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Biomedical Sciences

Quillen College of Medicine

Valentin Yakubenko
Valentin Yakubenko

Valentin  Yakubenko 

Associate Professor
Biomedical Sciences







Additional Contact Information:

Department of Biomedical Sciences
Center of Excellence for Inflammation,
Infectious Disease and Immunity
PO Box 70577
Carl A Jones Hall (VA Bldg. 1),
Office 1-31/ lab 130
James H. Quillen College of Medicine
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: (423) 439-8511


Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Yakubenko received Ph.D. in biochemistry in the National Academy of Science of Ukraine. He obtained a post-doctoral training in cell and molecular biology in the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He was a research faculty in the Cleveland Clinic before joining ETSU in 2015.


My laboratory has been focused on studying the structural and functional properties of leukocyte integrins. Integrins are cell surface signaling receptors, which are involved in cell adhesion and migration during different physiological and pathological conditions. Particularly, we are interested in the mechanism of integrin αDβ2- and integrin αMβ2-mediated recruitment and accumulation of macrophages during chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and obesity as well as acute inflammation such as sepsis. There are several major directions in our research:

  1. To characterize the integrin-ligand interactions and to identify integrin ligand binding motifs.
  1. To evaluate a mechanism of integrin-mediated cell adhesion and migration.
  1. To understand the role of integrins in pathophysiological processes including cardiovascular diseases, metabolic dysfunction and sepsis.

We used different protein chemistry, cell and molecular biology approaches for our studies, such as molecular cloning and mutagenesis, real time PCR, expression and analysis of recombinant proteins, adhesion and migration of transfected cell lines and primary leukocytes, fluorescent microscopy, flow cytometry, imaging flow cytometry and mouse models of inflammation – atherosclerosis, diabetes, sepsis, endotoxemia and peritonitis.  


Current Research Support

  1. National Institute of Health, NIDDK

    1R01 DK102020-01 (Yakubenko)
                 07/01/2014 -  04/30/2020 (no cost extension)

“Role of b2 integrins in macrophage retention and egress during inflammation”.

Role: Principal Investigator

The purpose of this proposal is to test the role of leukocyte migratory receptors, integrins aMb2 and aDb2, in the retention and egress of macrophages within the site of chronic inflammation during the development of metabolic syndrome.

Completed last 3 years:

American Heart Association, Great Rivers Affiliate, Grant-in-Aid

          14GRNT20410074 (Yakubenko)                         07/01/2014 – 06/30/2016

“The contribution of integrin aDb2 to the macrophage migration and lipid deposition during atherogenesis.”

Role: Principal Investigator

This project will focus on the determination of the impact of integrin aDb2 on the development of atherosclerosis, focusing on both components of early atherogenesis – macrophage accumulation and lipid deposition.

National Institute of Health, NIDDK

          1R56 DK102020-01 (Yakubenko)                               05/15/2014 - 05/14/2015

“Role of b2 integrins in macrophage retention and egress during inflammation”.

Role: Principal Investigator

The purpose of this grant to obtain preliminary data regarding the role of integrins aMb2 and aDb2, in the retention and egress of macrophages within the site of chronic inflammation during the development of metabolic syndrome.


1.  Yakubenko VP*, Bhattacharjee A, Pluskota E, Cathcart MK. αMβ2 integrin activation prevents alternative activation of human and murine macrophages and impedes foam cell formation. Circulation Research, 2011, Mar 4;108(5):544-54.

2.  Yakubenko VP, Hsi LC, Cathcart MK, Bhattacharjee A. From macrophage IL-13 receptor to foam cell formation: mechanisms for M2 integrin interference.  J Biol Chem. 2013 Jan 5;288(4):2778-88. PMCID: PMC3554943.

3.  Liu J, Das M, Yang J, Ithychanda SS, Yakubenko VP, Plow EF, and Qin J. Structural mechanism of integrin inactivation by filamin. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 2015 May;22(5):383-9.

