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Faculty Profiles

Nam-On Ku
Chair of Bio-Convergence


  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Integrated OMICS for Biomedical Science, Graduate School
  • Research Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Dept. of Molecular and Integrative Physiology,
    University of Michigan
  • Senior Research Scientist, School of Medicine, Div. of Gastroenterology, Stanford University
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Stanford University
  • Ph.D. in Microbiology, The Ohio State University
  • M.S. in Biology, Yonsei University
  • B.S. in Biology, Yonsei University

Email: namonku@yonsei.ac.kr
Tel: 02-2123-2697
Office: uicadmin

Education

The Ohio State University Ph.D. Microbiology
Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea M.S. Biology
Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea B.S. Biology

Courses and Current Research Areas

Courses
 UBC2002-01-00, Cell Biology (1)
• UBC2003-01-00, Cell Biology (2)
• UBC3005-01-00, Physiology
• BIO1011-03-00, General Biology and Experiment (1)
• BIO1012-03-00, General Biology and Experiment (2)
• OBM7012-01-00, Cell Signaling and diseases (1)
• OBM7800-01-00, Disease Phenotype in Mouse Model (1)

Research Areas
• Regulation and function of intermediate filament proteins in cell signaling
• Study of keratin mutations in transgenic mouse model
• Association of intermediate filament mutations in human diseases

Selected Publications

1) Ku N-O, and Omary MB (1994).  Identification of the major physiologic phosphorylation site of human keratin 18: potential kinases and a role in filament reorganization. J Cell Biol 117:161-171.
2) Ku N-O, Michie S, Oshima RG, and Omary MB (1995). Chronic hepatitis, hepatocyte fragility and increased soluble phosphoglycokeratins in transgenic mice expressing a keratin 18 conserved arginine mutant. J Cell Biol 131:1303-1314.
3) Ku N-O, Michie SA, Soetikno RM, Resurreccion EZ, Broome RL, Oshima RG, and Omary MB (1996).  Susceptibility to hepatotoxicity in transgenic mice that express a dominant-negative human keratin 18 mutant.  J Clin Invest 98:1034-1046.
4) Ku N-O, Wright TL, Terrault NA, Gish R, and Omary MB (1997).  Mutation of human keratin 18 in association with cryptogenic cirrhosis.  J Clin Invest 99:19-23.
5) Ku N-O, Liao J, and Omary MB (1998). Phosphorylation of human keratin 18 serine-33 regulates binding to 14-3-3 proteins.  EMBO J 17:1892-1906.
6) Ku N-O, Michie SA, Soetikno RM, Resurreccion EZ, Broome RL, and Omary MB (1998). Mutation of a major keratin phosphorylation site predisposes to hepatotoxic injury in transgenic mice. J Cell Biol 143:2023-2032.
7) Ku N-O, and Omary MB (2000).  Keratins turn over by ubiquitination in a phosphorylation-modulated fashion.  J Cell Biol 149:547-552.
8) Ku N-O, Gish R, Wright TL, and Omary MB (2001). Keratin 8 mutations in patients with cryptogenic liver disease.  N Engl J Med 344:1580-1587.
9) Ku N-O, Michie SA, Resurreccion EZ, Broome RL. and Omary MB  (2002).  Keratin binding to 14-3-3 proteins modulates keratin filaments and hepatocyte mitotic progression.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99:4373-4378.
10) Ku N-O, Soetikno RM, and Omary MB (2003).  Keratin mutation in transgenic mice predisposes to FAS but not TNF induced apoptosis and massive liver injury. Hepatology 37:1006-1014.
11) Ku N-O, Darling J, Krams SM, Esquivel CO, Keeffe EB, Sibley RK, Lee YM, Wright TL and Omary MB (2003). Keratin 8 and 18 mutations are risk factors for developing liver disease of multiple etiologies. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:6063-6068.
12) Ku N-O, Fu H, and Omary MB (2004).  Raf-1 activation disrupts its binding to keratins during cell stress. J Cell Biol 166:479-485.
13) Ku N-O, Lim JK, Krams SM, Esquivel CO, Keeffe EB, WrightTL, Parry D and Omary MB (2005).  Keratins as susceptibility genes for end-stage liver disease. Gastroenterology 129:885-893.
14) Omary MB, Ku N-O, Tao G-Z, Toivola DM, and Liao J (2006).  'Heads and tails' of intermediate filament phosphorylation: multiple sites and functional insights. Trends Biochem Sci. 31:383-394.
15) Ku N-O, and Omary MB (2006).  A disease and phosphorylation related non-mechanical function for keratin 8. J Cell Biol 174:115-125.
16) Omary MB, and Ku N-O (2006).  Cell biology: skin care by keratins. Nature 441:296-297.
17) Harada M, Strnad P, Resurreccion EZ, Ku N-O, and Omary MB (2007).  Keratin 18 overexpression but not phosphorylation or filament organization blocks mouse Mallory body formation.  Hepatology 45:88-96.
18) Ku N-O, Strnad P, Zhong B, Tao G-Z, and Omary MB (2007).  Keratins let liver live: mutations predispose to liver disease and crosslinking generates Mallory-Denk bodies.  Hepatology 46:1639-1649.
19) Omary MB, Ku N-O, Strnad P, Zhong B, Tao G-Z, and Toivola DM (2009).  Towards unraveling the complexity of simple epithelial keratins in human disease.  J Clin Invest 119:1794-1805.
20) Ku N-O, Toivola DM, Strnad P, and Omary MB. Cytoskeletal keratin glycosylation protects from epithelial tissue injury (2010). Nat Cell Biol 12:876-885.
21)  Zhou Q, Snider NT, Liao J, Li DH, Hong A, Ku N-O, Cartwright CA, and Omary MB (2010).  Characterization of in vivo keratin 19 phosphorylation on tyrosine-391. PLoS One 5:e13538.
22) Strnad P, Paschke S, Jang KH, and Ku N-O (2012). Keratins: markers and modulators of liver disease. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 28:209-16.
23) Lee J, Jang KH, Kim H, Lim Y, Kim S, Yoon HN, Chung IK, Roth J, and Ku N-O (2013). Predisposition to apoptosis in keratin 8-null liver is related to inactivation of NF-κB and SAPKs but not decreased c-Flip. Biology Open 2:695-702.
24) Yi H, and Ku N-O (2013). Intermediate filaments of the lung. Histochem Cell Biol. 140:65-69.
25) Weerasinghe SV*, Ku N-O*, Altshuler PJ, Kwan R, and Omary MB (2014). Mutation of keratin 18 caspase digestion sites interferes with filament reorganization and promotes hepatocyte leakiness and necrosis. J Cell Sci. 127:1464-1475
26) Ku N-O, Strnad P, Bantel H, and Omary MB (2016). Keratins: Biomarkers and modulators of apoptotic and necrotic cell death in the liver. Hepatology 64:966-976
27) Yoon HN, Yoon SY, Hong JH, and Ku N-O (2017). A mutation in keratin 18 that causes caspase-digestion resistance protects homozygous transgenic mice from hepatic apoptosis and injury. J Cell Sci.130:2541-2550.

