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Research interests

Dr. Jong Yun's work focuses on the development of sphingosine kinase (SphK) inhibitors as anti-cancer therapeutic agents.

The Yun research group is currently pursuing three separate projects that are centered around the development of therapeutic agents that specifically target SphK.

The first project, target identification, combines biochemistry and cell and molecular biology techniques to determine the signaling mechanisms associated with the functional role of SphK in normal and cancerous cells.

The second project, target validation, is closely associated with the physiological and/or pathological functions of SphK. To validate SphK as a therapeutic target, the lab currently has ongoing studies in collaboration with other investigators including clinicians such as oncologists and pathologists.

The third project, proof-of-concept studies, centers around the development of novel disease-specific and effective therapeutic approaches by targeting SphK. In this regard, Dr. Yun's work has already identified and refined novel SphK inhibitors (SKIs) by screening libraries of synthetic compounds. Currently, the lab has several ongoing proof-of-concept studies in collaboration with other investigators who have expertise medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry and in vivo mouse model systems.

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Projects 2001 2004

Protein Kinase C
Cysteine
Breast Neoplasms
Protein Isoforms
Phosphotransferases

Research Output 1992 2018

Transdifferentiation of Human Circulating Monocytes Into Neuronal-Like Cells in 20 Days and Without Reprograming

Bellon, A., Wegener, A., Lescallette, A. R., Valente, M., Yang, S. K., Gardette, R., Matricon, J., Mouaffak, F., Watts, P., Vimeux, L., Yun, J., Imamura, Y., Clawson, G., Blandin, E., Chaumette, B., Jay, T. M., Krebs, M. O., Feuillet, V. & Hosmalin, A., Sep 19 2018, In : Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. 11, 323.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Monocytes
Neurons
Neuronal Plasticity
Electrophysiology
Dopamine Receptors

SKI-178: A multitargeted inhibitor of sphingosine kinase and microtubule dynamics demonstrating therapeutic efficacy in acute myeloid leukemia models

Hengst, J., Dick, T. E., Sharma, A., Doi, K., Hegde, S., Tan, S. F., Geffert, L., Fox, T. E., Sharma, A. K., Desai, D., Amin, S., Kester, M., Loughran, T. P., Paulson, R., Claxton, D., Wang, H-G. & Yun, J., 2017, In : Cancer Translational Medicine. 3, 4, p. 109-121

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Acid ceramidase is upregulated in AML and represents a novel therapeutic target

Tan, S. F., Liu, X., Fox, T. E., Barth, B. M., Sharma, A., Turner, S. D., Awwad, A., Dewey, A., Doi, K., Spitzer, B., Shah, M. V., Morad, S. A. F., Desai, D., Amin, S., Zhu, J., Liao, J. J., Yun, J., Kester, M., Claxton, D., Wang, H-G. & 5 others, Cabot, M. C., Schuchman, E. H., Levine, R. L., Feith, D. J. & Loughran, T. P., Jan 1 2016, In : Oncotarget. 7, 50, p. 83208-83222 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Acid Ceramidase
Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Ceramides
Sphingolipids
Myeloid Cells
9 Citations (Scopus)

Sphingosine Kinase 1 Cooperates with Autophagy to Maintain Endocytic Membrane Trafficking

Young, M. M., Takahashi, Y., Fox, T. E., Yun, J., Kester, M. & Wang, H-G., Nov 1 2016, In : Cell Reports. 17, 6, p. 1532-1545 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sphingosine
Autophagy
Membranes
Membrane Fusion
Fusion reactions
11 Citations (Scopus)

Sphingosine kinase inhibitors decrease viability and induce cell death in natural killer-large granular lymphocyte leukemia

LeBlanc, F. R., Liu, X., Hengst, J., Fox, T., Calvert, V., Petricoin, E. F., Yun, J., Feith, D. J. & Loughran, T. P., Dec 2 2015, In : Cancer Biology and Therapy. 16, 12, p. 1830-1840 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Large Granular Lymphocytic Leukemia
Cell Death
Sphingolipids
G2 Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints
Apoptosis