Gary K. Owens


  • BS, Pennsylvania State University
  • MS, Pennsylvania State University
  • PhD, Pennsylvania State University
  • Postdoc, University of Washington, Seattle

Primary Appointment

  • Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics


Research Interest(s)

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Selected Publications

  • Johnston W, Salmon M, Pope N, Meher A, Su G, Stone M, Lu G, Owens G, Upchurch G, Ailawadi G. Inhibition of interleukin-1β decreases aneurysm formation and progression in a novel model of thoracic aortic aneurysms. Circulation. 2014;130(11): S51-9. PMID: 25200056
  • Gomez D, Shankman L, Nguyen A, Owens G. Detection of histone modifications at specific gene loci in single cells in histological sections. Nature methods. 2013;10(2): 171-7. PMID: 23314172 | PMCID: PMC3560316
  • Starke R, Ali M, Jabbour P, Tjoumakaris S, Gonzalez F, Hasan D, Rosenwasser R, Owens G, Koch W, Dumont A. Cigarette smoke modulates vascular smooth muscle phenotype: implications for carotid and cerebrovascular disease. PloS one. 2013;8(8): e71954. PMID: 23967268 | PMCID: PMC3743809
  • Alexander M, Murgai M, Moehle C, Owens G. Interleukin-1β modulates smooth muscle cell phenotype to a distinct inflammatory state relative to PDGF-DD via NF-κB-dependent mechanisms. Physiological genomics. 2012;44(7): 417-29. PMID: 22318995 | PMCID: PMC3339851
  • Gomez D, Owens G. Smooth muscle cell phenotypic switching in atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular research. 2012;95(2): 156-64. PMID: 22406749 | PMCID: PMC3388816
  • Nguyen A, Gomez D, Bell R, Campbell J, Clowes A, Gabbiani G, Giachelli C, Parmacek M, Raines E, Rusch N, Speer M, Sturek M, Thyberg J, Towler D, Weiser-Evans M, Yan C, Miano J, Owens G. Smooth Muscle Cell Plasticity: Fact or Fiction? Circulation research. 2012. PMID: 23093573
  • Salmon M, Gomez D, Greene E, Shankman L, Owens G. Cooperative binding of KLF4, pELK-1, and HDAC2 to a G/C repressor element in the SM22α promoter mediates transcriptional silencing during SMC phenotypic switching in vivo. Circulation research. 2012;111(6): 685-96. PMID: 22811558 | PMCID: NIHMS401822
  • Alexander M, Moehle C, Johnson J, Yang Z, Lee J, Jackson C, Owens G. Genetic inactivation of IL-1 signaling enhances atherosclerotic plaque instability and reduces outward vessel remodeling in advanced atherosclerosis in mice. The Journal of clinical investigation. 2011;122(1): 70-9. PMID: 22201681 | PMCID: PMC3248279
  • Alexander M, Owens G. Epigenetic control of smooth muscle cell differentiation and phenotypic switching in vascular development and disease. Annual review of physiology. 2011;74 13-40. PMID: 22017177
  • Gan Q, Thiébaud P, Thézé N, Jin L, Xu G, Grant P, Owens G. WD repeat-containing protein 5, a ubiquitously expressed histone methyltransferase adaptor protein, regulates smooth muscle cell-selective gene activation through interaction with pituitary homeobox 2. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2011;286(24): 21853-64. PMID: 21531708 | PMCID: PMC3122240
  • Hoofnagle M, Neppl R, Berzin E, Teg Pipes G, Olson E, Wamhoff B, Somlyo A, Owens G. Myocardin is differentially required for the development of smooth muscle cells and cardiomyocytes. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2011;300(5): H1707-21. PMID: 21357509 | PMCID: PMC3094091
  • Jin L, Gan Q, Zieba B, Goicoechea S, Owens G, Otey C, Somlyo A. The actin associated protein palladin is important for the early smooth muscle cell differentiation. PloS one. 2010;5(9): e12823. PMID: 20877641 | PMCID: PMC2943901
  • Yoshida T, Gan Q, Franke A, Ho R, Zhang J, Chen Y, Hayashi M, Majesky M, Somlyo A, Owens G. Smooth and cardiac muscle-selective knock-out of Kruppel-like factor 4 causes postnatal death and growth retardation. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2010;285(27): 21175-84. PMID: 20439457 | PMCID: PMC2898332
  • Cherepanova O, Pidkovka N, Sarmento O, Yoshida T, Gan Q, Adiguzel E, Bendeck M, Berliner J, Leitinger N, Owens G. Oxidized phospholipids induce type VIII collagen expression and vascular smooth muscle cell migration. Circulation research. 2009;104(5): 609-18. PMID: 19168440 | PMCID: PMC2758767
  • Deaton R, Gan Q, Owens G. Sp1-dependent activation of KLF4 is required for PDGF-BB-induced phenotypic modulation of smooth muscle. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2009;296(4): H1027-37. PMID: 19168719 | PMCID: PMC2670704
