Lawrence Kazak

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Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) faces the universal challenges of genome maintenance: the accurate replication, transmission and preservation of its integrity throughout the life of the organism. Although mtDNA was originally thought to lack DNA repair activity, four decades of research on mitochondria have revealed multiple mtDNA repair pathways, including base(More)
Cachexia is a wasting disorder of adipose and skeletal muscle tissues that leads to profound weight loss and frailty. About half of all cancer patients suffer from cachexia, which impairs quality of life, limits cancer therapy and decreases survival. One key characteristic of cachexia is higher resting energy expenditure levels than in healthy individuals,(More)
Brown fat can reduce obesity through the dissipation of calories as heat. Control of thermogenic gene expression occurs via the induction of various coactivators, most notably PGC-1α. In contrast, the transcription factor partner(s) of these cofactors are poorly described. Here, we identify interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) as a dominant transcriptional(More)
The observation that long tracts of RNA are associated with replicating molecules of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) suggests that the mitochondrial genome of mammals is copied by an unorthodox mechanism. Here we show that these RNA-containing species are present in living cells and tissue, based on interstrand cross-linking. Using DNA synthesis in organello, we(More)
Classic brown fat and inducible beige fat both dissipate chemical energy in the form of heat through the actions of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1. This nonshivering thermogenesis is crucial for mammals as a defense against cold and obesity/diabetes. Cold is known to act indirectly through the sympathetic nervous systems and β-adrenergic signaling, but(More)
Thermogenic brown and beige adipose tissues dissipate chemical energy as heat, and their thermogenic activities can combat obesity and diabetes. Herein the functional adaptations to cold of brown and beige adipose depots are examined using quantitative mitochondrial proteomics. We identify arginine/creatine metabolism as a beige adipose signature and(More)
Brown and beige adipose tissues can dissipate chemical energy as heat through thermogenic respiration, which requires uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). Thermogenesis from these adipocytes can combat obesity and diabetes, encouraging investigation of factors that control UCP1-dependent respiration in vivo. Here we show that acutely activated thermogenesis in(More)
Alternative translation initiation (ATI) is a mechanism of producing multiple proteins from a single transcript, which in some cases regulates trafficking of proteins to different cellular compartments, including mitochondria. Application of a genome-wide computational screen predicts a cryptic mitochondrial targeting signal for 126 proteins in mouse and(More)
The chronic inflammatory state that accompanies obesity is a major contributor to insulin resistance and other dysfunctional adaptations in adipose tissue. Cellular and secreted factors promote the inflammatory milieu of obesity, but the transcriptional pathways that drive these processes are not well described. Although the canonical inflammatory(More)