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Molecular and Cellular Biology

Houston, Texas

Image 1: Ovulated mouse cumulus cell oocyte complex immunostained for matrix proteins hyaluronan and versican. By JoAnne Richards, Ph.D.; Image 2: By Yi LI, Ph.D.; Image 3: Mouse oocyte at meiosis I immunostained  for tubulin (red) phosphop38MAPK (green) and DNA (blue). By JoAnne Richards,  Ph.D.;  Image 4: Expanded cumulus cell ooctye ocmplex  immunostained for hyaluronan (red), TSG6 (green) and DAN (blue). By JoAnne  Richards, Ph.D.;  Image 5: Epithelial cells taken from a mouse  mammary gland were cultured in a dish and transduced with a retrovirus  expressing two genes. The green staining shows green fluorescent protein and the red  staining shows progesterone receptor expression. The nucleus of each cell is  stained blue. Photomicrograph taken at 200X magnification.  By Sandra L. Grimm,  Ph.D.; Image 6: Ovarian vasculature (red) is excluded from the granulosa cells (blue) within growing follicles (round structures); Image 7:  Ovulated mouse cumulus cell oocyte  complex immunostained for matrix proteins hyaluronan and versican. By JoAnne Richards, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
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Benny Chang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology


Ph.D.: University of Texas-Health Science Center, Houston
Postdoctoral training: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston

Research Interest

Adipophilin and MTP Regulate Hepatic Lipid Homeostasis
Adipose differentiation related protein (ADRP, also known as ADFP and adipophilin or ADPH) is a marker of adipocyte differentiation, but it is also a marker of lipid accumulation in non-adipose tissues such as fatty liver. This protein is localized to cytosol and binds to lipid droplet, a newly recognized organelle where lots of biochemical and structural functions reside. The ADRP deficient mice we generated manifested a 60% reduction in hepatic triacylglycerol (TAG) with a concomitant increase in MTP protein (an endoplasmic reticulum lumen protein) and comparable VLDL secretion. When these ADRP deficient mice are treated with MTP inhibitor, their hepatic triglyceride content are not different from wildtype mice received the same treatment. This indicates a coordinating role between ADRP and MTP in regulating hepatic TAG homeostasis. ADRP binds to cytosolic lipid droplets and maintain the cytosolic TAG storage, while MTP transport TAG to apoB protein for VLDL assembly and secretion. In the absence of ADRP, TAG loses its cytosolic storage devise and is pulled toward export as VLDL through the active transport of MTP protein. On the contrary, in the absence of MTP, TAG is taken up in the cytosol and stored in lipid droplets. While, the role of MTP in regulating VLDL secretion is well established, the function of ADRP in counteracting the function of MTP by sequestering TAG in the cytosol is a novel discovery. I am currently using overexpression and gene deletion models (of both ADRP and MTP) to decipher this new finding.

Contact Information

Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza
Houston, TX 77030

Phone: 713-798-4409

Selected Publications

  1. Russell TD, Palmer CA, Orlicky DJ, Bales ES, Chang BH-J, Chan L and McManaman JL. (2007). Mammary glands of adipophilin-null mice produce an N-terminally truncated form of adipophilin that mediates milk lipid formation and secretion. J Lipid Res. 2007 Oct 5; [Epub ahead of print].
  2. Matsumura K, Chang BH-J, Fujimya M, Chen W, Kulkarni RN, Eguchi Y, Kimura H, Kojima H and Chan L. (2007). Aquaporin 7 is a {beta} Cell Protein and Regulator of Intra-islet Glycerol Content and Glycerol Kinase Activity, {beta} Cell Mass, and Insulin Production and Secretion. Mol Cell Biol. 27(17):6026-37.
  3. Chang BH-J and Chan L. (2007). Emerging Role of Lipid Droplet Protein ADFP in Health and Disease. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 292:G1465-G1468.
  4. Sztalryd C, Bell M, Lu X, Mertz P, Hickenbottom S, Chang BH-J, Chan L, Kimmel AR and Londos C. (2006). Functional compensation for adipose differentiation-related protein (ADFP) by Tip47 in an ADFP null embryonic cell line. J Biol Chem. 281(45):34341-8.
  5. Li M, Chang BH-J, Imamura M, Poungvarin N and Chan L. (2006). Glucose-dependent transcriptional regulation by an evolutionarily conserved glucose-sensing module. Diabetes 55(5):1179-89.
  6. Chang BH-J, Li L, Paul A, Taniguchi S, Nannegari V, Heird WC and Chan L. (2006). Protection against fatty liver but normal adipogenesis in mice lacking adipose differentiation related protein (ADFP). Mol Cell Biol. 26(3):1063-76.
  7. el Marjou F, Janssen KP, Chang BH-J, Li M, Hindie V, Chan L, Louvard D, Chambon P, Metzger D and Robine S. (2004). Tissue-specific and inducible Cre-mediated recombination in the gut epithelium. Genesis 39(3):186-93.
  8. Kato M, Patel MS, Levasseur R, Lobov I, Chang BH-J, Glass DA 2nd, Hartmann C, Li L, Hwang TH, Brayton CF, Lang RA, Karsenty G and Chan L. (2002). Cbfa1-independent decrease in osteoblast proliferation, osteopenia, and persistent embryonic eye vascularization in mice deficient in Lrp5, a Wnt coreceptor. J Cell Biol. 15;157(2):303-14.
  9. Martinez-Botas J, Anderson JB, Tessier D, Lapillonne A, Chang BH-J, Quast MJ, Gorenstein D, Chen KH and Chan L. (2000). Absence of perilipin results in leanness and reverses obesity in Lepr(db/db) mice. Nature Genetics 26:474-479.
  10. Chang BH-J, Liao W, Li L, Nakamuta M, Mack D and Chan L. (1999). Liver-specific inactivation of the Abetalipoproteinemia gene completely abrogates very low density lipoprotein/low density lipoprotein production in a viable conditional knockout mouse. J. Biol. Chem. 274(10):6051-6055.

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