  • Nickerson M, Song J, Meisner J, Bajikar S, Burke C, Shuptrine C, Owens G, Skalak T, Price R. Bone marrow-derived cell-specific chemokine (C-C motif) receptor-2 expression is required for arteriolar remodeling. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2009;29(11): 1794-801. PMID: 19734197 | PMCID: PMC2766019
  • Jin L, Yoshida T, Ho R, Owens G, Somlyo A. The actin-associated protein Palladin is required for development of normal contractile properties of smooth muscle cells derived from embryoid bodies. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2008;284(4): 2121-30. PMID: 19015263 | PMCID: PMC2629081
  • Shang Y, Yoshida T, Amendt B, Martin J, Owens G. Pitx2 is functionally important in the early stages of vascular smooth muscle cell differentiation. The Journal of cell biology. 2008;181(3): 461-73. PMID: 18458156 | PMCID: PMC2364692
  • Thomas J, Deaton R, Hastings N, Shang Y, Moehle C, Eriksson U, Topouzis S, Wamhoff B, Blackman B, Owens G. PDGF-DD, a novel mediator of smooth muscle cell phenotypic modulation, is upregulated in endothelial cells exposed to atherosclerosis-prone flow patterns. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2008;296(2): H442-52. PMID: 19028801 | PMCID: PMC2643880
  • Wamhoff B, Lynch K, Macdonald T, Owens G. Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor subtypes differentially regulate smooth muscle cell phenotype. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2008;28(8): 1454-61. PMID: 18535287 | PMCID: PMC2605659
  • Yoshida T, Gan Q, Owens G. Kruppel-like factor 4, Elk-1, and histone deacetylases cooperatively suppress smooth muscle cell differentiation markers in response to oxidized phospholipids. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology. 2008;295(5): C1175-82. PMID: 18768922 | PMCID: PMC2584997
  • Yoshida T, Kaestner K, Owens G. Conditional deletion of Krüppel-like factor 4 delays downregulation of smooth muscle cell differentiation markers but accelerates neointimal formation following vascular injury. Circulation research. 2008;102(12): 1548-57. PMID: 18483411 | PMCID: PMC2633447
  • Gan Q, Yoshida T, Li J, Owens G. Smooth muscle cells and myofibroblasts use distinct transcriptional mechanisms for smooth muscle alpha-actin expression. Circulation research. 2007;101(9): 883-92. PMID: 17823374
  • McDonald O, Owens G. Programming smooth muscle plasticity with chromatin dynamics. Circulation research. 2007;100(10): 1428-41. PMID: 17525382
  • Pidkovka N, Cherepanova O, Yoshida T, Alexander M, Deaton R, Thomas J, Leitinger N, Owens G. Oxidized phospholipids induce phenotypic switching of vascular smooth muscle cells in vivo and in vitro. Circulation research. 2007;101(8): 792-801. PMID: 17704209
  • Gan Q, Yoshida T, McDonald O, Owens G. Concise review: epigenetic mechanisms contribute to pluripotency and cell lineage determination of embryonic stem cells. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio). 2006;25(1): 2-9. PMID: 17023513
  • Gorenne I, Jin L, Yoshida T, Sanders J, Sarembock I, Owens G, Somlyo A, Somlyo A. LPP expression during in vitro smooth muscle differentiation and stent-induced vascular injury. Circulation research. 2006;98(3): 378-85. PMID: 16397143
  • Kawai-Kowase K, Owens G. Multiple repressor pathways contribute to phenotypic switching of vascular smooth muscle cells. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology. 2006;292(1): C59-69. PMID: 16956962
  • Khromov A, Wang H, Choudhury N, McDuffie M, Herring B, Nakamoto R, Owens G, Somlyo A, Somlyo A. Smooth muscle of telokin-deficient mice exhibits increased sensitivity to Ca2+ and decreased cGMP-induced relaxation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2006;103(7): 2440-5. PMID: 16461919 | PMCID: PMC1413704
  • McDonald O, Wamhoff B, Hoofnagle M, Owens G. Control of SRF binding to CArG box chromatin regulates smooth muscle gene expression in vivo. The Journal of clinical investigation. 2006;116(1): 36-48. PMID: 16395403 | PMCID: PMC1323266
  • Sinha S, Wamhoff B, Hoofnagle M, Thomas J, Neppl R, Deering T, Helmke B, Bowles D, Somlyo A, Owens G. Assessment of contractility of purified smooth muscle cells derived from embryonic stem cells. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio). 2006;24(7): 1678-88. PMID: 16601077
  • Yoshida T, Gan Q, Shang Y, Owens G. Platelet-derived growth factor-BB represses smooth muscle cell marker genes via changes in binding of MKL factors and histone deacetylases to their promoters. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology. 2006;292(2): C886-95. PMID: 16987998