Kasey C. Vickers, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Faculty Appointments
Associate Professor of Medicine Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology & BiophysicsAssistant Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
Ph.D., Cardiovascular Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TexasB.S., Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
Office Address
2220 Pierce Avenue
358B Preston Research Building
Nashville, TN 37232
Research Description
The central goal of the Vickers lab is to discover gene regulatory modules that can be manipulated to prevent and treat cardiometabolic diseases. Specifically, our lab investigates microRNAs and other small RNA (sRNA)-mediated gene regulation in cholesterol, glucose, lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. Many projects in the lab aim to determine the biochemical mechanisms underlying sRNA intercellular communication in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Current and future projects include identifying which cells/tissues export sRNAs to lipoproteins (HDL and LDL), how lipoprotein sRNA signatures are altered in disease, and which cells/tissues take up lipoprotein sRNAs. More focused projects include determining how sRNAs are selected for export, the mechanisms of cellular export, and how they regulate genes in recipient cells. Most importantly, we aim to determine the biological impact of these cell-to-cell networks in disease and target gene regulatory modules to treat and prevent disease. Due to the applicability of intercellular communication across many diseases, projects in the lab span dyslipidemias, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus. A new area of research in the lab is cross-kingdom gene regulation and how bacteria-derived sRNAs circulating on lipoproteins regulate genes in human cells.

Research Keywords
MicroRNAs; Small Non-Coding RNAs, tRNA-derived Small RNAs; Gene Regulation; Intercellular Communication; Cross-Kingdom Gene Regulation; Cardiovascular Disease; Atherosclerosis; Chronic Kidney Disease; Autoimmunity; Type 2 Diabetes; Inflammation; Metabolism; Cholesterol; Glucose; Lipoproteins; HDL; LDL; VLDL
Guo Y, Strickland SA, Mohan S, Li S, Bosompem A, Vickers KC, Zhao S, Sheng Q, Kim AS. MicroRNAs and tRNA-derived fragments predict the transformation of myelodysplastic syndromes to acute myeloid leukemia. Leuk. Lymphoma [print-electronic]. 2017 Sep; 58(9): 1-15. PMID: 28084850, PMCID: PMC5505168, DOI: 10.1080/10428194.2016.1272680, ISSN: 1029-2403.

Dean ED, Li M, Prasad N, Wisniewski SN, Von Deylen A, Spaeth J, Maddison L, Botros A, Sedgeman LR, Bozadjieva N, Ilkayeva O, Coldren A, Poffenberger G, Shostak A, Semich MC, Aamodt KI, Phillips N, Yan H, Bernal-Mizrachi E, Corbin JD, Vickers KC, Levy SE, Dai C, Newgard C, Gu W, Stein R, Chen W, Powers AC. Interrupted Glucagon Signaling Reveals Hepatic a Cell Axis and Role for L-Glutamine in a Cell Proliferation. Cell Metab. 2017 Jun 6/6/2017; 25(6): 1362-1373.e5. PMID: 28591638, PMCID: PMC5572896, PII: S1550-4131(17)30300-5, DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.05.011, ISSN: 1932-7420.

Ormseth MJ, Yancey PG, Yamamoto S, Oeser AM, Gebretsadik T, Shintani A, Linton MF, Fazio S, Davies SS, Roberts LJ, Vickers KC, Raggi P, Kon V, Stein CM. Net cholesterol efflux capacity of HDL enriched serum and coronary atherosclerosis in rheumatoid arthritis. IJC Metab Endocr [print-electronic]. 2016 Dec; 13: 6-11. PMID: 28243578, PMCID: PMC5325720, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcme.2016.08.002, ISSN: 2214-7624.

Michell DL, Vickers KC. HDL and microRNA therapeutics in cardiovascular disease. Pharmacol. Ther [print-electronic]. 2016 Dec; 168: 43-52. PMID: 27595929, PMCID: PMC5140688, PII: S0163-7258(16)30157-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2016.09.001, ISSN: 1879-016X.

Michell DL, Vickers KC. Lipoprotein carriers of microRNAs. Biochim. Biophys. Acta [print-electronic]. 2016 Dec; 1861(12 Pt B): 2069-74. PMID: 26825691, PMCID: PMC4959968, PII: S1388-1981(16)30010-5, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2016.01.011, ISSN: 0006-3002.

Michell DL, Allen RM, Landstreet SR, Zhao S, Toth CL, Sheng Q, Vickers KC. Isolation of High-density Lipoproteins for Non-coding Small RNA Quantification. J Vis Exp. 2016 Nov 11/28/2016; (117): PMID: 27929461, PMCID: PMC5226318, DOI: 10.3791/54488, ISSN: 1940-087X.

