Research Molecular Biologist
- Research Molecular Biologist
Children's Nutrition Research Center
- Assistant Professor
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas United States
- BA from San Jose State University
- San Jose, California United States
- Chemistry Concentration in Biochemistry
- MS from Washington State University
- Pullman, Washington United States
- Biochemistry and Biophysics
- PhD from Washington State University
- Pullman, Washington United States
- Biochemistry and Biophysics
Honors & Awards
- USDA Merit Award, 2002-2018, 2020
- Certificate of Reviewing Excellence
- Elsevier Plant Science, 2014
- Award of Recognition, Top 10 most cited author
- Elsevier, 2003-2008, Plant Science
- Nutrient partitioning in plants and its manipulation for nutritional improvements of plant foods
Professional StatementMy research program seeks to understand how and why organisms’ biosynthesize oxalate, catabolize oxalate, and form crystals of calcium oxalate. In plant foods, oxalate exists in two general forms, soluble and insoluble, and each form can have a negative impact on the health of the person consuming the plant food. In the soluble form, oxalate can be absorbed directly from the diet and contribute to the pathological condition of renal stone formation. In the insoluble form, oxalate acts as an antinutrient by binding to certain minerals (e.g., calcium) and rendering the bound mineral unavailable for nutritional absorption. Given the impact of oxalate on human health as well as the important roles for oxalate in the growth and development of the plant (e.g., resistance to environmental stress), a more comprehensive understanding of plant oxalates is desired.
Our current focus is to decipher the pathways of calcium oxalate crystal formation and oxalate degradation in plants. To accomplish this goal, we are taking an integrated approach by combining methodologies from genetics, genomics, biochemistry, and cellular biology to identify and characterize the genes and proteins that make up these pathways. Such studies will not only broaden our fundamental understanding of the mechanisms controlling the formation of the calcium oxalate biomineral, but will confer the ability to deconstruct and reconstruct this biomineralization process in selected crops. This ability will allow us to rationally design strategies aimed at improving the nutritional quality (e.g., calcium bioavailability) and production (e.g., insect resistance) of plant foods.
- Cheng N, Mo Q, Donelson J, Wang L, Breton G, Rodney GG, Wang J, Hirschi KD, Wehrens XHT, Nakata PA "Crucial role of mammalian glutaredoxin 3 in cardiac energy metabolism in diet-induced obese mice revealed by transcriptome analysis." Int. J. Biol. Sci.. 2021 17 (11): 2871-2883.
- Foster Justin, Cheng Ninghui, Paris Vincent, Wang Lingfei, Wang Jin, Wang Xiaoqiang, Nakata Paul A. "An Arabidopsis Oxalyl-CoA decarboxylase, AtOXC, is important for oxalate catabolism in plants." Int. J. Mol. Sci.. 2021 March 23; 22 (6): 3266.
- Hu Qiuhui, Wu Yiliang, Zhong Lei, Ma Ning, Zhao Liyan, Ma Gaoxing, Cheng Ninghui, Nakata Paul A., Xu Juan "In vitro digestion and cellular antioxidant activity of β-carotene-loaded emulsion stabilized by soy protein isolate-Pleurotus eryngii polysaccharide conjugates." Food Hydrocolloids. 2021 112 : 106340.
- Cheng Ninghui, Nakata Paul A. "Development of a rapid and efficient protoplast isolation and transfection method for chickpea (Cicer arietinum)." MethodsX. 2020 7 : 101025. Pubmed PMID: 32874941
- Cheng Ninghui, Yu Han, Rao Xiaolan, Park Sunghun, Connolly Erin L., Hirschi Kendal D., Nakata Paul A. "Alteration of iron responsive gene expression in Arabidopsis glutaredoxin S17 loss of function plants with or without iron stress." Plant Signaling & Behavior. 2020 15 (6): 1758455. Pubmed PMID: 32351167
- Zhao R, Cheng N, Nakata PA, Zhao L, Hu Q "Consumption of polysaccharides from Auricularia auricular modulates the intestinal microbiota in mice." Food Res Int. 2019 May ; 123 : 383-392.
