Research   FACULTY PROFILE - Huabo Su

Faculty photo of Dr. Huabo Su

Post-translational modifications (PTMs) by a family of small protein modifiers, including ubiquitin (Ub) and Ub-like proteins, represent a vital mechanism regulating protein function and are integral to cellular homeostasis. Recent studies have consistently proven the fundamental importance of these PTMs in normal cell function and their implications in a wide array of diseases ranging from cancers, viral diseases, to neurodegenerative disorders and cardiovascular diseases. However, the biological functions of novel ubiquitin-like proteins in the heart remain poorly understood.

We are particularly interested in the roles of NEDD8 (Neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally downregulated 8) and Ufm1 (Ubiquitin-like protein modifier 1), two novel Ub-like proteins, in the heart. NEDD8 and Ufm1 modify protein targets via their specific conjugation enzymes, termed neddylation and ufmylation, respectively. Our research aims to address three major questions: 1) does neddylation or ufmylation have any roles in the developing and stressed hearts? 2) how does neddylation or ufmylation control cardiomyocyte function and survival? and 3) what cellular proteins are modified by NEDD8 or Ufm1 and how such modifications alter their molecular, cellular, organismal functions? We use a combination of novel genetically engineered mouse models with advanced molecular, cellular, physiological and pathological, and proteomic descriptors to tackle these questions.


Atypical neddylation and cardiac protein quality control

Role of neddylation in cardiac development

Unrecognized role of neddylation in post-mitotic cardiomyocytes

Pathophysiological significance of non-Cullin neddylation in the heart

Ufmylation, ER stress signaling and cardiac remodeling.

Lab Personnel

Ermin (Emily) Li
Postdoctoral Fellow

Jie Li, MD, PhD
Assistant Research Scientist

Rodney Littlejohn, MD, PhD candidate
Graduate Research Assistant

Raj Sharma
Student Assistant

Felina Thomas 
Student Assistant

Wenjuan Wang
Exchange Visitor Affiliate

Juanjuan Zhao
Research Assistant

Jianqiu Zou, PhD
Assistant Research Scientist