Yiqiang Cai, PhD, MD

Associate Research Scientist in Medicine (Nephrology)

Research Interests

Congenital, Hereditary, and Neonatal Diseases and Abnormalities; Diseases

Research Organizations

Internal Medicine: Nephrology

Extensive Research Description

My current research is focused on the study of molecular basis of ADPKD pathogenesis. By establishing cell-based model and BAC-transgenic mouse model, we are trying to answer the following questions: 1) How are polycystin-1 and polycystin-2 trafficking to cilia regulated; 2) What is the consequence that trafficking defect of the polycystins cause in the cystogenesis/PKD pathogenesis; 3) What is the molecular basis underlying the mutations of PKD1 and PKD2 genes, 4) How is the polycystin-2 phosphorylation regulated, and 5) What is the role that regulation of polycystin-2 phosphorylation plays on the PKD pathogenesis.

Selected Publications

  • Yiqiang Cai, Sorin V. Fedeles, Ke Dong, Georgia Anyatonwu, Tamehito Onoe, Michihiro Mitobe, Jian-Dong Gao, Dayne Okuhara, Xin Tian, Anna-Rachel Gallagher, Zhangui Tang, Xiaoli Xie, Maria D. Lalioti, Ann-Hwee Lee, Barbara E. Ehrlich, Stefan Somlo:Altered trafficking and stability of polycystins underlie polycystic kidney disease. J Clin Invest. 2014 Dec 1; 124(12): 5129–5144. A polycystin-centric view of cyst formation and disease: the polycystins revisited. ACM Ong, PC Harris - Kidney international, 2015 - nature.com ABSTRACT It is 20 years since the identification of PKD1, the major gene mutated in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), followed closely by the cloning of PKD2. These major breakthroughs have led in turn to a period of intense investigation into ...
  • Fedeles SV, Tian X, Gallagher AR, Mitobe M, Nishio S, Lee SH, Cai Y, Geng L, Crews CM, Somlo S: A genetic interaction network of five genes for human polycystic kidney and liver diseases defines polycystin-1 as the central determinant of cyst formation. Nat Genet. 2011 Jun 19;43(7):639-47. Functional polycystin-1 dosage governs autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease severity K Hopp, CJ Ward, CJ Hommerding… - The Journal of clinical …, 2012 - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Abstract Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is caused by mutations to PKD1 or PKD2, triggering progressive cystogenesis and typically leading to end-stage renal disease in midlife. The phenotypic spectrum, however, ranges from in utero onset to ...
  • Yiqiang Cai: Arachidonic acid cytochrome P450 4F2 in hypertension: what can we learn from a transgenic mouse model? (Invited Commentary), Kidney International. 2009 Jun; 75(12):1253-4. Effect of cytochrome P450 polymorphism on arachidonic acid metabolism and their impact on cardiovascular diseases BNM Zordoky, AOS El-Kadi - Pharmacology & therapeutics, 2010 - Elsevier Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) remain the leading cause of death in the developed countries. Taking into account the mounting evidence about the role of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in cardiovascular physiology, CYP polymorphisms can be considered one ...
  • Yiqiang Cai and Stefan Somlo: Too much of a good thing: does Nek8 link polycystic kidney disease and nephronophthisis? (Invited Commentary), J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008 19(3):418-20. The RCC1 superfamily: from genes, to function, to disease O Hadjebi, E Casas-Terradellas… - … et Biophysica Acta (BBA …, 2008 - Elsevier The Regulator of Chromosome Condensation 1 (RCC1) was identified over 20 years ago as a critical cell cycle regulator. By analyzing its amino acid sequence, RCC1 was found to consist of seven homologous repeats of 51–68 amino acid residues, which were later ...
  • Sonia Davila, Laszlo Furu, Ali G Gharavi, Xin Tian, Tamehito Onoe, Qi Qian, Airong Li, Yiqiang Cai, Patrick S Kamath, Bernard F King, Pablo J Azurmendi, Pia Tahvanainen, Helena Kääriäinen, Krister Höckerstedt, Olivier Devuyst, Yves Pirson, Rodolfo S Martin, Richard P Lifton, Esa Tahvanainen, Vicente E Torres & Stefan Somlo: Mutations in SEC63 cause autosomal dominant polycystic liver disease. Nature Genetics 36, 575 - 577 (2004) Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease VE Torres, PC Harris, Y Pirson - The Lancet, 2007 - Elsevier Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease is the most prevalent, potentially lethal, monogenic disorder. It is associated with large interfamilial and intrafamilial variability, which can be explained to a large extent by its genetic heterogeneity and modifier genes. An ...
  • Cai Yiqiang, Anyatonwu G, Okuhara D, Lee KB, Yu Z, Onoe T, Mei CL, Qian Q, Geng L, Witzgall R, Ehrlich BE, Somlo S. Calcium dependence of polycystin-2 channel activity is modulated by phosphorylation at Ser812. J Biol Chem. 2004, 7;279(19):19987-95. TRP channels: an overview SF Pedersen, G Owsianik, B Nilius - Cell calcium, 2005 - Elsevier The TRP (“transient receptor potential”) family of ion channels now comprises more than 30 cation channels, most of which are permeable for Ca2+, and some also for Mg2+. On the basis of sequence homology, the TRP family can be divided in seven main subfamilies: ...
