Division of Nephrology-Hypertension

Daniel T. O'Connor, M.D.

Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology
Curriculum Vitae

Phone : (858)534-0661
E-mail : doconnor@ucsd.edu
Location : Pharmaceutical Sci B
Room : 4256
Mail Code : 0838
Mailing Address : 9500 Gilman Drive # 0838
La Jolla, CA 92093-0838
Fax : (858) 534-0626

Dr. O'Connor's website

Research Interests

The sympathoadrenal efferent branch of the autonomic nervous system plays a key minute-to-minute role in regulation of blood pressure, and excessive sympathoadrenal activity is clearly implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension, both primary (genetic, essential) and secondary (acquired), in both humans and experimental animals. Our basic laboratory studies aim to understand the cellular processes of catecholamine biosynthesis, storage, and release. Our clinical studies probe genetic determinants of hypertension, renal disease, and antihypertensive drug responses.

Selected Publications

  1. O'Connor DT, Bernstein KN:  Radioimmunoassay of chromogranin A in plasma as a measure of exocytotic sympathoadrenal activity in normal subjects and patients with pheochromocytoma.  New Engl J Med 311:764-770, 1984. PMID: 6472366. (topic of editorial)
  2. O'Connor DT, Deftos LJ:  Secretion of chromogranin A by peptide producing endocrine neoplasms.  New Engl J Med 314:1145-1151, 1986. PMID: 3007986.
  3. L Taupenot, KL Harper, DT O’Connor. The chromogranin-secretogranin family. New Engl J Med 2003; 348:1134-49. PMID: 12646671.
  4. SM Vaingankar, Y Li, N Biswas, JR Gayen, S Choksi, F Rao, MG Ziegler, SK Mahata, DT O'Connor. Effects Of Chromogranin A Deficiency And Excess In Vivo:  Biphasic Blood Pressure And Catecholamine Responses. J Hypertension 2010;28:817–825. PMID: 20139771. PMCID: PMC2947860. Topic of editorial.
  5. K Zhang, L Zhang, F Rao, B Brar, JL Rodriguez-Flores, L Taupenot, DT O’Connor. Human Tyrosine Hydroxylase Natural Genetic Variation: Delineation Of Functional Transcriptional Control Motifs Disrupted In The Proximal Promoter. Circ Cardiovasc Genetics 2010;3:187-198. PMID: 20124442. PMCID: PMC3064953.
  6. F Rao, K Zhang, S Khandrika, M Mahata, MM Fung, MG Ziegler, BK Rana, DT O’Connor. Isoprostane, An ‘Intermediate Phenotype’ For Oxidative Stress: Human Twin Studies Reveal Heritability, Association With Blood Pressure, Autonomic Activity, And The Metabolic Syndrome, And The Influence Of Non-Coding/3’-UTR Polymorphism At The Chromogranin B (CHGB) Locus. J Amer Coll Cardiol. 2010 Oct 12;56(16):1338-50. PMID: 20888525.
  7. M.L. Jirout, R.S. Friese, N.R. Mahapatra, M. Mahata, L. Taupenot, S.K. Mahata, V. Kren, V. Zídek, J. Fischer, H. Maatz, M.G. Ziegler, M. Pravenec, N. Hubner, T.J. Aitman, N.J. Schork, D.T. O'Connor. Genetic regulation of catecholamine synthesis, storage and secretion in the spontaneously hypertensive rat. Human Molecular Genetics 2010;19(13):2567-80. PMID: 20378607. PMC2883337.
  8. JL Rodriguez-Flores, K Zhang, SW Kang, G Wen, S Ghosh, RS Friese, SK Mahata, S Subramaniam, BA Hamilton, DT O’Connor. Conserved regulatory motifs at phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT) are disrupted by common functional genetic variation: an integrated computational/experimental approach. Mamm Genome 2010 Apr;21(3-4):195-204. PMID: 20204374. PMCID: PMC2844968.
  9. K Zhang, F Rao, L Wang, BK Rana, S Ghosh, M Mahata, RM Salem, JL Rodriguez-Flores, MM Fung, J Waalen, B Tayo, L Taupenot, SK Mahata, DT O’Connor. Common Functional Genetic Variants in Catecholamine Storage Vesicle Protein Promoter Motifs Interact to Trigger Systemic Hypertension. J Amer Coll Cardiol 2010;55:1463–75. PMID: 20359597.
  10. JR Gayen, K Zhang, SP RamachandraRao, M Mahata, Y Chen, H-S Kim, RK Naviaux, K Sharma, SK Mahata, DT O’Connor. Role of reactive oxygen species in hyper-adrenergic hypertension: Biochemical, physiological, and pharmacological evidence from targeted ablation of the chromogranin A (Chga) gene. Circulation Cardiovasc Genetics 2010;3:414-425. PMID: 20729505.
  11. Y Chen, MS Lipkowitz, RM Salem, MM Fung, V Bhatnagar, M Mahata, CM Nievergelt, F Rao, SK Mahata, NJ Schork, PJ Hicks, DW Bowden, BI Freedman, DT O’Connor. Progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD): Adrenergic genetic influence on GFR decline in hypertensive nephrosclerosis. Amer J Nephrol 2010;32:23-30. PMID: 20484896.
