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Liping Huang

Research Geneticist


Ph.D., Department of Microbiology

University of Iowa


M.D., Shanghai Medical University

PR China


Office:     430 West Health Sciences Dr.

                 University of California

                 Davis, CA95616


Phone:     (530) 754-5756 (office)

                 (530) 754-5757 (lab) 

Fax:         (530) 752-5271

Huang Lab




Dr. Liping Huang joined the Western Human Nutrition Research Center in February, 2000. Before joining WHNRC, Dr. Huang worked at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), University of California San Francisco (UCSF) as a post-doctoral associate. Dr. Huang obtained a M.D. degree in Medicine and Public Health at Shanghai Medical University (now Fudan University Shanghai Medical College) in China in 1983 and a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology and virology at University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1995.

Research Interests

Dr. Huang has primarily focused on mammalian zinc transporter proteins and their roles in maintaining body zinc homeostasis, regulating body adiposity, insulin metabolism in pancreatic beta-cells, and insulin resistance in muscle and fat.

Current Research Projects

Current projects focus on the function of zinc transporters in maintaining body zinc homeostasis. Specifically 1) Determine novel functions of zinc related to energy metabolism, insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue and immune function and 2) Measure and validate novel functional biomarkers of Zn status in response to supplementation of deficient human subjects.

Selected Articles

1.    Tepaamorndech S, Huang L, Kirschke CP. A null-mutation in the Znt7 gene accelerated prostate tumor formation in a transgenic adeno-carcinoma mouse prostate model. Cancer Lett. 308:33-42, 2011.


2.    Galvez AF, Huang L, Magbanua MJ, Dawson K, Rodriguez RL. Lunasin peptide upregulates thrombospondin 1 (THBS1) gene expression in non-tumorigenic prostate epithelial cells. Nutrition and Cancer, 63:623-36, 2010.


3.    Huang, L, Yan M, Kirschke CP. Over-expression of ZnT7 increases insulin synthesis and secretion in pancreatic ?-cells by promoting insulin gene transcription. Exp. Cell Res. 316:2630-43, 2010.


4.    Kirschke CP, Huang L. Expression of ZNT (SLC30) family members in the epithelium of the mouse prostate during sexual maturation. J. Mol. Histol. 39:359-370, 2008.


5.    Huang L, Yu YY, Kirschke CP, Gertz ER, Lloyd KK. Znt7 (Slc30a7)-deficient mice display reduced body zinc status and body fat accumulation. J. Biol. Chem. 282:37053-37063,2007.   


6.    Huang L, Kirschke CP. A di-leucine sorting signal in ZIP1 (SLC39A1) mediates endocytosis of the protein. FEBS J. 274:3986-3997, 2007.


7.    Yu YY, Kirschke CP, Huang L.  Immunohistochemical analysis of ZnT1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in the mouse gastrointestinal tract. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 55:223-234, 2007.


8.    Magbanua MM, Dawson K, Huang L, Malyj W, Gregg J, Galvez A, Rodriguez RL. Nutrient-Gene Interactions Involving Soy Peptide and Chemopreventive Genes in Prostate Epithelial Cells. In:  "Nutritional Genomics: Discovering the Path to Personalized Nutrition", A Kaput and Rodriguez  eds, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006.


9.    Huang L, Kirschke CP, Zhang Y. Decreased intracellular zinc in human tumorigenic prostate epithelial cells: a possible role in prostate cancer progression. Cancer Cell Int. 31;6:10, 2006.


10.  Huang L, Kirschke CP, Zhang Y, Yu YY. The ZIP7 gene (Slc39a7) encodes a zinc transporter involved in zinc homeostasis of the Golgi apparatus. J. Biol Chem. 280:15456-15463, 2005.


11.  Andree KB, Kim J, Kirschke CP, Gregg JP, Paik H, Joung H, Woodhouse L, King JC,  Huang L. Investigation of lymphocyte gene expression for use as biomarkers for zinc status in humans. J Nutr. 134:1716-1723, 2004.


12.  Palmiter RD, Huang L. Efflux and compartmentalization of zinc by members of the SLC30 family of solute carriers. Pflugers Arch. European J. Physiology. 447:744-751, 2004.


13.  Kirschke CP, Huang L. ZnT7, a novel mammalian zinc transporter, accumulates zinc in the Golgi apparatus. J Biol Chem. 278:4096-102,2003.


14.  Huang L, Kirschke CP, Gitschier J. Functional characterization of a novel mammalian zinc transporter, ZnT6. J. Biol. Chem. 277:26389-95,2002.


15.  Huang L, Kuo YM, Gitschier J. The pallid gene encodes a novel, syntaxin 13-interacting protein involved in platelet storage pool deficiency. Nat. Genet. 23:329-332,1999.


16.  Huang L, Gitschier J. A novel gene involved in zinc transport is deficient in the lethal milk mouse.  Nat. Genet. 17:292-297, 1997.


 Research Studies

Our research studies focus on cellular zinc regulation and its links to modulation of body weight gain, adiposity, glucose and insulin homeostasis, and immunity. The goal is to understand the mechanism of zinc action in the body.



 Research Team

Catherine P. Kirschke - Molecular Biologist, WHNRC

Surapun Tepaamorndech - Ph.D. candidate, Integrated Genomics and Genetics graduate group, UC Davis

 Methods & Techniques


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