Hong Ma

Hong MaHong Ma, M.D. (1983, Xian Medical University), Ph.D. (1995, Kyoto University)

Research Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Opaque cataracts in the lens are a leading cause of blindness in the Unite States. Currently there is no prevention for the disease other than surgical treatment. It is estimated that approximately 1 million cataract extractions are performed annually in the United States. It would ultimately be desirable to be able to prevent cataract occurrence if we understand the mechanism by which they occur.

My research focuses on investigating the role of calcium-activated protease: calpains, in normal lens development and in cataractogenesis. At least five calpains are present in the rodent lens. Recent investigations have focused on the studies of lens-specific calpain Lp82 and Lp85 as well as a novel ubiquitous calpain 10, and their roles in experimental cataracts. We utilize techniques of biochemistry (chromatography, SDS-PAGE, Western blotting, zymography), molecular biology (RT-PCR, molecular cloning, expression of recombinant proteins in E, coli and in insect cells) and animal model methodology.

Research Support

National Institutes of Health

Representative Publications

Ma H, Fukiage C, Kim YH, Duncan MK, Reed NA, Shih M, Azuma M, Shearer TR. Characterization and expression of calpain 10. A novel ubiquitous calpain with nuclear localization.J Biol Chem. 2001 Jul 27;276(30):28525-31.

Ma H, Shih M, Hata I, Fukiage C, Azuma M, Shearer TR. Lp85 calpain is an enzymatically active rodent-specific isozyme of lens Lp82.Curr Eye Res. 2000 Mar;20(3):183-9

Ma H, Hata I, Shih M, Fukiage C, Nakamura Y, Azuma M, Shearer TR. Lp82 is the dominant form of calpain in young mouse lens. Exp Eye Res. 1999 Apr;68(4):447-56.

Ma H, Shih M, Hata I, Fukiage C, Azuma M, Shearer TR. Protein for Lp82 calpain is expressed and enzymatically active in young rat lens. Exp Eye Res. 1998 Aug;67(2):221-9.

Ma H, Fukiage C, Azuma M, Shearer TR. Cloning and expression of mRNA for calpain Lp82 from rat lens: splice variant of p94. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1998 Feb;39(2):454-61.