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Katsu Funai

Katsu Funai, MS, PhD

Languages spoken: Japanese

Academic Information

Departments Adjunct - Biochemistry

Academic Office Information

Research Interests

  • Molecular Systematics

Dr. Funai’s research involves studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle metabolism. He uses cell culture, mouse models, and clinical studies to understand how lipid molecules mediate the effect that obesity has on cellular homeostasis. His laboratory is located at the Diabetes & Metabolism Research Center at the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics.

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Iigo MR (04/2020). Estrogen receptor-α in female skeletal muscle is not required for regulation of muscle insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial regulation. Mol Metab.
  2. McKenzie AI Reidy PT Nelson DS Mulvey JL Yonemura NM Petrocelli JJ Mahmassani ZS Tippetts TS Summers SA Funai K Drummond MJ (01/01/2020). Pharmacological inhibition of TLR4 ameliorates muscle and liver ceramide content after disuse in previously physically active mice. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. (Read full article)
  3. Johnson JM Verkerke ARP Maschek JA Ferrara PJ Lin CT Kew KA Neufer PD Lodhi IJ Cox JE Funai K (01/01/2020). Alternative splicing of UCP1 by non-cell-autonomous action of PEMT. Mol Metab, 31, 55-66. (Read full article)
  4. Mahmassani ZS (01/2020). Absence of MyD88 from skeletal muscle protects female mice from inactivity-induced adiposity and insulin resistance.
  5. Heden TD Johnson JM Ferrara PJ Eshima H Verkerke ARP Wentzler EJ Siripoksup P Narowski TM Coleman CB Lin CT Ryan TE Reidy PT de Castro Brs LE Karner CM Burant CF Maschek JA Cox JE Mashek DG Kardon G Boudina S Zeczycki TN Rutter J Sh (12/01/2019). Mitochondrial PE potentiates respiratory enzymes to amplify skeletal muscle aerobic capacity. Sci Adv, 5(9), eaax8352. (Read full article)
  6. Gumucio JP Qasawa AH Ferrara PJ Malik AN Funai K McDonagh B Mendias CL (10/01/2019). Reduced mitochondrial lipid oxidation leads to fat accumulation in myosteatosis. 33, 7863-7881. (Read full article)
  7. Verkerke ARP (09/2019). Phospholipid methylation regulates muscle metabolic rate through Ca2+ transport efficiency.
  8. Park H He A Tan M Johnson JM Dean JM Pietka TA Chen Y Zhang X Hsu FF Razani B Funai K Lodhi IJ (02/01/2019). Peroxisome-derived lipids regulate adipose thermogenesis by mediating cold-induced mitochondrial fission. 129, 694-711. (Read full article)
  9. Anderson EJ Vistoli G Katunga LA Funai K Regazzoni L Monroe TB Gilardoni E Cannizzaro L Colzani M De Maddis D Rossoni G Canevotti R Gagliardi S Carini M Aldini G (12/01/2018). A carnosine analog mitigates metabolic disorders of obesity by reducing carbonyl stress. 128, 5280-5293. (Read full article)
  10. Johnson JM Ferrara PJ Verkerke ARP Coleman CB Wentzler EJ Neufer PD Kew KA de Castro Brs LE Funai K (11/01/2018). Targeted overexpression of catalase to mitochondria does not prevent cardioskeletal myopathy in Barth syndrome. J Mol Cell Cardiol, 121, 94-102. (Read full article)
  11. Ferrara PJ Verkerke ARP Brault JJ Funai K (11/01/2018). Hypothermia Decreases O2 Cost for Ex Vivo Contraction in Mouse Skeletal Muscle. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 50, 2015-2023. (Read full article)
  12. Heden TD Ryan TE Ferrara PJ Hickner RC Brophy PM Neufer PD McClung JM Funai K (01/01/2018). Greater Oxidative Capacity in Primary Myotubes from Endurance-trained Women. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 49, 2151-2157. (Read full article)
  13. Heden TD Neufer PD Funai K (12/01/2017). Looking Beyond Structure: Membrane Phospholipids of Skeletal Muscle Mitochondria. 27, 553-562. (Read full article)
  14. Funai K Lodhi IJ Spears LD Yin L Song H Klein S Semenkovich CF (06/01/2016). Skeletal Muscle Phospholipid Metabolism Regulates Insulin Sensitivity and Contractile Function. 65, 358-70. (Read full article)
  15. Paran CW Zou K Ferrara PJ Song H Turk J Funai K (12/01/2015). Lipogenesis mitigates dysregulated sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium uptake in muscular dystrophy. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1851, 1530-8. (Read full article)
