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Biomedical Sciences

Quillen College of Medicine

Dr. Valentin Yakubenko
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Dr. Valentin Yakubenko

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences

Curriculum Vitae 


Contact Information:

Valentin Yakubenko, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
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

Education and Professional Background:

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.

Research/Teaching Interests:

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-mediated recruitment and accumulation of macrophages during chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and obesity. There are several major directions in our research:

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

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, mouse models of inflammation atherosclerosis, diabetes, peritonitis.  

Current Research Support:

Current Research Support

  1. National Institute of Health, NIDDK

1R01 DK102020-01 (Yakubenko)                          07/01/2014 - 04/30/2019

“Role of β2 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 αMβ2 and αDβ2, 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 αDβ2 to the macrophage migration and lipid deposition during atherogenesis.”

Role: Principal Investigator

This project will focus on the determination of the impact of integrin αDβ2 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 β2 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 αMβ2 and αDβ2, in the retention and egress of macrophages within the site of chronic inflammation during the development of metabolic syndrome.

Recent Publications:

1.   Elsori D, Yakubenko VP, Bhattacharjee A, Cathcart MK. Dectin-1 signaling in primary human monocytes is controlled by protein kinase C δ. J. Leuk. Biol.2011 Sep; 90(3):599-611.

2.   Yakubenko VP, Bhattacharjee A, Pluskota E, Cathcart MK. aMb2 integrin activation prevents alternative activation of human and murine macrophages and impedes foam cell formation. Circulation Research, 2011, Mar 4;108(5):544-54.

3. Bhattacharjee A, Shukla M, Yakubenko VP, Mulya A, Kundu S, Cathcart MK. IL-4 and IL-13 employ discrete signaling pathways for target gene expression in alternatively activated monocytes/macrophages. Free Radic Biol Med. 2013 Jan;54:1-16.

4. 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.

5.  Kundu S, Roome T, Bhattacharjee A, Carnevale KA, Yakubenko VP, Hammock BD and Cathcart MK. Metabolic products of soluble epoxide hydrolase are essential for monocyte chemotaxis to MCP-1 in vitro and in vivo. J Lipid Res. 2013 Feb;54(2):436-47,

6.   Thiagarajan PS, Yakubenko VP, Elsori DH, Yadav SP, Willard B, Tan CD, Rodriguez ER, Febbraio M, Cathcart MK.  Vimentin is an endogenous ligand for the pattern recognition receptor Dectin-1.  Cardiovasc Res.  2013  Aug 1;99(3):494-504.

7.   Podolnikova NP, Yakovlev S, Yakubenko VP, Wang X, Gorkun OV, Ugarova TP. The interaction of integrin αIIbβ3 with fibrin occurs through multiple binding sites in the αIIb β-propeller domain. J Biol Chem. 2014 Jan 24;289(4):2371-83. PMCID: in progress.

8.   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.

9.   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.

10. 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

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

12.   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.

13.   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 Mac-1. J Biol Chem. 2017 Sep 22.

Complete list of publications in PubMed:


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