Research Group Li

Regulation of uncoupling protein1 expression

Our group investigates the genetic and pharmacologic control of Uncoupling Protein 1 (UCP1), a mitochondrial protein with the ‘magic’ capacity to burn energy to produce heat. It therefore serves as a metabolic sink upon activation, which holds promise for achieving metabolic health. A combination of biochemical, cellular and genetic model systems are employed, incorporating genome-wide genetic screening, high-throughput chemical screening, massively parallel sequencing and bioinformatics approaches, to unravel the molecular control of UCP1 and its metabolic consequence upon recruiting and activation. A major direction is exploiting natural genetic variation provided by inbred mouse strains as a ‘mutagenesis strategy’ to define Cis and Trans regulatory networks in Ucp1 regulation.