Beavers KR, Werfel TA, Shen T, Kavanaugh TE, Kilchrist KV, Mares JW, Fain JS, Wiese CB, Vickers KC, Weiss SM, Duvall CL. Porous Silicon and Polymer Nanocomposites for Delivery of Peptide Nucleic Acids as Anti-MicroRNA Therapies. Adv. Mater. Weinheim [print-electronic]. 2016 Sep; 28(36): 7984-92. PMID: 27383910, PMCID: PMC5152671, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201601646, ISSN: 1521-4095.

Ormseth MJ, Yancey PG, Solus JF, Louis Bridges S, Curtis JR, Linton MF, Fazio S, Davies SS, Roberts LJ, Vickers KC, Kon V, Michael Stein C, . Effect of Drug Therapy on Net Cholesterol Efflux Capacity of High-Density Lipoprotein-Enriched Serum in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.). 2016 Sep; 68(9): 2099-105. PMID: 26991245, PMCID: PMC5001900, DOI: 10.1002/art.39675, ISSN: 2326-5205.

Selitsky SR, Dinh TA, Toth CL, Kurtz CL, Honda M, Struck BR, Kaneko S, Vickers KC, Lemon SM, Sethupathy P. Transcriptomic Analysis of Chronic Hepatitis B and C and Liver Cancer Reveals MicroRNA-Mediated Control of Cholesterol Synthesis Programs. MBio. 2015 Dec 12/8/2015; 6(6): e01500-15. PMID: 26646011, PMCID: PMC4676282, PII: mBio.01500-15, DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01500-15, ISSN: 2150-7511.

Ormseth MJ, Solus JF, Vickers KC, Oeser AM, Raggi P, Stein CM. Utility of Select Plasma MicroRNA for Disease and Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. J. Rheumatol [print-electronic]. 2015 Oct; 42(10): 1746-51. PMID: 26233505, PMCID: PMC4592411, DOI: 10.3899/jrheum.150232, ISSN: 0315-162X.

Guo Y, Bosompem A, Mohan S, Erdogan B, Ye F, Vickers KC, Sheng Q, Zhao S, Li CI, Su PF, Jagasia M, Strickland SA, Griffiths EA, Kim AS. Transfer RNA detection by small RNA deep sequencing and disease association with myelodysplastic syndromes. BMC Genomics. 2015 Sep 9/24/2015; 16: 727. PMID: 26400237, PMCID: PMC4581457, PII: 10.1186/s12864-015-1929-y, DOI: 10.1186/s12864-015-1929-y, ISSN: 1471-2164.

Kurtz CL, Fannin EE, Toth CL, Pearson DS, Vickers KC, Sethupathy P. Inhibition of miR-29 has a significant lipid-lowering benefit through suppression of lipogenic programs in liver. Sci Rep. 2015 Aug 8/6/2015; 5: 12911. PMID: 26246194, PMCID: PMC4526858, PII: srep12911, DOI: 10.1038/srep12911, ISSN: 2045-2322.

Luthi AJ, Lyssenko NN, Quach D, McMahon KM, Millar JS, Vickers KC, Rader DJ, Phillips MC, Mirkin CA, Thaxton CS. Robust passive and active efflux of cellular cholesterol to a designer functional mimic of high density lipoprotein. J. Lipid Res [print-electronic]. 2015 May; 56(5): 972-85. PMID: 25652088, PMCID: PMC4409287, PII: jlr.M054635, DOI: 10.1194/jlr.M054635, ISSN: 1539-7262.

Kaseda R, Jabs K, Hunley TE, Jones D, Bian A, Allen RM, Vickers KC, Yancey PG, Linton MF, Fazio S, Kon V. Dysfunctional high-density lipoproteins in children with chronic kidney disease. Metab. Clin. Exp [print-electronic]. 2015 Feb; 64(2): 263-73. PMID: 25467845, PMCID: PMC4277938, PII: S0026-0495(14)00329-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.metabol.2014.10.020, ISSN: 1532-8600.

Vickers KC, Roteta LA, Hucheson-Dilks H, Han L, Guo Y. Mining diverse small RNA species in the deep transcriptome. Trends Biochem. Sci [print-electronic]. 2015 Jan; 40(1): 4-7. PMID: 25435401, PMCID: PMC4362530, PII: S0968-0004(14)00201-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.tibs.2014.10.009, ISSN: 0968-0004.

