Zeng Lab

We are interested in understanding at the molecular level key questions lying at the interface between biochemistry, cell biology, metabolic and neural physiology, including the bidirectional communication between autonomic neurons and adipocytes, the molecular basis of the phenotypic plasticity, or the lack of, in brown, beige and white adipocytes, and roles of uncharacterized enzymatic pathways in adipose thermogenesis.

Our Research

In the long run, we hope to address fundamentally important questions of general biological significance by using adipocyte as a model system. Our work may also lead to the development of new therapeutic targets and strategies for metabolic diseases and certain types of cancer.

  • Project 1: Mechanism of the neurotrophic action of adipocyte-derived S100b.
  • Project 2: The relevance of S100b to brain tumor.
  • Project 3: Mechanism of the obesogenic effect of steroid hormone.
  • Project 4: Role of a novel protein Clstn3β in lipid droplet biogenesis and glucose homeostasis.
  • Project 5: Roles of uncharacterized mitochondrial membrane protein and lipid-metabolizing enzyme in adipose thermogenesis.

Meet the Lab Members

Dr. Zeng

Xing Zeng, PI

Dr. Zeng majored in the Biological Sciences in Tsinghua University as an undergraduate. He obtained his Ph.D. degree at Harvard University in the subject of Cell and Developmental Biology. As a postdoc fellow in Bruce Spiegelman’s lab at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, he discovered that a previously unannotated adipose-specific gene Clstn3β and an adipocyte-derived neurotrophic factor S100b contribute to proper innervation of thermogenic adipose tissue by sympathetic nerves. This work revealed novel gene and signaling pathways mediating the communication between adipocytes and the peripheral nervous system. Dr. Zeng was awarded HP scholarship and “Excellent Undergraduate” at Tsinghua University, Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad by the Chinese Ministry of Education, American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship, Rita C. and William P. Clements, Jr. endowed scholar of UT Southwestern, and CPRIT grant for first time tenure-track faculty.

Phone: 214-645-6046

Susan (Mei-Jung) Lin

Susan (Mei-Jung) Lin

Senior research associate
Lab manager

Phone: 214-645-6046

Featured Publications

Innervation of thermogenic adipose tissue via a calsyntenin 3ß-S100b axis. Zeng X, Ye M, Resch JM, Jedrychowski MP, Hu B, Lowell BB, Ginty DD, Spiegelman BM, Nature 2019 05 569 7755 229-235

?d T cells and adipocyte IL-17RC control fat innervation and thermogenesis. Hu B, Jin C, Zeng X, Resch JM, Jedrychowski MP, Yang Z, Desai BN, Banks AS, Lowell BB, Mathis D, Spiegelman BM, Nature 2020 02 578 7796 610-614

Crosstalk between KCNK3-Mediated Ion Current and Adrenergic Signaling Regulates Adipose Thermogenesis and Obesity. Chen Y, Zeng X, Huang X, Serag S, Woolf CJ, Spiegelman BM Cell 2017 Sep

Lysine-specific demethylase 1 promotes brown adipose tissue thermogenesis via repressing glucocorticoid activation. Zeng X, Jedrychowski MP, Chen Y, Serag S, Lavery GG, Gygi SP, Spiegelman BM, Genes Dev. 2016 08 30 16 1822-36

Synergistic blockade of mitotic exit by two chemical inhibitors of the APC/C.Sackton KL, Dimova N, Zeng X, Tian W, Zhang M, Sackton TB, Meaders J, Pfaff KL, Sigoillot F, Yu H, Luo X, King RW Nature 2014 Aug

A Smooth Muscle-Like Origin for Beige Adipocytes. Long JZ, Svensson KJ, Tsai L, Zeng X, Roh HC, Kong X, Rao RR, Lou J, Lokurkar I, Baur W, Castellot JJ, Rosen ED, Spiegelman BM Cell Metab. 2014 Apr

Ablation of PRDM16 and Beige Adipose Causes Metabolic Dysfunction and a Subcutaneous to Visceral Fat Switch. Cohen P, Levy JD, Zhang Y, Frontini A, Kolodin DP, Svensson KJ, Lo JC, Zeng X, Ye L, Khandekar MJ, Wu J, Gunawardana SC, Banks AS, Camporez JP, Jurczak MJ, Kajimura S, Piston DW, Mathis D, Cinti S, Shulman GI, Seale P, Spiegelman BM Cell 2014 Jan 156 1-2 304-16

An APC/C inhibitor stabilizes cyclin B1 by prematurely terminating ubiquitination. Zeng X, King RW, Nat. Chem. Biol. 2012 Feb 8 4 383-92

Pharmacologic inhibition of the anaphase-promoting complex induces a spindle checkpoint-dependent mitotic arrest in the absence of spindle damage. Zeng X, Sigoillot F, Gaur S, Choi S, Pfaff KL, Oh DC, Hathaway N, Dimova N, Cuny GD, King RW, Cancer Cell 2010 Oct 18 4 382-95

Join Our Lab

The Zeng Lab is accepting graduate rotation students and postdoctoral applicants. Please contact Dr. Zeng via email.

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