Our Research

Central Regulation of Metabolism and Reproduction

We are broadly interested in endocrine and neuroendocrine tissue development. We study the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), which controls metablism and reproduction. Using mouse genetics, pharmacogenetics and functional imaging, we ask how estrogen-responsive neurons in the VMH control physical activity and adaptive thermogenesis in females.

Nuclear Lipids and Sumoylation of NR5As

Ongoing research focuses on NR5A nuclear receptors, SF-1 and LRH-1 because of their critical roles in metabolism. We find that the signaling phospholipid PIP3 is the highest affinity ligand for NR5As. Efforts are underway to find synthetic ligands for use in the intestine and liver. NR5A receptors are highly sumoylated. We are asking how this PTM affect the in vivo function of these NRs in liver.

Mouse Liver Section
Photo Credit: Dr. Diego Miranda
Mouse liver section showing lipid droplets in bright green.

Recent Publications

de Jesus Cortez F, Suzawa M, Irvy S, Bruning JM, Sablin E, Jacobson MP, Fletterick RJ, Ingraham HA, England PM. PLoS One. 2016 Jul 28;11(7)

An estrogen-responsive module in the ventromedial hypothalamus selectively drives sex-specific activity in females.

Correa SM, Newstrom DW, Warne JP, Flandin P, Cheung CC, Lin-Moore AT, Pierce AA, Xu AW, Rubenstein JL, Ingraham HA. Cell Rep. 2015 Jan 6;10(1):62-74.

A gene-expression screen identifies a non-toxic sumoylation inhibitor that mimics SUMO-less human LRH-1 in liver.

Suzawa M, Miranda DA, Ramos KA, Ang KK, Faivre EJ, Wilson CG, Caboni L, Arkin MR, Kim YS, Fletterick RJ, Diaz A, Schneekloth JS, Ingraham HAElife. 2015 Dec 11;4.