4.  Kim YW, Yakubenko VP, West XZ, Kutralanathan R, Crabb  JW, Gao D.,Podrez EA, Salomon RG, Byzova TV. Novel Receptor-mediated Mechanism Controlling Tissue Levels of Bioactive Lipid Oxidation Products. Circulation Research. 2015 Jul 31;117(4):321-32.

5.  Biswas S, Xin L, Panigrahi S, Zimman A, Wang H, Yakubenko VP, Byzova TV, Salomon RG, Podrez EA.   Novel phosphatidylethanolamine derivatives accumulate in circulation in hyperlipidemic ApoE-/- mice and activate platelets via TLR2. Blood. 2016 May 26;127(21):2618-29

6.  Yakubenko VP, Byzova TV. Biological and pathophysiological roles of end-products of DHA oxidation. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 2017 Apr;1862(4):407-415.

7.  Aziz M, Cui K, Das M, Brown KE, Ardell CL, Febbraio M, Pluskota E, Wu H, Ballantyne CM, Smith JD, Cathcart MK, Yakubenko VP. The upregulation of integrin αDβ2 (CD11d/CD18) on inflammatory macrophages promotes macrophage retention in vascular lesions and development of atherosclerosis. Journal of Immunology. 2017 Jun 15;198(12):4855-4867.

8.  Shen D, Podolnikova NP, Yakubenko VP, Ardell CL, Balabiyev A, Ugarova TP, Wang X. Pleiotrophin, a multifunctional cytokine and growth factor, induces leukocyte responses through the integrin αMβ2 (Mac-1). J. Biol Chem. 2017 Sep 22.

9.  Wolf D., Anto-Michel N., Blankenbach H., Wiedemann A., Buscher K., Hohmann JD, Lim B, Bäuml M, Marki A, Mauler M, Duerschmied D, Fan Z., Winkels H, Sidler D, Diehl P, Zajonc D.,  Hilgendorf I., Stachon P, Schell M, Sommer B., von Muhlen K., Plow E., Yakubenko V, Libby P., Bode C., Ley K., Peter K., and Zirlik A. A ligand-specific blockade of the integrin Mac-1 selectively targets pathologic inflammation while maintaining protective host-defense. Nature Communications 2018 Feb 6;9(1):525.

10.  Szpak D, Izem L, Verbovetskiy D, Soloviev DA, Yakubenko VP, Pluskota E. αMβ2 Is Antiatherogenic in Female but Not Male Mice. Journal of Immunology,  2018 Apr 1;200(7):2426-2438.

11.  Lishko VK, Yakubenko VP, Ugarova TP, Podolnikova NP. Leukocyte integrin Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18) acts as a functional receptor for platelet factor 4. J Biol Chem. 2018 May 4;293(18):6869-6882

12.  Yakubenko VP*, Cui K, Ardell CL, Brown KE, West XZ, Salomon RG, Podrez EA,  Byzova TV. Oxidative modifications of extracellular matrix promote the second wave of inflammation via β2 Integrins. Blood.  2018  Jul 5;132(1):78-88.

13.  Dhabal S, Das P, Biswas P, Kumari P, Yakubenko VP, Kundu S, Cathcart MK, Kundu M, Biswas K, Bhattacharjee A. Regulation of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) expression, activity and function in IL-13-stimulated monocytes and A549 lung carcinoma cells. J Biol Chem. 2018 Jul 18.

14.  Cui K, Aziz M, Ardell CL, Podolnikova NP, Yakubenko VP. Distinct migratory properties of resident, classically and alternatively-activated macrophages are regulated by αDβ2 and αMβ2 integrin-mediated adhesion. Frontiers in immunology. 2018; 9:2650

15.   Podolnikova NP, Hlavackova M, Wu Y, Yakubenko VP, Faust J, Balabiyev A, Wang X, Ugarova TP. Interaction between the integrin Mac-1 and signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα) mediates fusion in heterologous cells. J Biol Chem. 2019 May 10;

 *- corresponding author

Complete list of publications in PubMed:

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