- About CURE
Peter Tontonoz, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute,
David Geffen School of Medicine Dean's Scholar
The focus of this laboratory is the regulation of metabolic and inflammatory gene expression and the impact of nuclear receptor signaling on metabolic disease. Work over the past fifteen years has established that LXRs and PPARs function as coordinators of lipid metabolism and modulators of immunity and inflammation. LXRs and PPARs positively regulate the transcription of a battery of genes directly linked to lipid uptake, efflux and transport, and negatively regulate genes involved in inflammatory responses. Their studies have revealed new mechanisms whereby cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism may impact immune functions of macrophages. In addition, they have provided in vivo evidence that the LXR and PPAR signaling pathway are important determinant of atherosclerosis, insulin resistance and immune tolerance. Ongoing studies are expected to provide insight into novel mechanisms by which LXR, PPARs and their target genes regulate lipid homeostasis and immunity and may identify additional targets for intervention in diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.