Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh
Wen Xie, MD, PhD
Professor and the Joseph Koslow Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences
306 Salk Pavilion
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-648-9941

Fax: 412-648-1664

MD, Peking University Health Science Center (Beijing Medical University), 1991.
PhD (Cell Biology), University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1997.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Nuclear Hormone Receptor), Salk Institute, 1998-2002.

Research Areas
Pharmacology of Cell and Organ Systems
Signal Transduction
Photo of Wen Xie, MD, PhD
Photo provided by Wen Xie.

The research focus of Dr. Xie's laboratory is nuclear hormone receptor-mediated transcriptional regulation of genes that encode drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters. A typical nuclear receptor contains a DNA-biding domain and a ligand-binding domain (Fig. 1). Nuclear receptors regulate gene expression through their ligand-dependent binding to the promoter regions of the target genes (Fig. 2). This regulation has broad implications in chemical homeostasis and human diseases, including drug metabolism & toxicity, hormonal homeostasis & endocrine disorders, lipid homeostasis, hepatobiliary diseases, diabetes & metabolic syndrome, and cancer. (Fig. 3).

Dr. Xie’s research is conducted using a combination of cell cultures and genetically engineered mice that include transgenic, gene knockout, and humanized mice.  The nuclear receptor we are most interested include the pregnane X receptor (PXR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), liver X receptor (LXR), farnesoid X receptor (FXR), and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). 

Dr. Xie has authored over 130 journal articles and delivered more than 150 invited lectures at conferences and universities. Dr. Xie is the sole editor of "Nuclear Receptors in Drug Metabolism," a Wiley book. Dr. Xie currently serves as ad hoc reviewer for the NIH and DOD Study Sections and for over 80 scientific journals. Among his achievements, Dr. Xie is the recipient of the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award, the James R. Gillette International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX) North American New Investigator Award, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Division for Drug Metabolism Early Career Achievement Award, and the Joseph Koslow Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences.


Important Publications
Hu B, Guo Y, Garbacz WG, Jiang M, Xu M, Huang H, Tsung A, Billiar TR, Ramakrishnan SK, Shah YM, Lam KSL, Huang M, Xie W. Fatty acid binding protein-4 (FABP4) is a hypoxia inducible gene that sensitizes mice to liver ischemia/re-perfusion injury. J Hepatol , accepted.
Lu P, Yan J, Liu K, Garbacz WG, Wang P, Xu M, Ma X, Xie W. Activation of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Dissociates Fatty Liver from Insulin Resistance by Inducing FGF21. Hepatology 61:1908-1919, 2015.
Cheng Q, Inaba Y, Lu P, Xu M, He J, Zhao Y, Guo GL, Kuruba R, De La Vega R, Evans RW, Li S, Xie W. Chronic activation of FXR in transgenic mice caused perinatal toxicity and sensitized mice to cholesterol toxicity. Mol Endocrinol 29:571-582, 2015.
Guo Y, Hu B, Huang H, Tsung A, Gaikwad N, Xu M, Jiang M, Ren S, Fan J, Billiar TR, Huang M, Xie W. Estrogen sulfotransferase is an oxidative stress responsive gene that gender-specifically affects liver ischemia/reperfusion injury. J Biol Che. 290:14754-14764, 2015.
Ihunnah CA, Wada T, Philips BJ, Ravuri SK, Gibbs RB, Kirisci L, Rubin JP, Marra KG, Xie W. Estrogen sulfotransferase (EST/SULT1E1) promotes human adipogenesis. Mol Cell Biol 34:1682-1694, 2014.

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