  16. Paran CW Verkerke AR Heden TD Park S Zou K Lawson HA Song H Turk J Houmard JA Funai K (12/01/2015). Reduced efficiency of sarcolipin-dependent respiration in myocytes from humans with severe obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring), 23, 1440-9. (Read full article)
  17. Oh J Riek AE Darwech I Funai K Shao J Chin K Sierra OL Carmeliet G Ostlund RE Bernal-Mizrachi C (10/01/2015). Deletion of macrophage Vitamin D receptor promotes insulin resistance and monocyte cholesterol transport to accelerate atherosclerosis in mice. Cell Rep, 10, 1872-86. (Read full article)
  18. Jensen-Urstad AP Song H Lodhi IJ Funai K Yin L Coleman T Semenkovich CF (04/01/2014). Nutrient-dependent phosphorylation channels lipid synthesis to regulate PPARα. J Lipid Res, 54, 1848-59. (Read full article)
  19. Ridaura VK Faith JJ Rey FE Cheng J Duncan AE Kau AL Griffin NW Lombard V Henrissat B Bain JR Muehlbauer MJ Ilkayeva O Semenkovich CF Funai K Hayashi DK Lyle BJ Martini MC Ursell LK Clemente JC Van Treuren W Walters WA Knight R Newgard (10/01/2013). Gut microbiota from twins discordant for obesity modulate metabolism in mice. 341, 1241214. (Read full article)
  20. Funai K Song H Yin L Lodhi IJ Wei X Yoshino J Coleman T Semenkovich CF (05/01/2013). Muscle lipogenesis balances insulin sensitivity and strength through calcium signaling. 123, 1229-40. (Read full article)
  21. Lodhi IJ Yin L Jensen-Urstad AP Funai K Coleman T Baird JH El Ramahi MK Razani B Song H Fu-Hsu F Turk J Semenkovich CF (01/01/2013). Inhibiting adipose tissue lipogenesis reprograms thermogenesis and PPARγ activation to decrease diet-induced obesity. Cell Metab, 16, 189-201. (Read full article)
  22. Schweitzer GG Castorena CM Hamada T Funai K Arias EB Cartee GD (02/01/2012). The B2 receptor of bradykinin is not essential for the post-exercise increase in glucose uptake by insulin-stimulated mouse skeletal muscle. Physiol Res, 60, 511-9. (Read full article)
  23. Funai K Semenkovich CF (09/01/2011). Skeletal muscle lipid flux: running water carries no poison. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 301, E245-51. (Read full article)
  24. Funai K Schweitzer GG Castorena CM Kanzaki M Cartee GD (05/01/2010). In vivo exercise followed by in vitro contraction additively elevates subsequent insulin-stimulated glucose transport by rat skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 298, E999-1010. (Read full article)
  25. Cartee GD Funai K (03/01/2010). Exercise and insulin: Convergence or divergence at AS160 and TBC1D1? Exerc Sport Sci Rev, 37, 188-95. (Read full article)
  26. Funai K Schweitzer GG Sharma N Kanzaki M Cartee GD (08/01/2009). Increased AS160 phosphorylation, but not TBC1D1 phosphorylation, with increased postexercise insulin sensitivity in rat skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 297, E242-51. (Read full article)
  27. Blair DR Funai K Schweitzer GG Cartee GD (07/01/2009). A myosin II ATPase inhibitor reduces force production, glucose transport, and phosphorylation of AMPK and TBC1D1 in electrically stimulated rat skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 296, E993-E1002. (Read full article)
  28. Funai K Cartee GD (05/01/2009). Inhibition of contraction-stimulated AMP-activated protein kinase inhibits contraction-stimulated increases in PAS-TBC1D1 and glucose transport without altering PAS-AS160 in rat skeletal muscle. 58, 1096-104. (Read full article)
  29. Funai K Cartee GD (02/01/2009). Contraction-stimulated glucose transport in rat skeletal muscle is sustained despite reversal of increased PAS-phosphorylation of AS160 and TBC1D1. 105, 1788-95. (Read full article)
  30. Arias EB Kim J Funai K Cartee GD (05/01/2007). Prior exercise increases phosphorylation of Akt substrate of 160 kDa (AS160) in rat skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 292, E1191-200. (Read full article)
  31. Funai K Parkington JD Carambula S Fielding RA (06/01/2006). Age-associated decrease in contraction-induced activation of downstream targets of Akt/mTor signaling in skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 290, R1080-6. (Read full article)


  1. Funai K (11/2019). Reign in the Membrane: How common lipids govern mitochondrial function. [Review]. Curr Opin Cell Biol.
  2. Pennington ER Funai K Brown DA Shaikh SR (09/01/2019). The role of cardiolipin concentration and acyl chain composition on mitochondrial inner membrane molecular organization and function. [Review]. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids, 1864, 1039-1052. (Read full article)