Jian Zuo, Ph.D.

Jian Zuo, Ph.D.

Department of Developmental Neurobiology
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Affiliated Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105
Tel: (901) 495-3891
Fax: (901) 495-2270
Email: Jian Zuo


  • Ph.D. Institution: University of California, San Francisco, CA (1993)
  • Postdoctoral: Rockefeller University


Research Interests

The work in Dr. Zuo's laboratory is focused on the identification and characterization of genes important for the development and degeneration of cerebellar Purkinje cells and inner ear hair cells. They are taking two complimentary approaches. The first, positional cloning of mouse mutant genes, takes advantage of recent advances in the mouse genome project. Mouse cerebellar mutants, such as lurcher (Lc), Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) and nervous (nr), are of particular interest. They have identified and characterized the Lc gene and established genetic and physical maps of pcd and nr loci. As the mutant pcd gene induces Bcl-2 dependent apoptosis, they are searching for downstream genes involved in the degenerative process in pcd mutant mice. The second approach takes advantage of a new technique that allows modification of endogenous genes in bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene and further introduction of modified BACS into pronuclei to generate trans-genic mice with labeled neurons in the developing brain. They have chosen to modify three genes that have been shown to be expressed specifically in hair cells of the inner ear: alpha-9 AchR, Brn3.1 and delta-1 GluR. These transgenic mice will provide a resource for the construction of hair cell specific cDNA libraries at different developmental stages, as well as a tool for the introduction of exogenous genes into hair cells in vivo and for making hair cell specific knockout mice.

Representative Publications

  • Zheng F, Zuo J. Cochlear hair cell regeneration after noise-induced hearing loss: Does regeneration follow development? Hear Res. 2016 Dec 26. pii: S0378-5955(16)30260-X. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2016.12.011. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 28034617.
  • Teitz T, Goktug AN, Chen T, Zuo J. Development of Cell-Based High-Throughput Chemical Screens for Protection Against Cisplatin-Induced Ototoxicity. Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1427:419-30. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3615-1_22. PubMed PMID: 27259939.
  • Zhang J, Liu Z, Chang A, Fang J, Men Y, Tian Y, Ouyang X, Yan D, Zhang A, Sun X, Tang J, Liu X, Zuo J, Gao J. Abnormal mRNA splicing but normal auditory brainstem response (ABR) in mice with the prestin (SLC26A5) IVS2-2A>G mutation. Mutat Res. 2016 Aug;790:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2016.05.004. PubMed PMID: 27232762.
  • Walters BJ, Diao S, Zheng F, Walters BJ, Layman WS, Zuo J. Pseudo-immortalization of postnatal cochlear progenitor cells yields a scalable cell line capable of transcriptionally regulating mature hair cell genes. Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 7;5:17792. doi: 10.1038/srep17792. Erratum in: Sci Rep. 2016;6:21708. PubMed PMID: 26639154; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4671002.
  • Iconaru LI, Ban D, Bharatham K, Ramanathan A, Zhang W, Shelat AA, Zuo J, Kriwacki RW. Discovery of Small Molecules that Inhibit the Disordered Protein, p27(Kip1). Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 28;5:15686. doi: 10.1038/srep15686. PubMed PMID: 26507530; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4623604.
  • Layman WS, Zuo J. Preventing ototoxic hearing loss by inhibiting histone deacetylases. Cell Death Dis. 2015 Sep 10;6:e1882. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2015.252. PubMed PMID: 26355345; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4650447.

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