Brandon Davies, PhD

Contact Information

Office: 3326 PBDB 
Phone: 319-335-3225 
Faculty Profile


Brief description of current research:

Maintaining metabolic homeostasis requires moving nutrients, hormones, and enzymes across capillary endothelial cells.  Yet, how endothelial cell function is controlled so that the delivery of nutrients across endothelial cells matches the needs of the underlying tissues has not been adequately explored. To address this issue, our lab studies the mechanisms and regulation of trans-endothelial transport as it relates to lipid metabolism. Our focus is on the transport of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) across endothelial cells. LPL is essential for the lipolytic processing of circulating triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. Acting inside capillaries, LPL cleaves lipoprotein triglycerides, releasing fatty acids that are taken up by tissues and either used for fuel or stored in cytosolic lipid droplets. LPL is synthesized by parenchymal cells (e.g. myocytes and adipocytes) and secreted into the interstitial spaces, but to be functional in processing triglycerides in the plasma, it must be transported to the capillary lumen by the endothelial cell protein GPIHBP1. When GPIHBP1 is absent, LPL cannot reach the capillary lumen, leading to severe hypertriglyceridemia (in both humans and mice). Using models of health and metabolic disease, we study how transport of LPL is regulated and how it can become misregulated.

3 most influential diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:

  • Davies BS, Goulbourne CN, Barnes RH, 2nd, Turlo KA, Gin P, Vaughan S, Vaux DJ, Bensadoun A, Beigneux AP, Fong LG, Young SG. Assessing mechanisms of GPIHBP1 and lipoprotein lipase movement across endothelial cells. (2012) J Lipid Res. 53(12):2690-7. [PMCID: 3494248]
  • Davies BS, Beigneux AP, Barnes RH, 2nd, Tu Y, Gin P, Weinstein MM, Nobumori C, Nyren R, Goldberg I, Olivecrona G, Bensadoun A, Young SG, Fong LG. GPIHBP1 is responsible for the entry of lipoprotein lipase into capillaries. (2010) Cell Metab. 12(1):42-52. [PMCID: PMC2913606]
  • Davies BS, Waki H, Beigneux AP, Farber E, Weinstein MM, Wilpitz DC, Tai LJ, Evans RM, Fong LG, Tontonoz P, Young SG. The expression of GPIHBP1, an endothelial cell binding site for lipoprotein lipase and chylomicrons, is induced by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. (2008) Mol Endocrinol. 22(11):2496-504. [PMCID: PMC2582544]