- Donelson J, Wang Q, Monroe TO, Jiang X, Zhou J, Yu H, Mo Q, Sun Q, Marini JC, Wang X, Nakata PA, Hirschi KD, Wang J, Rodney GG, Wehrens XHT, Cheng N. "Cardiac-specific ablation of glutaredoxin 3 leads to cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure." Physiol Rep. 2019 April 29; 7 (8): e14071. Pubmed PMID: 31033205
- Cheng N, Foster J, Mysore KS, Wen J, Rao X, Nakata PA "Effect of Acyl Activating Enzyme (AAE) 3 on the growth and development of Medicago truncatula." BBRC. 2018 505 (1): 255-260. Pubmed PMID: 30245129
- Hu Q, Du H, Ma G, Pei F, Ma N, Yuan B, Nakata PA, Yang W "Purification, identification and functional characterization of an immunomodulatory protein from Pleurotus eryngii." Food Funct. 2018 9 : 3764-3775. Pubmed PMID: 29897364
- Xu HY, Zhang C, Li ZC, Wang ZR, Jiang XX, Shi YF, Tian SN, Braun E, Mei Y, Qiu WL, Li S, Wang B, Xu J, Navarre D, Ren D, Cheng N, Nakata PA, Graham MA, Whitham SA, Liu JZ "The MAPK Kinase Kinase GmMEKK1 regulates cell death and defense responses." Plant Physiol. 2018 178 (2): 907-922. Pubmed PMID: 30158117
- Hu Y, Wu Q, Peng Z, et.al. "Silencing of OsGRXS17 in rice improves drought stress tolerance by modulating ROS accumulation and stomatal closure.." Sci Rep. 2017 November ; 7 (1): 15950. Pubmed PMID: 29162892
- Wu Q, Hu Y, Sprague SA, et.al. "Expression of a monothiol glutaredoxin, AtGRXS17, in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) enhances drought tolerance." Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 September ; 491 (4): 1034-1039. Pubmed PMID: 28780355
- Yu H, Yang J, Shi Y, et.al. "Arabidopsis Glutaredoxin S17 Contributes to Vegetative Growth, Mineral Accumulation, and Redox Balance during Iron Deficiency.." Front Plant Sci.. 2017 June ; 8 : 1045. Pubmed PMID: 28674546
- Nakata PA "Construction of pDUO: A bicistronic shuttle vector series for dual expression of recombinant proteins." Plasmid. 2017 January ; 89 : 16-21. Pubmed PMID: 27989736
- Lambert P, Nakata PA "Determining the biochemical properties of the oxalate biosynthetic component (obc) 1 from Burkholderia mallei." PLos ONE. 2016 September ; :
- Schaeffer S, Nakata PA "The expanding footprint of CRISPR/Cas9 in the plant sciences." Plant Cell Rep. 2016 35 (7): 1451-1-468.
- Foster J, Luo B, Nakata PA "An oxalyl-CoA dependent pathway of oxalate catabolism plays a role in regulating calcium oxalate crystal accumulation and defending against oxalate-secreting phytopathogens in Medicago truncatula." PLoS One. 2016 11 (2): e0149850.
- Nakata PA "An assessment of engineered calcium oxalate crystal formation on plant growth and development as a step toward evaluating Its use to enhance plant defense." PLoS ONE. 2015 10 (10): e0141982.
- Schaeffer S, Nakata PA "CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing and gene replacement in plants: Transitioning from lab to field." Plant Sci. 2015 240 : 130-142.
- Hu Y, Wu Q, Sprague SA, et.al. "Tomato expressing Arabidopsis glutaredoxin gene AtGRXS17 confers tolerance to chilling stress via modulating cold responsive components.." Hortic Res. 2015 November ; 2 : 15051. Pubmed PMID: 26623076
- Justin Foster, Paul Nakata "An oxalyl-CoA synthetase is important for oxalate metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae." FEBS Letters. 2014 588 : 160-166.
- Punshon T, Tappero R, Ricachenevsky F, et.al. "Contrasting calcium localization and speciation in leaves of the Medicago truncatula mutant cod5 analyzed via synchrotron X-ray techniques." Plant Journal. 2013 76 : 627-633.
- Li X, Yang J, Morris J, et.al. "Genetically modified Medicago truncatula lacking calcium oxalate has increased calcium bioavailability and partially rescues Vitamin D receptor knockout mice phenotypes." J Bioequiv Availab. 2013 5 (1): 47-52.
- Foster J, Kim HU, Nakata PA, Browse J "A Previously Unknown Oxalyl-CoA Synthetase Is Important for Oxalate Catabolism in Arabidopsis.." Plant Cell. 2012 March ; 24 (3): 1217-29. Pubmed PMID: 22447686
- Nakata PA "Engineering calcium oxalate crystal formation in Arabidopsis.." Plant Cell Physiol.. 2012 July ; 53 (7): 1275-82. Pubmed PMID: 22576773
- Luo B, Nakata PA "A set of GFP organelle marker lines for intracellular localization studies in Medicago truncatula.." Plant Sci.. 2012 June ; 188 : 19-24. Pubmed PMID: 22525240
- Nakata PA "Influence of calcium oxalate crystal accumulation on the calcium content of seeds from Medicago truncatula.." Plant Sci.. 2012 April ; 185 : 246-9. Pubmed PMID: 22325887
- Paul Nakata "Plant calcium oxalate crystal formation, function, and its impact on human health." Front. Biol.. 2012 7 (3): 254-266.
