Ray Blind lab
The Blind lab is primarily interested in nuclear lipid signaling, and explores the structure and function of nuclear lipid-modifying enzymes and atypical nuclear receptors. Steroidogenic Factor-1 (SF-1) is a phospholipid-binding nuclear receptor that regulates the transcription of steroidogenic genes in endocrine tissues. We have shown that SF-1 can bind non-membrane associated nuclear phophoinositide-phosphates (PIPs), and that SF-1 activity is increased when bound to PIP3 and inhibited when bound to PIP2. SF-1 binds these PIPs in a novel configuration in which the headgroup is exposed, and the fatty acyl-tails are buried within the ligand-binding domain. My current project is to use biophysical approaches to determine how SF-1 structure and function are altered by PIP3 acyl-chain length and degree of saturation.