Songzhu Michael An

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Recent studies suggest that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and its G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) LPA(1), LPA(2), or LPA(3) may play a role in the development of several types of cancers, including colorectal cancer. However, the specific receptor subtype(s) and their signal-transduction pathways responsible for LPA-induced cancer cell proliferation have(More)
Sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) is a lipid kinase that catalyzes the conversion of sphingosine to sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), which has been shown to play a role in lymphocyte trafficking, angiogenesis, and response to apoptotic stimuli. As a central enzyme in modulating the S1P levels in cells, SphK1 emerges as an important regulator for diverse cellular(More)
One of the most exciting fields in biomedical research over the past few years is stem cell biology, and therapeutic application of stem cells to replace the diseased or damaged tissues is also an active area in development. Although stem cell therapy has a number of technical challenges and regulatory hurdles to overcome, the use of stem cells as tools in(More)
The GPR4 subfamily consists of four G protein-coupled receptors that share significant sequence homology. In addition to GPR4, this subfamily includes OGR1, TDAG8 and G2A. G2A has previously been shown to be a potent transforming oncogene for murine 3T3 cells. Here we show that GPR4 also malignantly transforms NIH3T3 cells and that TDAG8 malignantly(More)
Signaling pathways transduce extracellular stimuli into cells through molecular cascades to regulate cellular functions. In stem cells, a small number of pathways, notably those of TGF-β/BMP, Hedgehog, Notch, and Wnt, are responsible for the regulation of pluripotency and differentiation. During embryonic development, these pathways govern cell fate(More)
The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway regulates cell proliferation and differentiation in developing tissues, and abnormal activation of the Hh pathway has been linked to several tumor subsets. As a transducer of Hh signaling, the GPCR-like protein Smoothened (Smo) is a promising target for disruption of unregulated Hh signaling. A series of(More)
Pyridopyridazine antagonists of the hedgehog signaling pathway are described. Designed to optimize our previously described phthalazine smoothened antagonists, a representative compound eliminates a PXR liability while retaining potency and in vitro metabolic stability. Moreover, the compound has improved efficacy in a hedgehog/smoothened signaling mouse(More)
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