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    Lily C. Chao, MD

    TitleClinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Clinician Educator)
    SchoolKeck School of Medicine of USC
    DepartmentPediatrics
    AddressCHL Mail Stop 61
    Off Campus
    Los Angeles California 90027
    Phone+1 323 361 7116
    vCardDownload vCard

      Collapse Overview 
      Collapse Overview
      My research interest centers on mechanisms that regulate muscle metabolism and growth. As the largest organ in the human body, skeletal muscle plays an indispensible function in glucose utilization and metabolism. In addition to its metabolic function, coordinated contractility of skeletal muscle powers body movement and exercise performance.

      The nuclear receptor Nur77 (also known as NR4A1) integrates glucose metabolism in multiple tissues. We previously demonstrated that in skeletal muscle, Nur77 directs the transcription of a number of genes linked to glucose utilization. More recently, we identified Nur77 as a regulator of muscle mass and myofiber size in mice. These findings have led us to examine the crosstalk between muscle metabolism and growth. To address this question, we have active research projects investigation the function of Nur77 expression in muscle development, regeneration, and diabetic myopathy. Findings from these studies will broaden our fundamental knowledge of the signaling pathways that integrate metabolism and muscle mass, and may have translational applications in conditions such as diabetes, muscular dystrophy, cancer, cachexia, as well as other forms of muscle wasting.


      Collapse Biography 
      Collapse Awards and Honors
      Endocrine Society2014Early Investigator Award
      Pediatric Endocrine Society2013Clinical Research Scholar
      2011  - 2014Pasadena Magazine's Top Doctors
      Society of Pediatric Research2007Fellow's Basic Research Award
      Howard Hughes Medical Institute-National Institutes of Health1999Research Scholar

