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

  • 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.
  • Yamashita T, Hakizimana P, Wu S, Hassan A, Jacob S, Temirov J, Fang J, Mellado-Lagarde M, Gursky R, Horner L, Leibiger B, Leijon S, Centonze VE, Berggren PO, Frase S, Auer M, Brownell WE, Fridberger A, Zuo J. Outer Hair Cell Lateral Wall Structure Constrains the Mobility of Plasma Membrane Proteins. PLoS Genet. 2015 Sep 9;11(9):e1005500. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005500. eCollection 2015 Sep. PubMed PMID: 26352669; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4564264.
  • Layman WS, Williams DM, Dearman JA, Sauceda MA, Zuo J. Histone deacetylase inhibition protects hearing against acute ototoxicity by activating the Nf-κB pathway. Cell Death Discov. 2015;1. pii: 15012. PubMed PMID: 26279947; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4536828.
  • Kuo BR, Baldwin EM, Layman WS, Taketo MM, Zuo J. In Vivo Cochlear Hair Cell Generation and Survival by Coactivation of β-Catenin and Atoh1. J Neurosci. 2015 Jul 29;35(30):10786-98. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0967-15.2015. PubMed PMID: 26224861; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4518053.
  • Walters BJ, Yamashita T, Zuo J. Sox2-CreER mice are useful for fate mapping of mature, but not neonatal, cochlear supporting cells in hair cell regeneration studies. Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 25;5:11621. doi: 10.1038/srep11621. PubMed PMID: 26108463; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4479870.
  • Walters BJ, Zuo J. A Sox10(rtTA/+) Mouse Line Allows for Inducible Gene Expression in the Auditory and Balance Organs of the Inner Ear. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2015 Jun;16(3):331-45. doi: 10.1007/s10162-015-0517-9. Epub 2015 Apr 21. PubMed PMID: 25895579; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4417091.

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