department of pharmacology

Noa Noy, Ph.D.



Phone: (216) 368-0302
Fax: (216) 368-1300
W333 Wood Building


Various lipid-soluble nutrients and hormones, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and long chain fatty acids regulate cellular behavior by modulating gene transcription. The biological activities of some of these compounds are mediated by transcription factors termed nuclear hormone receptors. These proteins bind to regulatory regions of particular target genes, and they modulate the transcription of these genes in response to the specific hormones that activate them. Consequently, nuclear receptors and their ligands are closely involved in regulating cell metabolism, growth, survival, and differentiation. Nuclear receptors thus play key roles in various pathologies, and compounds that activate them are in current use in prevention and therapy of diseases ranging from dermatological disorders to cancer. Work in my laboratory aims to obtain molecular-level understanding of the factors that regulate the action of nuclear hormone receptors, and to elucidate the consequences of the activities of these proteins for cell function in health and in disease. Of special interest to us are the roles of transcriptionally active metabolites of vitamin A in cancer development, in adipose tissue biology, and in regulation of insulin responses.

Selected Publications:

Kersten, S., Dong, D., Lee, W.-y., Reczek, P. R., and Noy, N. (1998) Auto-silencing by the retinoid X receptor. J. Mol. Biol. 284:21-32 

Tan, N. S., Shaw, N. S., Vinckenbosch, N., Liu, P., Yasmin, R. Desvergne, B., Wahli, W. and Noy, N. (2002) Selective cooperation between fatty acid binding proteins and peroxisome proliferator activated receptors in regulating transcription. Mol. Cell. Biol. 22:5114-5227

Yasmin, R., Yeung, K. T., Chung, R., and Noy, N. (2004) DNA-looping by RXR tetramers permits transcriptional regulation ‘at a distance’. J. Mol. Biol. 343:327-338  

Sessler, R. J., and Noy, N. (2005) A ligand-activated nuclear localization signal in cellular retinoic acid binding protein-II. Mol. Cell, 18:343-353  

Donato, L. J., and Noy, N. (2005) Suppression of mammary carcinoma growth by retinoic acid:proapoptotic genes are targets for RAR and CRABP-II signalling in MCF-7 cells. Cancer Res. 65:8193-8199 

Schug, T. T, Berry, D. C., Shaw, N. S., Travis, S., and Noy, N. (2007) Opposing effects of retinoic acid on cell growth result from alternate activation of two different nuclear receptors.  Cell, 129:723–733

Gillilan, R., Ayers, S. D., and Noy, N. (2007) Structural basis for activation of fatty acid binding protein 4.  J. Mol. Biol., 372:1246-1260

Schug, T. T., Berry, D. C., Toshkov, I. E., Cheng, L., Nikitin, A. Yu., and Noy, N. (2008) Overcoming retinoic acid-resistance of mammary carcinomas by diverting retinoic acid from PPARb/d to RAR. Proc. Nat'l. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 105:7546-51

Berry, D. C., and Noy, N. (2009) All-trans-retinoic acid represses obesity and insulin resistance by activating both PPARb/d and RAR Mol. Cell. Biol. 29:3286-3296

Kannan-Thulasiraman, P., Seachrist, D. D., Jain, M. K., and Noy, N. (2010) Fatty acid binding protein 5 and PPARb/d are critical mediators of EGFR-induced carcinoma cell growth. J. Biol. Chem. 285:19106-15

Berry, D. C., Jin, H., Majumdar, A., and Noy, N. (2011) Signalling by vitamin A and retinol-binding protein regulates gene expression to inhibit insulin responses. Proc. Nat'l. Acad. Sci. U.S.A 108:4340-5.

Berry, D. C., Desantis, D., Soltanian, H., Croniger, C. M, and Noy, N. (2012) Retinoic acid upregulates preadipocyte genes to block adipogenesis and suppress diet-induced obesity. Diabetes 61:1112-21

Berry, D. C., O'Byrne, S. M., Vreeland, A. C., Blaner, W. S., and Noy, N. (2012) Cross-talk between signalling and vitamin A transport by the retinol-binding protein receptor STRA6. Mol. Cell. Biol., 2012 32:3164-75.

Berry D. C., Croniger, C. M., Ghyselinck, N. B. and Noy, N. (2012) Transthyretin blocks retinol uptake and cell signalling by the holo-retinol-binding protein receptor STRA6. Mol Cell Biol. 32:3851-9.

Yu, Shuiliang, Levi, L., Siegel, R., and Noy, N. (2012) Retinoic acid induces neurogenesis by activating both retinoic acid receptors (RAR) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor b/d (PPARb/d). J. Biol. Chem. Oct 26. [Epub ahead of print]