  12. Yuqing Chen, Rany M. Salem, Fangwen Rao, Maple M. Fung, Vibha Bhatnagar, Braj Pandey, Manjula Mahata, Jill Waalen, Caroline M. Nievergelt, Michael S. Lipkowitz, Bruce A. Hamilton, Sushil K. Mahata, Daniel T. O’Connor. Common charge-shift mutation Glu65Lys in K+ channel b1 subunit KCNMB1: Pleiotropic consequences for glomerular filtration rate and progressive renal disease. Amer J Nephrol 2010;32(5):414-424. PMID: 2086161. PMCID: PMC2975731.
  13. Chen Y, Zhang K, Wen G, Rao F, Sanchez AP, Wang L, Rodriguez-Flores JL, Mahata M, Mahata SK, Waalen J, Ziegler MG, Hamilton BA, O'Connor DT. Human Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase Promoter Variant Alters Transcription in Chromaffin Cells, Enzyme Secretion, and Blood Pressure. Am J Hypertens 24:24-32, 2011. PMID: 20814407. PMC2860271.
  14. MM Fung; F Rao; S Poddar; M Mahata; S Khandrika; SK Mahata; DT O'Connor. Early inflammatory and metabolic changes in association with AGTR1 polymorphisms in prehypertensive subjects. Am J Hypertens. 2011 Feb;24(2):225-33. PMID: 20864943.
  15. Stephane Chiron, Zhiyun Wei, Yuqing Chen, Kuixing Zhang, Gen Wen, Wolfgang H. Fischer, Sushil K. Mahata, and Daniel T. O'Connor. Proteomic analysis yields an unexpected trans-acting point in control of the human sympathochromaffin phenotype. Circ Cardiovasc Genet 2011;4;437-445. PMID 21551321.
  16. Maple M. Fung, Rany M. Salem, Michael S. Lipkowitz, Vibha Bhatnagar, Braj Pandey, Suzanne Cheng, Nicholas J. Schork, Daniel T. O’Connor. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphism A1298C (Glu429Ala) predicts decline in renal function over time in the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) Trial and Veterans Affairs Hypertension Cohort (VAHC). Nephrol Dial Transplant 2012;27(1):197-205. PMID: 21613384.
  17. Zhiyun Wei, BS; Nilima Biswas, PhD; Lei Wang, PhD; Maite Courel, PhD; Kuixing Zhang, MD, PhD; Alex Soler-Jover, PhD; Laurent Taupenot, PhD; Daniel T. O’Connor, MD. A common genetic variant in the 3’-UTR of vacuolar H+-ATPase ATP6V0A1 creates a microRNA motif to alter chromogranin A processing and hypertension risk. Circ Cardiovasc Genet 2011;4:381-389. PMID 21558123. (topic of editorial)
  18. Ziegler MG, Milic M, Sun P, Tang CM, Elayan H, Bao X, Cheung WW, O'Connor DT. Endogenous epinephrine protects against obesity induced insulin resistance. Auton Neurosci. 2011 Jul 5;162(1-2):32-4. PMID: 21354376.
  19. Sun Woo Kang, Pei-an Betty Shih, Roy O. Mathew, Manjula Mahata, Nilima Biswas, Fangwen Rao, Liying Yan, Josee Bouchard, Rakesh Malhotra, Ashita Tolwani, Srikrishna Khandrika, Ravindra L. Mehta, Daniel T. O’Connor. Renal kallikrein excretion and epigenetics in human acute kidney injury: Expression, mechanisms and consequences. BMC-Nephrology 2011;12:27 (featured article). PMID: 21679467.
  20. Fangwen Rao, Stephane Chiron, Zhiyun Wei, Maple M. Fung, Yuqing Chen, Gen Wen, Srikrishna Khandrika, Michael G. Ziegler, Beben Benyamin, Grant Montgomery, John B. Whitfield, Nicholas G. Martin, Bruce A. Hamilton, Sushil K. Mahata, and Daniel T. O’Connor. Genetic variation within a metabolic motif in the chromogranin A (CHGA) promoter: Pleiotropic influence on multiple cardio-metabolic risk traits in twin pairs. Am J Hypertens. 2012;25(1):29-40. PMID: 21918574.
  21. Jason T. Davis, Fangwen Rao, Dalal Naqshbandi, Maple M. Fung, Kuixing Zhang, Andrew J. Schork, Caroline M. Nievergelt, Michael G. Ziegler, Daniel T. O’Connor. Autonomic and hemodynamic origins of prehypertension: Central role of heredity. J Amer Coll Cardiol 2012;59:2206–16. PMID: 22676942.
  22. Ryan S. Friese, PhD; Chun Ye, PhD; Caroline M. Nievergelt, PhD; Andrew J. Schork, BS; Nitish R. Mahapatra, PhD, Fangwen Rao, MD, Philip S. Napolitan, BS; Jill Waalen, MD, MPH; ICBP-GWAS; Geert W. Schmid-Schönbein, PhD; Eleazar Eskin, PhD; and Daniel T. O’Connor, MD. Integrated computational and experimental analysis of the neuroendocrine transcriptome in genetic hypertension identifies novel control points for the cardio-metabolic syndrome. Circ Cardiovasc Genet (accepted, 2012). PMID: 22670052.