Vickers KC, Rodriguez A. Human scavenger receptor class B type I variants, lipid traits, and cardiovascular disease [editorial]. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2014 Dec; 7(6): 735-7. PMID: 25516621, PMCID: PMC4373599, PII: CIRCGENETICS.114.000929, DOI: 10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.114.000929, ISSN: 1942-3268.

Babaev VR, Hebron KE, Wiese CB, Toth CL, Ding L, Zhang Y, May JM, Fazio S, Vickers KC, Linton MF. Macrophage deficiency of Akt2 reduces atherosclerosis in Ldlr null mice. J. Lipid Res [print-electronic]. 2014 Nov; 55(11): 2296-308. PMID: 25240046, PMCID: PMC4617132, PII: jlr.M050633, DOI: 10.1194/jlr.M050633, ISSN: 1539-7262.

Vickers KC, Landstreet SR, Levin MG, Shoucri BM, Toth CL, Taylor RC, Palmisano BT, Tabet F, Cui HL, Rye KA, Sethupathy P, Remaley AT. MicroRNA-223 coordinates cholesterol homeostasis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2014 Oct 10/7/2014; 111(40): 14518-23. PMID: 25246565, PMCID: PMC4210029, PII: 1215767111, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1215767111, ISSN: 1091-6490.

Allen RM, Vickers KC. Coenzyme Q10 increases cholesterol efflux and inhibits atherosclerosis through microRNAs [editorial]. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 2014 Sep; 34(9): 1795-7. PMID: 25142877, PMCID: PMC4142520, PII: ATVBAHA.114.303741, DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.114.303741, ISSN: 1524-4636.

Kurtz CL, Peck BC, Fannin EE, Beysen C, Miao J, Landstreet SR, Ding S, Turaga V, Lund PK, Turner S, Biddinger SB, Vickers KC, Sethupathy P. MicroRNA-29 fine-tunes the expression of key FOXA2-activated lipid metabolism genes and is dysregulated in animal models of insulin resistance and diabetes. Diabetes [print-electronic]. 2014 Sep; 63(9): 3141-8. PMID: 24722248, PMCID: PMC4141370, PII: db13-1015, DOI: 10.2337/db13-1015, ISSN: 1939-327X.

Vickers KC, Rye KA, Tabet F. MicroRNAs in the onset and development of cardiovascular disease. Clin. Sci. 2014 Feb; 126(3): 183-94. PMID: 24102098, PMCID: PMC3873876, PII: CS20130203, DOI: 10.1042/CS20130203, ISSN: 1470-8736.

Tabet F, Vickers KC, Cuesta Torres LF, Wiese CB, Shoucri BM, Lambert G, Catherinet C, Prado-Lourenco L, Levin MG, Thacker S, Sethupathy P, Barter PJ, Remaley AT, Rye KA. HDL-transferred microRNA-223 regulates ICAM-1 expression in endothelial cells. Nat Commun. 2014; 5: 3292. PMID: 24576947, PMCID: PMC4189962, PII: ncomms4292, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4292, ISSN: 2041-1723.

Vickers KC, Remaley AT. HDL and cholesterol: life after the divorce?. J. Lipid Res [print-electronic]. 2014 Jan; 55(1): 4-12. PMID: 23515282, PMCID: PMC3927467, PII: jlr.R035964, DOI: 10.1194/jlr.R035964, ISSN: 0022-2275.

Vickers KC, Moore KJ. Small RNA overcomes the challenges of therapeutic targeting of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein. Circ. Res. 2013 Nov 11/8/2013; 113(11): 1189-91. PMID: 24201112, PMCID: PMC4043302, PII: CIRCRESAHA.113.302732, DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.113.302732, ISSN: 1524-4571.

Vickers KC, Sethupathy P, Baran-Gale J, Remaley AT. Complexity of microRNA function and the role of isomiRs in lipid homeostasis. J. Lipid Res [print-electronic]. 2013 May; 54(5): 1182-91. PMID: 23505317, PMCID: PMC3622316, PII: jlr.R034801, DOI: 10.1194/jlr.R034801, ISSN: 0022-2275.

Feng Q, Vickers KC, Anderson MP, Levin MG, Chen W, Harrison DG, Wilke RA. A common functional promoter variant links CNR1 gene expression to HDL cholesterol level. Nat Commun. 2013; 4: 1973. PMID: 23748922, PMCID: PMC3873874, PII: ncomms2973, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2973, ISSN: 2041-1723.