  • Koulen P, Cai Yiqiang, Geng L, Maeda Y, Nishimura S, Witzgall R, Ehrlich BE, Somlo S., Polycystin-2 is an intracellular calcium release channel. Nat. Cell Biol., 4(3):191-197, 2002. Calcium signalling: dynamics, homeostasis and remodelling MJ Berridge, MD Bootman, HL Roderick - Nature reviews Molecular …, 2003 - nature.com Abstract Ca 2+ is a highly versatile intracellular signal that operates over a wide temporal range to regulate many different cellular processes. An extensive Ca 2+-signalling toolkit is used to assemble signalling systems with very different spatial and temporal dynamics. ...
  • G. Wu, G.S. Markowitz, L. Li, V.D. D'Agati, S.M. Factor, L. Geng, S. Tibara, J. Tuchman, Yiqiang Cai, J. Hoon-Park, J. van Adelsberg, H. Hou, Jr., R. Kucherlapati, W. Edelmann, S. Somlo. Cardiac and renal failure in mice with targeted mutations in Pkd2. Nature Genetics, 24:75-78, 2000. Transient receptor potential cation channels in disease B Nilius, G Owsianik, T Voets… - Physiological …, 2007 - Am Physiological Soc Abstract The transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamily consists of a large number of cation channels that are mostly permeable to both monovalent and divalent cations. The 28 mammalian TRP channels can be subdivided into six main subfamilies: the TRPC ( ...
  • Yiqiang Cai, Yoshiko Maeda, Anna Cedzich, Vicente E. Torres, Guanqing Wu, Tomohito Hayashi, Toshio Mochizuki, Jong Hoon Park, Ralph Witzgall, and Stefan Somlo: Identification and characterization of polycystin-2, the PKD2 gene product. J Biol Chem., 274:28557-28565, 1999. Calcium signalling: dynamics, homeostasis and remodelling MJ Berridge, MD Bootman, HL Roderick - Nature reviews Molecular …, 2003 - nature.com Abstract Ca 2+ is a highly versatile intracellular signal that operates over a wide temporal range to regulate many different cellular processes. An extensive Ca 2+-signalling toolkit is used to assemble signalling systems with very different spatial and temporal dynamics. ...
  • Glen Markowitz*, Yiqiang Cai*, Li Li, Guanqing Wu, Stefan Somlo, and Vivette D. D’Agati: Polycystin-2 expression is developmentally regulated. Am. J Physiol. 277: F17-25, 1999. Polycystin-2 is an intracellular calcium release channel P Koulen, Y Cai, L Geng, Y Maeda, S Nishimura… - Nature cell …, 2002 - nature.com Abstract Polycystin-2, the product of the gene mutated in type 2 autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), is the prototypical member of a subfamily of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel superfamily, which is expressed abundantly in ...
  • Guanqing Wu, Vivette D'Agati*, Yiqiang Cai*, Glen Markowitz, Jong Hoon Park, David M Reynolds,, Yoshiko Maeda, Thanh C Le, Harry Hou Jr., Raju Kucherlapati, Winfried Edelmann, Stefan Somlo:Somatic inactivation of pkd2 results in polycystic kidney disease. Cell, 93:177-188, 1998. TRP channels as cellular sensors DE Clapham - Nature, 2003 - nature.com Abstract TRP channels are the vanguard of our sensory systems, responding to temperature, touch, pain, osmolarity, pheromones, taste and other stimuli. But their role is much broader than classical sensory transduction. They are an ancient sensory apparatus for the cell, ...
  • Feng Qian1, F. Joseph Germino2, Yiqiang Cai3, Xiangbin Zhang1, Stefan Somlo3 & Gregory G. Germino1, 4: PKD1 interacts with PKD2 through a probable coiled-coil domain. Nature Genetics 16, 179 - 183 (1997). Transient receptor potential cation channels in disease B Nilius, G Owsianik, T Voets… - Physiological …, 2007 - Am Physiological Soc Abstract The transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamily consists of a large number of cation channels that are mostly permeable to both monovalent and divalent cations. The 28 mammalian TRP channels can be subdivided into six main subfamilies: the TRPC ( ...
  • Mochizuki T, Wu G, Hayashi T, Xenophontos SL, Veldhuisen B, Saris JJ, Reynolds DM, Cai Y, Gabow PA, Pierides A, Kimberling WJ, Breuning MH, Deltas CC, Peters DJ, Somlo S.: PKD2, a gene for polycystic kidney disease that encodes an integral membrane protein.Science, 272:1339-1342, 1996 The ciliopathies: an emerging class of human genetic disorders JL Badano, N Mitsuma, PL Beales… - Annu. Rev. Genomics …, 2006 - annualreviews.org Abstract Cilia and flagella are ancient, evolutionarily conserved organelles that project from cell surfaces to perform diverse biological roles, including whole-cell locomotion; movement of fluid; chemo-, mechano-, and photosensation; and sexual reproduction. Consistent with ...

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Contact Info

Yiqiang Cai, PhD, MD
Mailing Address
Internal MedicinePO Box 208056
333 Cedar Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8056