Not found

Nhat-Tu Le, PhD

Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences, Institute for Academic Medicine
Associate Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College


Dr. Nhat-Tu Le earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in microbiology from the University of Science in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  In 2008 she completed her PhD, also in microbiology, at Sungkyungkwan University College of Pharmacy in South Korea. The focus of her PhD training was to understand the roles of the Streptococcus pneumoniae heat shock protein ClpL in pneumococcal adherence to host cells. Her first study was published in 2007, describing the effects of Streptococcus pneumoniae heat shock protein ClpL (Caseinolytic protease L) in pathogenesis and translocation of virulence factors.  Dr. Le’s postdoctoral training was under the guidance of Dr. Jun-ichi Abe at the University of Rochester studying the role of endothelial p90RSK-ERK5 complex in the heart and the vessel. Before joining Houston Methodist in July of 2017, Dr. Le was an assistant professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center since 2014.

Description of Research

Many agents used in cancer treatment result in significant vascular complications such as angina, myocardial infarction, venous or arterial thrombosis, and newly developed or worsened hypertension. These events are caused by the dysfunction of endothelial cells including apoptosis, inflammation, and decreased NO production. Nhat Tu Le’s research group has developed various systems to examine disturbed flow-induced signaling both in vitro and in vivo, and found the formation of a pro-inflammatory and pro-Senescence complex consisting of p90RSK, shelterin complex member, and p65. They have also found that endothelial ERK5 plays a role in regulating statin-induced anti-inflammatory effect using the mouse heart transplantation model. Recently, she discovered MAGI1 (the membrane-associated guanylate kinase-1) as an unexplored molecule that regulates both endothelial inflammation and anti-viral response. Our long-term goal is to establish an “Onco-cardiology” research field at the Houston Methodist Research Institute.


Endothelial senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) is regulated by Makorin-1 ubiquitin E3 ligase
Kotla, S, Le, N-T, Vu, HT, Ko, KA, Gi, YJ, Thomas, TN, Giancursio, C, Lusis, AJ, Cooke, JP, Fujiwara, K & Abe, JI 2019, Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, vol. 100, 153962.

Endothelial senescence is induced by phosphorylation and nuclear export of telomeric repeat binding factor 2–interacting protein
Kotla, S, Vu, HT, Ko, KA, Wang, Y, Imanishi, M, Heo, K-S, Fujii, Y, Thomas, TN, Gi, YJ, Mazhar, H, Paez-Mayorga, J, Shin, J-H, Tao, Y, Giancursio, CJ, Medina, JLM, Taunton, J, Lusis, AJ, Cooke, JP, Fujiwara, K, Le, N-T & Abe, J 2019, JCI Insight, vol. 4, no. 9, e124867.

MAGI1 as a link between endothelial activation and ER stress drives atherosclerosis
Abe, J-I, Ko, KA, Kotla, S, Wang, Y, Paez-Mayorga, J, Shin, IJ, Imanishi, M, Vu, HT, Tao, Y, Leiva-Juarez, MM, Thomas, TN, Medina, JL, Won, JH, Fujii, Y, Giancursio, CJ, McBeath, E, Shin, J-H, Guzman, L, Abe, RJ, Taunton, J, Mochizuki, N, Faubion, W, Cooke, JP, Fujiwara, K, Evans, SE & Le, N-T 2019, JCI Insight, vol. 4, no. 7.

Senescent Phenotype Induced by p90RSK-NRF2 Signaling Sensitizes Monocytes and Macrophages to Oxidative Stress in HIV-Positive Individuals
Singh, MV, Kotla, S, Le, N-T, Ae Ko, K, Heo, K-S, Wang, Y, Fujii, Y, Thi Vu, H, McBeath, E, Thomas, TN, Jin Gi, Y, Tao, Y, Medina, JL, Taunton, J, Carson, N, Dogra, V, Doyley, MM, Tyrell, A, Lu, W, Qiu, X, Stirpe, NE, Gates, KJ, Hurley, C, Fujiwara, K, Maggirwar, SB, Schifitto, G & Abe, J-I 2019, Circulation, vol. 139, no. 9, pp. 1199-1216.

The Ser/Thr kinase p90RSK promotes kidney fibrosis by modulating fibroblast-epithelial crosstalk
Lin, L, Shi, C, Sun, Z, Le, N-T, Abe, JI & Hu, K 2019, Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 294, no. 25, pp. 9901-9910.

Endothelial senescence is induced by phosphorylation and nuclear export of telomeric repeat binding factor 2-interacting protein
Kotla, S, Vu, HT, Ko, KA, Wang, Y, Imanishi, M, Heo, KS, Fujii, Y, Thomas, TN, Gi, YJ, Mazhar, H, Paez-Mayorga, J, Shin, JH, Tao, Y, Giancursio, CJ, Medina, JLM, Taunton, J, Lusis, AJ, Cooke, JP, Fujiwara, K, Le, N-T & Abe, JI 2019, JCI insight, vol. 4, no. 9, e124867.

