Menko Research


Name: Sue Menko, PhD
Position: Professor

1020 Locust Street
Jefferson Alumni Hall, Room 564
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Contact Number(s):

Highlighted Publications

Basu, S, Rajakaruna, S, and Menko, AS (2012) Insulin-like growth factor receptor-1 and nuclear factor kappa B are crucial survival signals that regulate caspase-3 mediated lens epithelial cell differentiation initiation J Biol Chem. 287(11):8384-97. Epub 2012 Jan 24. PMID:22275359 PMCID:PMC3381865

This study reveals an IGF-1R signaling pathway that is a crucial regulator of caspase-3 activation, responsible for maintaining caspase-3 at the low level at which it functions in the initiation of lens epithelial cell differentiation.  

Menko AS, Bleaken BM, Libowitz AA, Zhang L, Stepp MA, Walker JL (2014) A central role for vimentin in regulating repair function during healing of the lens epithelium. Mol Biol Cell. 25(6):776-90. Epub 2014 Jan 29. PMID:24478454 PMCID:PMC3952848

This study shows that the lens contains a resident mesenchymal cell population that directs regenerative repair of the lens epithelium, post-cataract surgery, in a mechanism that is dependent on the function of the cytoskeletal protein vimentin.

Logan CM, Bowen, CJ, Menko AS (2017) Induction of immune surveillance of the dysmorphogenic lens. Sci Rep 7(1):16235. PMID:29176738 PMCID: PMC5701161

In this study with our lens-specific N-cadherin knockout mice, we discovered that the lens, previously considered immune privileged, is instead immune quiescent. Immune cells are recruited to these dysgenic lenses, likely migrating across LYVE-1-rich ciliary zonules, and are induced to become myofibroblasts associated with lens opacity.

Recent Publications

Specification of the patterning of a ductal tree during branching morphogenesis of the submandibular gland

Immune cells in lens injury repair and fibrosis

Resident immune cells of the avascular lens: Mediators of the injury and fibrotic response of the lens

Dynamics of the lens basement membrane capsule and its interaction with connective tissue-like extracapsular matrix proteins

TGFβ1 and TGFβ2 proteins in corneas with and without stromal fibrosis: Delayed regeneration of apical epithelial growth factor barrier and the epithelial basement membrane in corneas with stromal fibrosis

An immune response to the avascular lens following wounding of the cornea involves ciliary zonule fibrils

Fibrosis: Shared Lessons From the Lens and Cornea

Microtubules: Evolving roles and critical cellular interactions

Lens differentiation is characterized by stage-specific changes in chromatin accessibility correlating with differentiation state-specific gene expression

BNIP3L/NIX is required for elimination of mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus during eye lens organelle-free zone formation

In wound repair vimentin mediates the transition of mesenchymal leader cells to a myofibroblast phenotype

Functional role for stable microtubules in lens fiber cell elongation

Induction of immune surveillance of the dysmorphogenic lens

N-cadherin regulates signaling mechanisms required for lens fiber cell elongation and lens morphogenesis

New insight into the protrusions and paddles that link lens fiber cells

Cells activated for wound repair have the potential to direct collective invasion of an epithelium

Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition)

Erratum to: Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition) (Autophagy, 12, 1, 1-222, 10.1080/15548627.2015.1100356

Establishment of a clinically relevant ex vivo mock cataract surgery model for investigating epithelial wound repair in a native microenvironment

Endogenous hydrogen peroxide production in the epithelium of the developing embryonic lens

A central role for vimentin in regulating repair function during healing of the lens epithelium

Regional-specific alterations in cell-cell junctions, cytoskeletal networks and myosin-mediated mechanical cues coordinate collectivity of movement of epithelial cells in response to injury

α6 integrin transactivates insulin-like growth factor receptor-1 (IGF-1R) to regulate caspase-3-mediated lens epithelial cell differentiation initiation

Differentiation state-specific mitochondrial dynamic regulatory networks are revealed by global transcriptional analysis of the developing chicken lens

Suppression of MAPK/JNK-MTORC1 signaling leads to premature loss of organelles and nuclei by autophagy during terminal differentiation of lens fiber cells