Research

The development of specialized and properly wired neuronal networks is crucial for the function of nervous system. Abnormal neuronal specification and wiring lead to neurological disorders or lethality. Using diencephalic habenula nuclei (HA) and their connections to the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN) as a model (Figure 1), I have studied how HA are generated and how habenular axons recognize their targets during zebrafish embryonic development. Utilizing different approaches such as data mining, molecular manipulation and laser ablation, I found that Neuropilin 1a (Nrp1a) positive habenular neurons extend their axons onto the dorsal IPN by responding to attractive guidance cues Semaphorin 3D (Sema3D) (Figure 2). Utilizing chemical mutagenesis and in situ hybridization screen, I found that the novel Golgi protein Wntless (Wls) plays a critical role during habenula neurogenesis, presumably by controlling the expression of proneural gene neurogenin 1 (ngn1) (Figure 3).

Currently I am investigating the mechanisms of how HA axons correctly navigate to their targets, how Wls influence HA neurogenesis, and how different habenular neurons adopt their individual identities during the generation of HA-IPN circuit. Understand the factors and mechanisms that control the development of HA-IPN circuit in zebrafish will quickly advance our knowledge of this important neural circuit in all vertebrates and may shed light on human conditions involving altered neuronal generation and axonal connectivity.

Degrees and Positions Held
Positions Held
  • 2018 – present   Joint Appointment Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica
  • 2016 – present   Associate Professor, Institute of Biochemical Sciences, National Taiwan University
  • 2009 – 2018   Joint Appointment Assistant Research Fellow, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica
  • 2009 – 2016   Assistant Professor, Institute of Biochemical Sciences, National Taiwan University
  • 2003 – 2008   Post-doctoral fellow, Embryology Dept., Carnegie Inst. for Science.
  • 1994 – 1996   Research assistant, Inst. of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica
Degrees
  • 1997 – 2003   Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 1990 – 1994   B.S., Department of Biology, Tunghai University
Selected Publications
Wu BT, Wen SH, Hwang SP, Huang CJ, Kuan YS
Journal of cell science (2015)
Lu CH, Lin KH, Hsu YY, Tsen KT, Kuan YS
Journal of Physics D-Applied Physics (2014)
Liao WH, Cheng CH, Hung KS, Chiu WT, Chen GD, Hwang PP, Hwang SP, Kuan YS, Huang CJ
Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS (2013)
Kuan, Y.S., Brewer-Jensen, P., Bai, W.L., Hunter, C., Wilson, C.B., Bass, S., Abernethy, J., Wing, J.S. and Lillie L. Searles.
Molecular and cellular biology (2009)
Kuan YS, Yu HH, Moens CB, Halpern ME
Development (2007)
Kuan YS, Gamse JT, Schreiber AM, Halpern ME
Journal of experimental zoology. Part B. Molecular and developmental evolution (2007)
Publications List
  1. Wu BT, Wen SH, Hwang SP, Huang CJ, (Kuan YS)  (2015-06)  Journal of cell science  128(12), 2328-2339  "Control of Wnt5b secretion by Wntless modulates chondrogenic cell proliferation through fine-tuning fgf3 expression."
  2. Chieh-Han Lu, Kung-Hsuan Lin, Yung-Yuan Hsu, Kong-Thon Tsen and (Yung-Shu Kuan)  (2014)  Journal of Physics D-Applied Physics  47(31), 315402  "Inhibition of Escherichia coli respiratory enzymes by short visible femtosecond laser irradiation."
  3. Liao WH, Cheng CH, Hung KS, Chiu WT, Chen GD, Hwang PP, Hwang SP, (Kuan YS), Huang CJ  (2013-07)  Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS  70(13), 2367-2381  "Protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type O (Ptpro) regulates cerebellar formation during zebrafish development through modulating Fgf signaling."
  4. Kuan, Y.S., Brewer-Jensen, P., Bai, W.L., Hunter, C., Wilson, C.B., Bass, S., Abernethy, J., Wing, J.S. and Lillie L. Searles.  (2009-10)  Molecular and cellular biology  29(20), 5590-603  "Drosophila Suppressor of sable protein (Su(s)) promotes degradation of aberrant and transposon-derived RNAs."
  5. Kuan YS, Yu HH, Moens CB, Halpern ME  (2007)  Development  134(5), 857-65  "Neuropilin asymmetry mediates a left-right difference in habenular connectivity."
  6. Kuan YS, Gamse JT, Schreiber AM, Halpern ME  (2007)  Journal of experimental zoology. Part B. Molecular and developmental evolution  308(5), 669-78  "Selective asymmetry in a conserved forebrain to midbrain projection."
  7. Gamse JT, Kuan YS, Macurak M, Brosamle C, Thisse B, Thisse C, Halpern ME  (2005)  Development  132(21), 4869-81  "Directional asymmetry of the zebrafish epithalamus guides dorsoventral innervation of the midbrain target."
  8. Kuan YS, Brewer-Jensen P, Searles LL  (2004)  Molecular and cellular biology  24(9), 3734-46  "Suppressor of sable, a putative RNA-processing protein, functions at the level of transcription."
  9. Lomasney JW, Cheng HF, Wang LP, Kuan Y, Liu S, Fesik SW, King K  (1996)  The Journal of biological chemistry  271(41), 25316-26  "Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate binding to the pleckstrin homology domain of phospholipase C-delta1 enhances enzyme activity."
  10. Wang LP, Lim C, Kuan Y, Chen CL, Chen HF, King K  (1996)  The Journal of biological chemistry  271(40), 24505-16  "Positive charge at position 549 is essential for phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate-hydrolyzing but not phosphatidylinositol-hydrolyzing activities of human phospholipase C delta1."

