Yue (Alvin) Deng, PhD

Address: 2-300 BSBPhoto of Yue Deng
Phone: (319) 384-3020
Email: yue-deng@uiowa.edu

Mentor: Huxing Cui, PhD

PhD Institution: University of Iowa, 2022

Research Description

Modulatory role of RGS2 in MC4R signaling pathway for metabolic regulation

My current research interests focus on energy homeostasis regulated by central melanocortin signaling, mainly via acting on melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). MC4R is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) exclusively expressed in the CNS including those hypothalamic nuclei known to regulate energy balance. In spite of tremendous interests in developing anti-obesity therapeutics by targeting brain MC4R signaling, our current knowledge about the downstream signaling cascades and potential modulators of this GPCR is still surprisingly limited. Regulators of G-protein signaling (RGSs) are known to negatively modulate GPCR signaling by accelerating the hydrolysis of GTP bound to an active Gα subunit and thus become my targets. With the application of site-specific chemogenetic methods and metabolic phenotyping techiques, I’m trying to establish functional and mechanistic study aimed at understanding the potential modulatory role of RGS2 in MC4R signaling pathway.


  • Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Fellowship, 2022
  • Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Fellowship, University of Iowa, Spring 2020


  1. Deng, Y., Deng, G., Grobe, J.L., Cui, H.: Hypothalamic GPCR Signaling Pathways in Cardiometabolic Control. Front Physiol. 2021. PMID: 34262481

  2. Deng, Y., Marsh, B., Moskovitz, J. Increased Levels of Protein-methionine Sulfoxide in Plasma Correlate with a Shift from a Mild Cognitive Impairment to an Alzheimer’s Disease Stage. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2019. PMID: 31832262

  3. Deng Y, Jiang B, Rankin CL Toyo-Oka K, Richter ML, Maupin-Furlow JA, Moskovitz J.:  Methionine sulfoxide reductase A (MsrA) mediates the ubiquitination of 14-3-3 protein isotypes in brain. Free Radic Biol Med. 2018 Aug 7. pii: S0891-5849(18)31041-4  doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.08.002 [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 30096435

  4. Cheng Y, Zhu B, Deng Y, Zhang Z:. In Vivo Detection of Cerebral Amyloid Fibrils with Smart Dicynomethylene-4H-Pyran-Based Fluorescence Probe. Anal Chem. 87(9):4781-7, 2015.  PMID: 25875134


  1. Deng, Y., Singh, U., Saito, K., Deng, G., Dickey J., Grobe, J.L., Cui, H. Conditional RGS2MC4R knockout mice show distinct metabolic phenotypes from whole-body RGS2 knockout mice. Abstract accepted at: 2021 FOEDRC Diabetes Research Day. 2021 Mar 8. Iowa City, IA.

  2. Deng, Y., Singh, U., Saito, K., Cui, H. PVN RGS2 is Critical for the Regulation of Energy Homeostasis. Abstract accepted at: 2019 Society of Neuroscience. 2019 Oct 19-23. Chicago, IL.

  3. Deng, Y., Singh, U., Saito, K., Grobe, J.L., Cui, H. Modulatory Role of RGS2 in MC4R Signaling Pathway for Metabolic Regulation. Poster session presented at: 2018 Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Retreat. 2018 Aug 10. Coralville, IA.