Vishwajeet  Puri, PhD

Associate Professor

HCOM-Biomedical Sciences

Academic Research Center 202D


Member Type: Investigator  

Research Interest

Impaired fat metabolism in adipocytes is one of the primary causes of type II diabetes, obesity and other metabolic diseases.  We identified a novel set of adipocyte-specific proteins, Cidea and FSP27 (also called Cidec), which are associated with lipid droplets and regulate fat metabolism and insulin sensitivity in human adipocytes. Our studies have revealed that these proteins define a novel regulated pathway of lipid accumulation in mouse and human adipose tissue, supporting a model whereby failure of this pathway results in ectopic lipid deposition, insulin resistance and its associated co-morbidities in humans. My research focuses on:

  1. Fat storage and breakdown in adipose tissue
  2. Cross talk between adipose tissue, liver and muscles
  3. Signaling mechanisms regulating energy production and thermogenesis in humans
  4. Correlation between obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  5. Growth hormone and metabolic health
  6. Developing methods to increase oil content in plants using mammalian genes
  7. Developing therapeutics for type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease

Selected Publications

Ghadieh, H. E., Muturi, H. T., Russo, L., Marino, C. C., Ghanem, S. S., Khuder, S. S., Hanna, J. C., Jash, S., Puri, V. … Najjar, S. M. (2018). Exenatide induces carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 expression to prevent hepatic steatosis. Hepatology Communications, 2(1), 35–47. 

Jash, S., & Puri, V. (2016). FoxO1-autophagy axis regulates lipid droplet growth via FSP27. Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.), 15(21), 2856–2857. 

Sharma, V. M., & Puri, V. (2016). Mechanism of TNF-α-induced lipolysis in human adipocytes uncovered. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 24(5), 990. 

Reynolds, T. H., Banerjee, S., Sharma, V. M., Donohue, J., Couldwell, S., Sosinsky, A., … Puri, V. (2015). Effects of a High Fat Diet and Voluntary Wheel Running Exercise on Cidea and Cidec Expression in Liver and Adipose Tissue of Mice. PloS One, 10(7), e0130259. 

Puri, V. (2015). FSP27β, a novel fat-specific protein 27 isoform promoting hepatic steatosis. Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.), 61(3), 748–750.

Singh, M., Kaur, R., Lee, M.-J., Pickering, R. T., Sharma, V. M., Puri, V., & Kandror, K. V. (2014). Fat-specific protein 27 inhibits lipolysis by facilitating the inhibitory effect of transcription factor Egr1 on transcription of adipose triglyceride lipase. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(21), 14481–14487. 

Grahn, T. H. M., Kaur, R., Yin, J., Schweiger, M., Sharma, V. M., Lee, M.-J., … Puri, V. (2014). Fat-specific protein 27 (FSP27) interacts with adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) to regulate lipolysis and insulin sensitivity in human adipocytes. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(17), 12029–12039. 

Lee, M.-J., Pickering, R. T., & Puri, V. (2014). Prolonged efficiency of siRNA-mediated gene silencing in primary cultures of human preadipocytes and adipocytes. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 22(4), 1064–1069.

Grahn, T. H. M., Zhang, Y., Lee, M.-J., Sommer, A. G., Mostoslavsky, G., Fried, S. K., … Puri, V. (2013). FSP27 and PLIN1 interaction promotes the formation of large lipid droplets in human adipocytes. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 432(2), 296–301. 

Jambunathan, S., Yin, J., Khan, W., Tamori, Y., & Puri, V. (2011). FSP27 promotes lipid droplet clustering and then fusion to regulate triglyceride accumulation. PloS One, 6(12), e28614.