Cunming Duan, Ph.D.

Michigan Neuroscience Institute Affiliate
Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Biological Sciences Building, Room 3268

Areas of Interest

Current research in the Duan lab studies cell quiescence regulation. Cell quiescence is a non-proliferative cellular state found in many cell types. Maintaining a pool of quiescent cells is critical for tissue homeostasis and regeneration. This is particularly important for tissues with high turnover rate. The human intestinal epithelial layer, for example, is renewed every 3 to 5 days. This exceptionally high turnover rate makes epithelial cells well suited for discovering mechanisms regulating cell quiescence-proliferation balance. Using a zebrafish epithelial model, we have discovered several mechanisms regulating the entry, maintenance, and exit of cell quiescence. Many of them are converged onto the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IIS)-PI3 kinase-Akt-Tor signaling pathway. Importantly, these mechanisms are conserved in human epithelial cells. Our work continues to unravel key regulators of cell quiescence and cell plasticity.

Published Articles or Reviews

  • Liu, C., Li, S., Noer, P.R., Kjaer-Sorensen, K., Juhl, A. K., Goldstein, A., Ke, C., Oxvig, C., and Duan, C. (2020) The metalloproteinase Papp-aa controls epithelial cell quiescence to proliferation transition. eLife 2020;9:e52322. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.52322 
  • Xin, Y., Malick, A., Hu, M.,  Liu, C., Batah, H., Xu, H., and Duan, C. (2019) Cell-autonomous regulation of epithelial cell quiescence by calcium channel Trpv6. eLife 8:e48003 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.48003
  • Liu, C.*, Xin, Y.*, Bai, Y., Lewin, G., He, G., Mai, K., and Duan, C. (2018) Ca2+ concentration-dependent premature death of igfbp5a-/- fish reveals a critical role of IGF signaling in adaptive epithelial growth. Science Signaling, 11, eaat2231.* equal contribution. 

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