The development of specialized and properly wired neuronal networks is crucial for the function of nervous system. Abnormal neuronal specification and wiring lead to neurological disorders or lethality. Using diencephalic habenula nuclei (HA) and their connections to the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN) as a model (Figure 1), I have studied how HA are generated and how habenular axons recognize their targets during zebrafish embryonic development. Utilizing different approaches such as data mining, molecular manipulation and laser ablation, I found that Neuropilin 1a (Nrp1a) positive habenular neurons extend their axons onto the dorsal IPN by responding to attractive guidance cues Semaphorin 3D (Sema3D) (Figure 2). Utilizing chemical mutagenesis and in situ hybridization screen, I found that the novel Golgi protein Wntless (Wls) plays a critical role during habenula neurogenesis, presumably by controlling the expression of proneural gene neurogenin 1 (ngn1) (Figure 3).

Currently I am investigating the mechanisms of how HA axons correctly navigate to their targets, how Wls influence HA neurogenesis, and how different habenular neurons adopt their individual identities during the generation of HA-IPN circuit. Understand the factors and mechanisms that control the development of HA-IPN circuit in zebrafish will quickly advance our knowledge of this important neural circuit in all vertebrates and may shed light on human conditions involving altered neuronal generation and axonal connectivity.

Positions Held
  • 2018 – present   Joint Appointment Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica
  • 2016 – present   Associate Professor, Institute of Biochemical Sciences, National Taiwan University
  • 2009 – 2018   Joint Appointment Assistant Research Fellow, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica
  • 2009 – 2016   Assistant Professor, Institute of Biochemical Sciences, National Taiwan University
  • 2003 – 2008   Post-doctoral fellow, Embryology Dept., Carnegie Inst. for Science.
  • 1994 – 1996   Research assistant, Inst. of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica
Degrees
  • 1997 – 2003   Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 1990 – 1994   B.S., Department of Biology, Tunghai University
Wu BT, Wen SH, Hwang SP, Huang CJ, Kuan YS
Journal of cell science (2015)
Lu CH, Lin KH, Hsu YY, Tsen KT, Kuan YS
Journal of Physics D-Applied Physics (2014)
Liao WH, Cheng CH, Hung KS, Chiu WT, Chen GD, Hwang PP, Hwang SP, Kuan YS, Huang CJ
Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS (2013)
Kuan, Y.S., Brewer-Jensen, P., Bai, W.L., Hunter, C., Wilson, C.B., Bass, S., Abernethy, J., Wing, J.S. and Lillie L. Searles.
Molecular and cellular biology (2009)
Kuan YS, Yu HH, Moens CB, Halpern ME
Development (2007)
Kuan YS, Gamse JT, Schreiber AM, Halpern ME
Journal of experimental zoology. Part B. Molecular and developmental evolution (2007)
  1. Wu BT, Wen SH, Hwang SP, Huang CJ, (Kuan YS)  (2015-06)  Journal of cell science  128(12), 2328-2339  "Control of Wnt5b secretion by Wntless modulates chondrogenic cell proliferation through fine-tuning fgf3 expression."
  2. Chieh-Han Lu, Kung-Hsuan Lin, Yung-Yuan Hsu, Kong-Thon Tsen and (Yung-Shu Kuan)  (2014)  Journal of Physics D-Applied Physics  47(31), 315402  "Inhibition of Escherichia coli respiratory enzymes by short visible femtosecond laser irradiation."
  3. Liao WH, Cheng CH, Hung KS, Chiu WT, Chen GD, Hwang PP, Hwang SP, (Kuan YS), Huang CJ  (2013-07)  Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS  70(13), 2367-2381  "Protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type O (Ptpro) regulates cerebellar formation during zebrafish development through modulating Fgf signaling."
  4. Kuan, Y.S., Brewer-Jensen, P., Bai, W.L., Hunter, C., Wilson, C.B., Bass, S., Abernethy, J., Wing, J.S. and Lillie L. Searles.  (2009-10)  Molecular and cellular biology  29(20), 5590-603  "Drosophila Suppressor of sable protein (Su(s)) promotes degradation of aberrant and transposon-derived RNAs."
  5. Kuan YS, Yu HH, Moens CB, Halpern ME  (2007)  Development  134(5), 857-65  "Neuropilin asymmetry mediates a left-right difference in habenular connectivity."
  6. Kuan YS, Gamse JT, Schreiber AM, Halpern ME  (2007)  Journal of experimental zoology. Part B. Molecular and developmental evolution  308(5), 669-78  "Selective asymmetry in a conserved forebrain to midbrain projection."
  7. Gamse JT, Kuan YS, Macurak M, Brosamle C, Thisse B, Thisse C, Halpern ME  (2005)  Development  132(21), 4869-81  "Directional asymmetry of the zebrafish epithalamus guides dorsoventral innervation of the midbrain target."
  8. Kuan YS, Brewer-Jensen P, Searles LL  (2004)  Molecular and cellular biology  24(9), 3734-46  "Suppressor of sable, a putative RNA-processing protein, functions at the level of transcription."
  9. Lomasney JW, Cheng HF, Wang LP, Kuan Y, Liu S, Fesik SW, King K  (1996)  The Journal of biological chemistry  271(41), 25316-26  "Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate binding to the pleckstrin homology domain of phospholipase C-delta1 enhances enzyme activity."
  10. Wang LP, Lim C, Kuan Y, Chen CL, Chen HF, King K  (1996)  The Journal of biological chemistry  271(40), 24505-16  "Positive charge at position 549 is essential for phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate-hydrolyzing but not phosphatidylinositol-hydrolyzing activities of human phospholipase C delta1."