More Information

Patent
Keratin 8 and 18 mutations are risk factors for developing liver disease of multiple etiologies (MB Omary and N-O Ku): patent#, US 7838217 B1; date of patent, Nov 23, 2010

International Oral Presentations
1) Ku N-O, Fu H, and Omary MB. Keratin 8 associates with and sequesters Raf kinase during interphase in a phosphorylation-dependent fashion. Gordon Research Conference: Intermediate Filaments, US, Aug. 2002.
2) Ku N-O, Darling JM, Wright TL, Krams SM, and Omary MB. Keratin mutations predispose to cryptogenic and noncryptogenic liver disease. American Gastroenterological Association Conference: Digestive Disease Meeting, US, May 2002.
3) Ku N-O, Darling JM, Krams SM, Esquivel CO, Keeffe EB, Wright TL, and Omary MB. A new and highly prevalent keratin mutation in patients with liver disease. American Gastroenterological Association Conference: Digestive Disease Meeting, US, May 2003.
4) Ku N-O, Fu H, and Omary MB. Keratins as modulators of 14-3-3 proteins and vice versa. Gordon Research Conference: Biology of 14-3-3 Proteins, US, Feb. 2004.
5) Ku N-O, Lim JK, Krams SM, Esquivel CO, Keeffe EB, Wright TL, Parry D, and Omary MB. Keratins as susceptibility genes for liver disease. American Gastroenterological Association Conference: Digestive Disease Meeting, US, May 2004.
6) Ku N-O, Lim JK, Krams SM, Esquivel CO, Keeffe EB, Wright TL, Parry D, and Omary MB. Keratins as susceptibility genes for liver disease. Gordon Research Conference: Intermediate Filaments, US, Aug. 2004.
7) Ku N-O, and Omary MB.  Human cirrhosis-associated keratin-8 glycine61-to-cysteine mutation predisposes to liver injury in transgenic mice.  American Gastroenterological Association Conference: Digestive Disease Meeting, US, May 2005.
8) Ku N-O, and Omary MB.  Keratin-8 mutation predisposes to liver injury by altering stress kinase-mediated phosphorylation.  American Society for Cell Biology Meeting, US, Dec. 2005.
9) Ku N-O, Toivola DM, Strnad P and Omary MB.  A new functional role for keratin 18 glycosylation in protection from injury in epithelial tissues.  American Society for Cell Biology Meeting, Dec. 2007.
10) Ku N-O. In vivo significance of keratin glycosylation in liver injury. ACGG (Asian Communications of Glycobiology and Glycotechnology) Conference, Taiwan, Oct. 2010.
11) Ku N-O. Epithelial keratin-associated disease. Gordon Research Conference: Intermediate Filaments, US, June 2012.
12) Ku N-O. Function of keratins in lung. Joint symposium of Society for Histochemistry and COST Nanonet Action, Czech Republic, June 2013.

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