MicroRNA 199a and the eNOS (Endothelial NO Synthase)/NO Pathway
Le, N-T & Abe, JI 2018, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, vol. 38, no. 10, pp. 2278-2280.

Regulation of Kir2.1 Function Under Shear Stress and Cholesterol Loading
Le, N-T & Abe, J-I 2018, Journal of the American Heart Association, vol. 7, no. 5.

Ponatinib Activates an Inflammatory Response in Endothelial Cells via ERK5 SUMOylation
Paez-Mayorga, J, Chen, AL, Kotla, S, Tao, Y, Abe, RJ, He, ED, Danysh, BP, Hofmann, M-CC & Le, N-T 2018, Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, vol. 5, pp. 125.

Induction of the pneumococcal vncRS operon by lactoferrin is essential for pneumonia
Ghosh, P, Kwon, H, Park, S-S, Kim, G-L, Choi, S-Y, Kim, E-H, Tran, TD-H, Seon, SH, Le, NT, Iqbal, H, Lee, S, Pyo, S & Rhee, D-K 2018, Virulence, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 1562-1575.

Ionizing Radiation Induces Endothelial Inflammation and Apoptosis via p90RSK-Mediated ERK5 S496 Phosphorylation
Vu, HT, Kotla, S, Ko, KA, Fujii, Y, Tao, Y, Medina, J, Thomas, T, Hada, M, Sood, AK, Singh, PK, Milgrom, SA, Krishnan, S, Fujiwara, K, Le, N-T & Abe, J-I 2018, Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, vol. 5, pp. 23.

Sub-cellular localization specific SUMOylation in the heart
Le, N-T, Martin, JF, Fujiwara, K & Abe, J-I 2017, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects, vol. 1863, no. 8, pp. 2041-2055.

Endothelial-to-Osteoblast Conversion Generates Osteoblastic Metastasis of Prostate Cancer
Lin, SC, Lee, YC, Yu, G, Cheng, CJ, Zhou, X, Chu, K, Murshed, M, Le, NT, Baseler, L, Abe, JI, Fujiwara, K, deCrombrugghe, B, Logothetis, CJ, Gallick, GE, Yu-Lee, LY, Maity, SN & Lin, SH 2017, Developmental Cell, vol. 41, no. 5, pp. 467-480.e3.

Flow signaling and atherosclerosis
Le, N-T, Sandhu, UG, Quintana-Quezada, RA, Hoang, NM, Fujiwara, K & Abe, J-I 2017, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, vol. 74, no. 10, pp. 1835-1858.

Coordination of Cellular Localization-Dependent Effects of Sumoylation in Regulating Cardiovascular and Neurological Diseases
Abe, J-I, Sandhu, UG, Hoang, NM, Thangam, M, Quintana-Quezada, RA, Fujiwara, K & Le, NT 2017, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol. 963, pp. 337-358.

Role for SUMOylation in disturbed flow-induced atherosclerotic plaque formation
Abe, JI, Le, N-T & Heo, KS 2015, Biomedical Engineering Letters, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 162-171.

Platelet Extracellular Regulated Protein Kinase 5 Is a Redox Switch and Triggers Maladaptive Platelet Responses and Myocardial Infarct Expansion
Cameron, SJ, Ture, SK, Mickelsen, D, Chakrabarti, E, Modjeski, KL, McNitt, S, Seaberry, M, Field, DJ, Le, N-T, Abe, J-I & Morrell, CN 2015, Circulation, vol. 132, no. 1, pp. 47-58.

Disturbed flow-activated p90RSK kinase accelerates atherosclerosis by inhibiting SENP2 function
Heo, K-S, Le, N-T, Cushman, HJ, Giancursio, CJ, Chang, E, Woo, C-H, Sullivan, MA, Taunton, J, Yeh, ETH, Fujiwara, K & Abe, J 2015, The Journal of clinical investigation, vol. 125, no. 3, pp. 1299-310.

Erratum for Le et al., Modulation of Adherence, Invasion, and Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha Secretion during the Early Stages of Infection by Streptococcus pneumoniae ClpL
Le, N-T, Jeong, H-Y, Kwon, H-Y, Ogunniyi, AD, Paton, JC, Pyo, S-N & Rhee, D-K 2015, Infection and Immunity, vol. 83, no. 3, pp. 1224.

Identification of activators of ERK5 transcriptional activity by high-throughput screening and the role of endothelial ERK5 in vasoprotective effects induced by statins and antimalarial agents
Le, N-T, Takei, Y, Izawa-Ishizawa, Y, Heo, K-S, Lee, H, Smrcka, AV, Miller, BL, Ko, KA, Ture, S, Morrell, C, Fujiwara, K, Akaike, M & Abe, J 2014, Journal of Immunology, vol. 193, no. 7, pp. 3803-15.

Live Chat Available