Kelly E. Mayo Walter and Jennie Bayne Professor of Molecular Biosciences

Research Interests

Gene regulation in the mammalian neuroendocrine system

Our research program in reproductive biology seeks to understand how hormones secreted from the pituitary gland (FSH and LH) act on the ovary to bring about the changes in cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and gene expression that will result in ovulation and luteinization of the ovarian follicle during each reproductive cycle. We use the genes encoding the hormones inhibin and activin, which are produced in the ovary and act on the pituitary gland to regulate reproductive hormone secretion, as a model system to address these questions. We are presently focused on two major research directions. We are investigating the dynamic regulation of inhibin expression during the reproductive cycle and are exploring the roles of cAMP-responsive transcription factors (CREB and ICER) as well as the related orphan nuclear receptors steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) and liver receptor homologue-1 (LRH-1), in this process. We are also investigating developmental pathways in the ovary involved in the initial formation and growth of ovarian follicles and are attempting to understand how inhibin and activin regulate normal follicle development and how their misexpression might contribute to the formation of abnormal follicles. Our work focuses on molecular mechanisms regulating normal reproductive function, but is substantially informed by, and relevant to, reproductive disorders that impact fertility.

Selected Publications

Change in the Gastro-Intestinal Tract by Overexpressed Activin Beta A. Kim M-N, Kim YI, Cho C, Mayo KE, and Cho B-N. Molecules and Cells. 2015 December;38(12):1079-1085.

Notch Signaling Regulates Ovarian Follicle Formation and Coordinates Follicular GrowthVanorny DA, Prasasya RD, Chalpe AJ, Kilen SM, and Mayo KE. Molecular Endocrinology. 2014 April;28(4):499-511.

Mechanism of CREB recognition and coactivation by the CREB-regulated transcriptional coactivator CRTC2. Luo Q, Viste K, Urday-Zaa JC, Kumar GS, Tsai W-W, Talai A, Mayo KE, Montminy M, and Radhakrishnan I. PNAS. 2012 December 18;109(51):20865-20870.

DNA Methylation and Histone Modifications Are Associated with Repression of the Inhibin α Promoter in the Rat Corpus LuteumMeldi KM, Gaconnet GA, and Mayo KE. Endocrinology. 2012 October 1;153(10):4905-4917.

The LIM Domain Protein FHL2 Interacts with the NR5A Family of Nuclear Receptors and CREB to Activate the Inhibin-α Subunit Gene in Ovarian Granulosa CellsMatulis CK and Mayo KE. Molecular Endocrinology. 2012 August 1;26(8):1278-1290.

Gene Expression Profiling Reveals Cyp26b1 to Be an Activin Regulated Gene Involved in Ovarian Granulosa Cell Proliferation. Kipp JL, Golebiowski A, Rodriguez G, Demczuk M, Kilen SM, and Mayo KE. Endocrinology. 2011 January 1;152(1):303-312.

The Interactions Between the Stimulatory Effect of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone and the Inhibitory Effect of Estrogen on Mouse Primordial Folliculogenesis. Lei L, Jin S, Mayo KE, and Woodruff TK. Biology of Reproduction. 2010 January 1;82(1):13-22.

Activins regulate 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type I transcription in murine gonadotrope cells. Bak B, Carpio L, Kipp JL, Lamba P, Wang Y, Ge R-S, Hardy MP, Mayo KE, and Bernard DJ. Journal of Endocrinology. 2009 April 1;201:89-104.

Suppression of Notch Signaling in the Neonatal Mouse Ovary Decreases Primordial Follicle FormationTrombly DJ, Woodruff TK, and Mayo KE. Endocrinology. 2009 February 1;150(2):1014-1024.

Roles for Transforming Growth Factor Beta Superfamily Proteins in Early FolliculogenesisTrombly DJ, Woodruff TK, and Mayo KE. Seminars in Reproductive Medicine. 2009 January;27(1):14-23.

Use of Reporter Genes to Study the Activity of Promoters in Ovarian Granulosa Cells. Kipp JL and Mayo KE. Methods in Molecular Biology. 2009;590:177-193.

View all publications by Kelly E. Mayo listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Current and former IBiS students in blue.