Pil Jae Maeng
  • Ph. D.
  • Pil Jae Maeng
  • Molecular Microbiology & Biotechnology
  • N11-503
  • Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology (N11-503)
  • +82-42-821-6415, 7550
  • pjmaeng@cnu.ac.kr

Academic Career

  • Ph. D., 1986, Department of Microbiology, Seoul National University, Korea


  • Post-Doc., 1986-1988, Applied Biological Science, MIT, USA

Research Interests

  • Stress resistance- and metabolic disease-related functions of the enzymes involved in TCA cycle and glutamate metabolism in yeast

    As in multicellular organisms, the unicellular eukaryotic microorganism Saccharomyces cerevisiae is subjected to stress-induced programmed cell death (PCD). We are studying on the mechanism of the stress-induced PCD in the yeast cells lacking the enzymes involved in TCA cycle or glutamate metabolism, e.g., citrate synthase and glutamate dehydrogenase. We also concentrate our efforts on developing the yeast model of metabolic diseases caused by malfunctioning of the TCA cycle or glutamate metabolism.

  • Genetic network of development and secondary metabolism in filamentous fungi

    The filamentous fungus A. nidulans has two distinct types of reproductive event, asexual and sexual cycles, which offer many common developmental themes. To understand the molecular genetic and biochemical mechanism governing the whole process of the life cycle, we have performed global gene expression profiling and cluster analysis of A. nidulans during vegetative growth and sexual/asexual differentiation. On the basis of the transcriptome profiling, we are performing functional characterization of several novel putative transcription factors expected to be involved in sexual/asexual differentiation and secondary metabolite production.

  • Functional characterization of the novel breast cancer biomarker, MCB-MD2

    Breast cancer is currently diagnosed on the basis of several histopathological features including tumor size, grade, and lymph node status. In addition, hormone receptors (ER, PR) and HER2 expression in tumors are used to classify and monitor its severity and progression. Despite these common biomarker analyses and the information they provide regarding the molecular features and stage of breast tumors, there remains an unmet need for novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for breast cancer with improved sensitivity and specificity. We have developed a novel breast cancer biomarker, MCB-MD2, useful for qRT-PCR-based diagnosis. Currently, we are performing characterization of MCB-MD2 as the novel tumor suppressor in breast cancer.

Selected Publication

  • Kim, Y.J., Y.M. Yu, P.J. Maeng. 2017. Differential control of asexual development and sterigmatocystin biosynthesis by a novel regulator in Aspergillus nidulans. Sci. Rep. 7, 46340
  • Park, H.S., Y.M. Yu, M.K. Lee, P.J. Maeng, S.C. Kim, J.H. Yu. 2015. Velvet-mediated repression of β-glucan synthesis in Aspergillus nidulans spores. Sci Rep 5, 10199.
  • Park, D.S., Y.M. Yu, Y.J. Kim, P.J. Maeng. 2015. Negative regulation of the vacuole-mediated resistance to K+ stress by a novel C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor encoded by aslA in Aspergillus nidulans. J Microbiol 53, 100-110.
  • Lee, Y.J., K.J. Kim, H.Y. Kang, H.R. Kim, and P.J. Maeng. 2012. Involvement of GDH3-encoded NADP+-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase in yeast cell resistance to stress-induced apoptosis in stationary-phase cells. J Biol Chem 287, 44221-44233.
  • Kim, L., K.L. Hoe, Y.M. Yu, J. Yeon, and P.J. Maeng. 2012. The fission yeast GATA factor, Gaf1, modulates sexual development via direct down-regulation of ste11+ expression in response to nitrogen starvation. PLoS One 7, e42409.
  • Lee, Y.J., K.L. Hoe, and P.J. Maeng. 2007. Yeast cells lacking the CIT1-encoded mitochondrial citrate synthase are hypersusceptible to heat- or aging-induced apoptosis. Mol Biol Cell 18, 3556-3567.