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      Collapse Publications
      Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
      List All   |   Timeline
      1. Cortez-Toledo O, Schnair C, Sangngern P, Metzger D, Chao L. Nur77 deletion impairs muscle growth during developmental myogenesis and muscle regeneration in mice. PLoS One. 2017; 12(2):e0171268. PMID: 28170423.
        View in: PubMed
      2. Tontonoz P, Cortez-Toledo O, Wroblewski K, Hong C, Lim L, Carranza R, Conneely O, Metzger D, Chao L. The orphan nuclear receptor Nur77 is a determinant of myofiber size and muscle mass in mice. Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Apr; 35(7):1125-38. PMID: 25605333; PMCID: PMC4355536.
      3. Sallam T, Ito A, Rong X, Kim J, van Stijn C, Chamberlain BT, Jung ME, Chao L, Jones M, Gilliland T, Wu X, Su GL, Tangirala RK, Tontonoz P, Hong C. The macrophage LBP gene is an LXR target that promotes macrophage survival and atherosclerosis. J Lipid Res. 2014 Jun; 55(6):1120-30. PMID: 24671012; PMCID: PMC4031943.
      4. Tessem JS, Moss LG, Chao L, Arlotto M, Lu D, Jensen MV, Stephens SB, Tontonoz P, Hohmeier HE, Newgard CB. Nkx6.1 regulates islet ß-cell proliferation via Nr4a1 and Nr4a3 nuclear receptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Apr 08; 111(14):5242-7. PMID: 24706823; PMCID: PMC3986138.
      5. Goddard LM, Murphy TJ, Org T, Enciso JM, Hashimoto-Partyka MK, Warren CM, Domigan CK, McDonald AI, He H, Sanchez LA, Allen NC, Orsenigo F, Chao L, Dejana E, Tontonoz P, Mikkola HK, Iruela-Arispe ML. Progesterone receptor in the vascular endothelium triggers physiological uterine permeability preimplantation. Cell. 2014 Jan 30; 156(3):549-62. PMID: 24485460; PMCID: PMC3985399.
      6. Beaven SW, Matveyenko A, Wroblewski K, Chao L, Wilpitz D, Hsu TW, Lentz J, Drew B, Hevener AL, Tontonoz P. Reciprocal regulation of hepatic and adipose lipogenesis by liver X receptors in obesity and insulin resistance. Cell Metab. 2013 Jul 02; 18(1):106-17. PMID: 23823481; PMCID: PMC4089509.
      7. Chao L, Soto E, Hong C, Ito A, Pei L, Chawla A, Conneely OM, Tangirala RK, Evans RM, Tontonoz P. Bone marrow NR4A expression is not a dominant factor in the development of atherosclerosis or macrophage polarization in mice. J Lipid Res. 2013 Mar; 54(3):806-15. PMID: 23288947; PMCID: PMC3617954.
      8. Chao L, Wroblewski K, Ilkayeva OR, Stevens RD, Bain J, Meyer GA, Schenk S, Martinez L, Vergnes L, Narkar VA, Drew BG, Hong C, Boyadjian R, Hevener AL, Evans RM, Reue K, Spencer MJ, Newgard CB, Tontonoz P. Skeletal muscle Nur77 expression enhances oxidative metabolism and substrate utilization. J Lipid Res. 2012 Dec; 53(12):2610-9. PMID: 23028113; PMCID: PMC3494265.
      9. Chao L, Tontonoz P. SIRT1 regulation-it ain't all NAD. Mol Cell. 2012 Jan 13; 45(1):9-11. PMID: 22244328.
        View in: PubMed
      10. Villanueva CJ, Waki H, Godio C, Nielsen R, Chou WL, Vargas L, Wroblewski K, Schmedt C, Chao L, Boyadjian R, Mandrup S, Hevener A, Saez E, Tontonoz P. TLE3 is a dual-function transcriptional coregulator of adipogenesis. Cell Metab. 2011 Apr 06; 13(4):413-427. PMID: 21459326; PMCID: PMC3089971.
      11. Chao L, Wroblewski K, Zhang Z, Pei L, Vergnes L, Ilkayeva OR, Ding SY, Reue K, Watt MJ, Newgard CB, Pilch PF, Hevener AL, Tontonoz P. Insulin resistance and altered systemic glucose metabolism in mice lacking Nur77. Diabetes. 2009 Dec; 58(12):2788-96. PMID: 19741162; PMCID: PMC2780886.
      12. Chao L, Bensinger SJ, Villanueva CJ, Wroblewski K, Tontonoz P. Inhibition of adipocyte differentiation by Nur77, Nurr1, and Nor1. Mol Endocrinol. 2008 Dec; 22(12):2596-608. PMID: 18945812; PMCID: PMC2610364.
      13. Marathe C, Bradley MN, Hong C, Chao L, Wilpitz D, Salazar J, Tontonoz P. Preserved glucose tolerance in high-fat-fed C57BL/6 mice transplanted with PPARgamma-/-, PPARdelta-/-, PPARgammadelta-/-, or LXRalphabeta-/- bone marrow. J Lipid Res. 2009 Feb; 50(2):214-24. PMID: 18772483; PMCID: PMC2636915.
      14. Chao L, Zhang Z, Pei L, Saito T, Tontonoz P, Pilch PF. Nur77 coordinately regulates expression of genes linked to glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle. Mol Endocrinol. 2007 Sep; 21(9):2152-63. PMID: 17550977; PMCID: PMC2602962.
      15. Hummasti S, Laffitte BA, Watson MA, Galardi C, Chao L, Ramamurthy L, Moore JT, Tontonoz P. Liver X receptors are regulators of adipocyte gene expression but not differentiation: identification of apoD as a direct target. J Lipid Res. 2004 Apr; 45(4):616-25. PMID: 14703507.
        View in: PubMed
      16. Kim JK, Fillmore JJ, Gavrilova O, Chao L, Higashimori T, Choi H, Kim HJ, Yu C, Chen Y, Qu X, Haluzik M, Reitman ML, Shulman GI. Differential effects of rosiglitazone on skeletal muscle and liver insulin resistance in A-ZIP/F-1 fatless mice. Diabetes. 2003 Jun; 52(6):1311-8. PMID: 12765938.
        View in: PubMed
      17. Laffitte BA, Chao L, Li J, Walczak R, Hummasti S, Joseph SB, Castrillo A, Wilpitz DC, Mangelsdorf DJ, Collins JL, Saez E, Tontonoz P. Activation of liver X receptor improves glucose tolerance through coordinate regulation of glucose metabolism in liver and adipose tissue. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Apr 29; 100(9):5419-24. PMID: 12697904; PMCID: PMC154360.
      18. Chao L, Marcus-Samuels B, Mason MM, Moitra J, Vinson C, Arioglu E, Gavrilova O, Reitman ML. Adipose tissue is required for the antidiabetic, but not for the hypolipidemic, effect of thiazolidinediones. J Clin Invest. 2000 Nov; 106(10):1221-8. PMID: 11086023; PMCID: PMC381440.
      19. Zinke I, Kirchner C, Chao L, Tetzlaff MT, Pankratz MJ. Suppression of food intake and growth by amino acids in Drosophila: the role of pumpless, a fat body expressed gene with homology to vertebrate glycine cleavage system. Development. 1999 Dec; 126(23):5275-84. PMID: 10556053.
        View in: PubMed
      20. Chao L, Jamil A, Kim SJ, Huang L, Martinson HG. Assembly of the cleavage and polyadenylation apparatus requires about 10 seconds in vivo and is faster for strong than for weak poly(A) sites. Mol Cell Biol. 1999 Aug; 19(8):5588-600. PMID: 10409748; PMCID: PMC84411.
      21. Yeung G, Choi LM, Chao L, Park NJ, Liu D, Jamil A, Martinson HG. Poly(A)-driven and poly(A)-assisted termination: two different modes of poly(A)-dependent transcription termination. Mol Cell Biol. 1998 Jan; 18(1):276-89. PMID: 9418875; PMCID: PMC121491.