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Abdul Qaadir (Sheps) King-McAlpin

Mentor: Matthew Potthoff, Ph.D.
Lab Room: 3322 PBDB
Lab Phone: 319-335-7660

Exploring Metabolic Targets of FGF21 Action

The Potthoff lab studies fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), an endocrine hormone that regulates energy homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. FGF21 has been shown to reduce adiposity and serum triglyceride levels, decrease blood glucose, and increase weight loss without decreasing food intake in obese rodent and primate models. Similar effects were observed in humans after administration of FGF21 analogue, LY2405319. FGF21 signals to tissues through a complex consisting of FGFR1 (FGF receptor) and B-klotho.

B-klotho is an obligate co-receptor in that the tissue-specific effects of FGF21 are limited to the tissues expressing the co-receptor. B-klotho functions as a scaffolding molecule that allows FGF21 to interact with FGFR1. Unlike FGFR1, B-klotho is expressed in a limited number of metabolic tissues. I am working on identifying exactly which tissues express B-klotho, with a particular focus on skeletal muscle. We hope to learn more about the mechanism by which FGF21 regulates energy homeostasis. This mechanism is currently unknown

Gansemer, E.R., K.S. McCommis, M. Martino, A.Q. King-McAlpin, et al. NADPH and Glutathione Redox Link TCA Cycle Activity to Endoplasmic Reticulum Homeostasis. iScience, 2020. 23(5).

Honors and Awards

  • Minority Pre-Comprehensive Exam Mentored Research Fellowship
  • Molecular Medicine Retreat Oral Presentation Award
  • NIH Research Diversity Supplement