Studies of Bile Acid-Like Signaling Pathways in Mammals and Nematodes

dc.contributor.advisorMangelsdorf, David J.en
dc.creatorZhi, Xiaoyongen
dc.description.abstractBile acids are not only detergents for lipid solubilization and absorption, but also important signaling molecules. They regulate biological events in mammals by acting on nuclear receptors and membrane-bound receptors. Bile acid homeostasis is maintained in part through a FXR-SHP signaling circuit, in which SHP functions as a transcriptional corepressor. The mechanism whereby SHP represses was one focus of my thesis research. I used a number of biochemical strategies including tandem affinity purification to identify SHP interacting proteins. I also successfully solubilized SHP recombinant protein, which was used to generate crystals that diffracted to 3.2 Angstroms. Bile acid-like molecules function in nematodes to control a variety of life history traits such as dauer and infective L3 formation through the nuclear receptor DAF-12. Although DAF-12 homologues from different nematode species are functionally and structurally conserved, they show differential pharmacological responses to ligands. To that end, I solved the X-ray crystal structure of the hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum DAF-12 ligand binding domain and revealed the molecular basis underlying species specific-ligand binding for DAF-12. Furthermore, DAF-12 was shown to be structurally similar to the bile acid sensor FXR, suggesting bile acid-like signaling pathways have been conserved across evolution. In conclusion, my studies provide new insights into how bile acids are sensed and regulated in mammals and nematodes.en
dc.subjectBile Acids and Saltsen
dc.subjectReceptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclearen
dc.titleStudies of Bile Acid-Like Signaling Pathways in Mammals and Nematodesen
dc.type.materialTexten School of Biomedical Sciencesen Chemistryen Southwestern Medical Centeren of Philosophyen