Elucidating new control mechanisms for cholesterol homeostasis that affect atherosclerosis will advance our understanding of fundamental physiological processes and may suggest new opportunities for intervention in human metabolic disease. We propose to define the mechanism of action and physiological function of two new LXR-dependent regulatory circuits mediated by two novel E3 ubiquitin ligases. Molecular mechanisms mediating crosstalk between the SREBP-2 and LXR pathways are poorly understood. Using an RNA sequencing strategy to identify new LXR targets, we have uncovered two uncharacterized genes?Rnf145 and Rnf186?that may mediate critical pathways for crosstalk between LXR and SREBP signaling. Rnf145 and Rnf186 encode RING domain-containing proteins predicted to be E3 ubiquitin ligases; however, their ubiquitination targets and biological function are unknown. Our preliminary data have revealed that both RNF145 and RNF186 are previously unrecognized modulators of SREBP-2 signaling. Manipulation of Rnf145 and Rnf186 expression in mouse liver regulates SREBP-2-dependent gene expression and plasma cholesterol levels by distinct but complementary mechanisms. Based on these findings, we propose a series of molecular, cell biological and physiological studies to define the functions of RNF145 and RNF186 in cholesterol homeostasis and their contribution to LXR-SREBP crosstalk.
Aim 1 is to elucidate the function and mechanism of action of RNF145 in lipid metabolism.
Aim 2 is to elucidate the function and mechanism of action of RNF186 in lipid metabolism.
Aim 3 is to determine the physiological importance of RNF145 and RNF186 for LXR- SREBP crosstalk and atherosclerosis.

Public Health Relevance

Cholesterol metabolism and liver X receptor signaling are important determinants of metabolic diseases including atherosclerosis. Elucidating novel lipid signaling pathways that determine plasma and tissue lipid levels is critical to the effort to uncover new opportunities for therapy. Our proposed dissection of two new regulatory circuits mediated by the novel E3 ubiquitin ligases RNF145 and RNF186 will advance our understanding of fundamental physiological and pathophysiological processes and may suggest new interventional strategies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Atherosclerosis and Inflammation of the Cardiovascular System Study Section (AICS)
Program Officer
Liu, Lijuan
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
Zip Code
Bornfeldt, Karin E; Kramer, Farah; Batorsky, Anna et al. (2018) A Novel Type 2 Diabetes Mouse Model of Combined Diabetic Kidney Disease and Atherosclerosis. Am J Pathol 188:343-352
Zhang, Li; Rajbhandari, Prashant; Priest, Christina et al. (2017) Inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis through RNF145-dependent ubiquitination of SCAP. Elife 6: