledge gained from this research project will advance our understanding of pathogenesis of atherosclerosisandthedevelopmentofnoveltherapeuticstrategies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Career Transition Award (K99)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
NHLBI Mentored Transition to Independence Review Committee (MTI)
Program Officer
Huang, Li-Shin
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Diego
Biomedical Engineering
Schools of Arts and Sciences
La Jolla
United States
Zip Code
Huang, Tse-Shun; Wang, Kuei-Chun; Quon, Sara et al. (2017) LINC00341 exerts an anti-inflammatory effect on endothelial cells by repressing VCAM1. Physiol Genomics 49:339-345
Wang, Kuei-Chun; Yeh, Yi-Ting; Nguyen, Phu et al. (2016) Flow-dependent YAP/TAZ activities regulate endothelial phenotypes and atherosclerosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:11525-11530
Lin, Ting-Yang; Wei, Tong-You Wade; Li, Shuai et al. (2016) TIFA as a crucial mediator for NLRP3 inflammasome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:15078-15083