Lab Sections and Chiefs
Adipocyte Biology and Gene Regulation Section
Kai Ge, Ph.D., Section Chief
The Adipocyte Biology and Gene Regulation Section studies epigenetic regulation of PPARg and adipogenesis (generation of fat), with a focus on histone-modifying enzymes. PPARg is the master regulator of adipogenesis, and it cooperates with other adipogenic transcription factors to promote adipogenesis. Understanding how epigenetic mechanisms regulate PPARg and adipogenesis may provide new ways to treat obesity and lipodystrophy, the two diseases that are tightly associated with type 2 diabetes.
Nuclear Receptor Biology Section
Douglas Forrest, Ph.D., Section Chief
Our section investigates the functions of thyroid hormone (T3) receptors and other nuclear receptors in mammalian development. The diverse actions of T3 in different tissues are determined in part by T3 receptor α 1 and β isoforms, which act as ligand-regulated transcription factors. T3 action is also regulated by deiodinase enzymes that activate and inactivate the hormone in different tissues. In addition, we investigate retinoid-related orphan receptors, which also belong to the nuclear receptor family, but lack known physiological ligands. Our studies should elucidate hormonal and transcriptional mechanisms that underlie developmental, homeostatic, and disease processes.