- Nakata PA "The oxalic acid biosynthetic activity of Burkholderia mallei is encoded by a single locus.." Microbiol. Res.. 2011 October 20; 166 (7): 531-8. Pubmed PMID: 21242070
- Nakata PA, He C. "Oxalic acid biosynthesis is encoded by an operon in Burkholderia glumae.." FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2010 March ; 304 (2): 177-82. Pubmed PMID: 20141533
- Park S, Doege S, Nakata PA, Korth KL "Medicago truncatula-derived calcium oxalate crystals have a negative impact on chewing insect performance via their physical properties." Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 2009 May ; 131 (2): 208-215.
- Nakata PA, McConn MM "Genetic evidence for differences in the pathways of druse and prismatic calcium oxalate crystal formation in Medicago truncatula." Functional Plant Biology. 2007 34 : 332-338.
- Nakata PA, McConn M "Isolated Medicago truncatula mutants with increased calcium oxalate crystal accumulation have decreased ascorbic acid levels.." Plant Physiol. Biochem.. 2007 45 (41337): 216-20. Pubmed PMID: 17400466
- Morris J, Nakata PA, McConn M, Brock A, Hirschi KD "Increased calcium bioavailability in mice fed genetically engineered plants lacking calcium oxalate.." Plant Mol. Biol.. 2007 July ; 64 (5): 613-8. Pubmed PMID: 17514431
- Nakata PA, McConn MM "Calcium oxalate content affects the nutritional availability of calcium from Medicago truncatula leaves." Plant Sci. 2007 May ; 172 (5): 958-961.
- Morris J, Park S, Nakata P, Hirschi K "Bioavailability of calcium from modified carrots expressing a plant Ca2+/H+ transporter." FASEB J. 2006 20 (4): 196-197.
- Korth KL, Doege SJ, Park SH, et.al. "Medicago truncatula mutants demonstrate the role of plant calcium oxalate crystals as an effective defense against chewing insects.." Plant Physiol.. 2006 May ; 141 (1): 188-95. Pubmed PMID: 16514014
- Nakata PA, McConn MM "A genetic mutation that reduces calcium oxalate content increases calcium availability in Medicago truncatula." Functional Plant Biology. 2006 33 (7): 703-706.
- Franceschi VR, Nakata PA "Calcium oxalate in plants: formation and function.." Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2005 56 : 41-71. Pubmed PMID: 15862089
- McConn MM, Nakata PA "Oxalate reduces calcium availability in the pads of the prickly pear cactus through formation of calcium oxalate crystals.." J. Agric. Food Chem.. 2004 March 10; 52 (5): 1371-4. Pubmed PMID: 14995148
- Nakata PA, McConn MM "Calcium oxalate crystal formation is not essential for growth of Medicago truncatula." Plant Physiol Biochem. 2003 41 (4): 325-329.
- Nakata PA, Kostman TA, Franceschi VR "Calreticulin is enriched in the crystal idioblasts of Pistia stratiotes." Plant Physiol Biochem. 2003 41 (5): 425-430.
- Nakata PA, McConn MM "Influence of the calcium oxalate defective 4 (cod4) mutation on the growth, oxalate content, and calcium content of Medicago truncatula." Plant Sci. 2003 164 (4): 617-621.
- Nakata PA "Advances in our understanding of calcium oxalate crystal formation and function in plants." Plant Sci. 2003 164 (6): 901-909.
- Kostman TA, Franceschi VR, Nakata PA "Endoplasmic reticulum sub-compartments are involved in calcium sequestration within raphide crystal idioblasts of Pistia stratiotes L." 2003 165 (1): 205-212.
- Nakata PA, McConn MM "Sequential subtractive approach facilitates identification of differentially expressed genes." 2002 40 (4): 307-312.
- Nakata PA "Calcium oxalate crystal morphology.." Trends Plant Sci.. 2002 July ; 7 (7): 324. Pubmed PMID: 12119171
- McConn MM, Nakata PA "Calcium oxalate crystal morphology mutants from Medicago truncatula.." Planta. 2002 July ; 215 (3): 380-6. Pubmed PMID: 12111218
- Nakata PA "The generation of a transposon-mutagenized Burkeholderia glumae library to isolate novel mutants." Plant Sci. 2002 162 : 267-271.
- Nakata PA, McConn MM "Isolation of Medicago truncatula mutants defective in calcium oxalate crystal formation.." Plant Physiol.. 2000 November ; 124 (3): 1097-104. Pubmed PMID: 11080287
- American Chemical Society
- American Society of Plant Biologists
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