Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Renal-Electrolyte

Faculty Profiles

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photo Rebecca P Hughey, PhD


Professor, Department of Medicine

Professor, Department of Cell Biology

Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Assistant Dean of Medical Student Research

Graduate Faculty, Cell Biology & Molecular Physiology Program

Graduate Faculty, Molecular Genetics and Developmental Biology


Phone: 412-383-8949

Office: S 933 Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-383-8949
Fax: 412-383-8956
Education and Training
B.S., Education/Biology, University of Pittsburgh, 1972
Ph.D., , Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 1976
Research Interest
Research in Dr. Hughey’s laboratory is focused on characterization of the assembly, processing and membrane trafficking of apically expressed glycoproteins in polarized kidney epithelial cells. She uses biochemistry and electrophysiology techniques to study the function of glycosylation, palmitoylation and proteolytic processing of model proteins such as the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase and the cell surface sensor MUC1. Her recent studies have revealed that ENaC is activated by a very novel mechanism of proteolytic release of inhibitory peptides in the biosynthetic pathway and post-Golgi compartments, and in pathological states such as proteinuria (kidney) and Cystic Fibrosis (lung). Her current studies of MUC1 function in normal kidney epithelia are focused on its role in epithelial survival and recovery from acute kidney injury.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Dvela-Levitt M et al. Small Molecule Targets TMED9 and Promotes Lysosomal Degradation to Reverse Proteinopathy. Cell. 2019; 178: 521-535.
Kleyman, TR, Kashlan, OB, Hughey, RP. Epithelial Na+ Channel Regulation by Extracellular and Intracellular Factors. Annual Review of Physiology. 2018; 80: 263-281.
Al-Bataineh, N.M., Kinlough, C.L., Poland, P.A., Pastor-Soler, N.M., Sutton, T.A., Mang, H.E., Bastacky, S.I., Gendler, S.J., Madsen, C.S., Singh, R.R., Monga, S.P., Hughey, R.P. Muc1 enhances the ß-catenin protective pathway during ischemia-reperfusion injury. American Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology. 2016; 310(6): F569-579.
Poland, P.A., Kinlough, C.L., Hughey, R.P. Cloning, Expression, and Purification of Galectins for In Vitro Studies. Galectins: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology. 2015; 1207: 37-49.
Mukherjee, A., Mueller, G.M., Kinlough, C.L., Sheng, N., Wang, Z., Mustafa, S.A., Kashlan, O.B., Kleyman, T.R., Hughey, R.P. Cys-Palmitoylation of the gamma subunit has a dominant role in modulating activity of the epithelial sodium channel. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2014; 289(20): 14351-9.
Razawi, H., Kinlough, C.L., Staubach, S., Poland, P.A., Rbaibi, Y., Weisz, O.A., Hughey, R.P., Hanisch, F.G. Evidence for core 2 to core 1 O-glycan remodeling during recycling of MUC1. Glycobiology. 2013; 23(8): 935-945.
Hanisch, F-G., Kinlough, C.L., Staubach, S., Hughey, R.P. MUC1 membrane trafficking: protocols for assessing biosynthetic delivery, endocytosis, recycling and release through exosomes. Methods in Molecular Biology: Mucins Methods and Protocols. 2012; 842: 123-140.
Kinlough, C.L., Poland, P.A., Gendler, S.J., Mattila, P.E., Mo, D., Weisz, O.A., Hughey, R.P. Core-glycosylated mucin-like repeats from MUC1 are an apical targeting signal. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2011; 286(45): 39072-81.
Hughey, R.P., Carattino, M.D., Kleyman, T.R. Role of proteolysis in the activation of epithelial sodium channels. Current Opinions in Nephrology and Hypertension. 2007; 16: 444-450.
Hughey, R.P., Bruns, J.B., Kinlough, C.L., Harkleroad, K.L., Tong, Q., Carattino, M.D., Johnson, J.P., Stockland, J.D., Kleyman, T.R. Epithelial sodium channels are activated by furin-dependent proteolysis. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2004; 279: 18111-18114.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Role of MUC1 in the Kidney
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2020
Title: ENaC regulation and its role in blood pressure homeostasis
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute/ National Institute of Health
Grant Number: R01 HL147818
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2023
Title: Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: P30 DK079307
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2023
Title: Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research - Core A
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: P30 DK079307
Start Year: 2013
End Year: 2018
Title: Apical Protein Sorting in Renal Epithelial Cells
Role: Collaborator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: R01 DK100357
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2018