Michael Robert Downes

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As sensors for fat-soluble hormones and dietary lipids, oscillations in nuclear receptor (NR) expression in key metabolic tissues may contribute to circadian entrainment of nutrient and energy metabolism. Surveying the diurnal expression profiles of all 49 mouse nuclear receptors in white and brown adipose tissue, liver, and skeletal muscle revealed that of(More)
In multicellular organisms, the ability to regulate reproduction, development, and nutrient utilization coincided with the evolution of nuclear receptors (NRs), transcription factors that utilize lipophilic ligands to mediate their function. Studying the expression profile of NRs offers a simple, powerful way to obtain highly relational information about(More)
The circadian clock acts at the genomic level to coordinate internal behavioural and physiological rhythms via the CLOCK-BMAL1 transcriptional heterodimer. Although the nuclear receptors REV-ERB-α and REV-ERB-β have been proposed to form an accessory feedback loop that contributes to clock function, their precise roles and importance remain unresolved. To(More)
We studied the effect of several variables (environmental and physiological) on web geometry in the garden cross spider Araneus diadematus. Variables were: web support, wind, temperature, humidity, and silk supply. All had an effect. The spiders generally attempted to fit their webs to the shape of the supporting frame (standard, small, vertical, or(More)
Transcriptional coregulators control the activity of many transcription factors and are thought to have wide-ranging effects on gene expression patterns. We show here that muscle-specific loss of nuclear receptor corepressor 1 (NCoR1) in mice leads to enhanced exercise endurance due to an increase of both muscle mass and of mitochondrial number and(More)
The benefits of endurance exercise on general health make it desirable to identify orally active agents that would mimic or potentiate the effects of exercise to treat metabolic diseases. Although certain natural compounds, such as reseveratrol, have endurance-enhancing activities, their exact metabolic targets remain elusive. We therefore tested the effect(More)
Emerging evidence suggests that inflammation provides a link between obesity and insulin resistance. The noncanonical IκB kinases IKKε and TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) are induced in liver and fat after high fat diet by NF-κB activation, and in turn initiate a program of counter-inflammation that preserves energy storage. Here, we report the discovery of a(More)
Class IIa histone deacetylases (HDACs) are signal-dependent modulators of transcription with established roles in muscle differentiation and neuronal survival. We show here that in liver, class IIa HDACs (HDAC4, 5, and 7) are phosphorylated and excluded from the nucleus by AMPK family kinases. In response to the fasting hormone glucagon, class IIa HDACs are(More)
Although feast and famine cycles illustrate that remodelling of adipose tissue in response to fluctuations in nutrient availability is essential for maintaining metabolic homeostasis, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we identify fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) as a critical transducer in this process in mice, and link its(More)
Liver fibrosis is a reversible wound-healing response involving TGFβ1/SMAD activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). It results from excessive deposition of extracellular matrix components and can lead to impairment of liver function. Here, we show that vitamin D receptor (VDR) ligands inhibit HSC activation by TGFβ1 and abrogate liver fibrosis, whereas(More)