Liu Laboratory

Principal Investigator

Meilian Liu, PhD

Meilian Liu, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

On This Page:

Research Focus
Contact Information
Lab Members
Selected Publications
Presentations to Conferences and Symposia
Helpful Links

Research Focus

Our lab has had a longstanding interest in adipocyte biology, integrative physiology of adipose tissue and adipose inflammation in the context of obesity and diabetes. Our current study mainly focuses on the interaction between adipocyte and a variety of adipose-resident immune cells, adipose thermogenesis, and browning of white adipose tissue. Our research also aims to identify novel adipose-derived hormones/lipids involved in cancerogenesis by altering the tumor microenvironment and immune response. Additional research opportunities include activation of human brown or beige adipocyte and cell-cell communication in human adipose tissue.

Contact Information

Phone: 505-272-4036
Fax: 505-272-6587

Lab Members

Xing Zhang, PhD

Xin Yang, PhD

Chunqing Wang, BSGP PhD student

Lu Wang, MD

Sara Arenas, BSGP PhD student

Dianna Spilca

Que Huynh Phuong Le

Selected Publications

  • Wang L, Yan L, Wu D, Luo L, Ding X, Zheng H, Yang X, Wang C, Zhang X, Zheng X, Brigman J, Liu F, Yang XO, Liu M. Adiponectin Restrains Adipose-resident ILC2 via AMPK-mediated Feedback Inhibition of IL-33 Signaling. J Exp Med, 218(2):e20191054.. (2021).
  • Zhou Z, Torres M, Sha H, Halbrook CJ, Van den Bergh F, Reinert RB, Yamada T, Wang S, Luo Y, Hunter AH, Wang C, Sanderson TH, Liu M, Taylor A, Sesaki H, Lyssiotis CA, Wu J, Kersten S, Beard DA, Qi L. Endoplasmic Reticulum-Associated Degradation Regulates Mitochondrial Dynamics in Brown Adipocytes. Science. 368(6486):54-60. (2020)
  • Zheng H, Wu X, Castillo E, Chock C, Liu M, Dong C, Yang XO. CIS Stabilizes Regulatory T Cells through Antagonizing IL-4-STAT6 Signals. Mucosal Immunology, 13(2):293-302. (2019)
  • Zhang X, Wu D, Wang C, Luo Y, Ding X, Yang X, Silva F, Arenas S, Weaver J, Mandell M, Deretic V, Liu M. Sustained Activation of Autophagy Suppresses Adipocyte Maturation via a Lipolysis-dependent Mechanism. Autophagy, 18: 1-15. (2019)
  • Zhang X, Luo Y, Wang C, Ding X, Yang X, Wu D, Silva F, Yang Z, Zhou Q, Wang L, Wang X, Zhou J, Boyd N, Spafford M, Burge M, Yang XO, Liu M. Adipose mTORC1 Suppresses Prostaglandin Signaling and Beige Adipogenesis via the CRTC2-COX-2 Pathway. Cell Reports, 24:3180–3193. (2018)
  • Zheng H, Wu D, Zhang X, Wu X, Yang X, Zhou Q, Liu M*, Yang XO*. Leptin Promotes Allergic Airway Inflammation through Targeting the Unfolded Protein Response Pathway.
    Scientific Reports, 8: 8905. (2018) (* co-corresponding author)
  • Luo Y, Liu B, Yang X, Ma X, Zhang X, Bragin DE, Yang XO, Huang W, Liu M. Myeloid Adrenergic Signaling via CaMKII is Required for Cold-induced Activation of Beige Adipocytes.
    J. Mol Cell Biol, 9(5):422-434 (2017).
  • Bai J, Cervantes C, Cai H, Liu J, He S, Yin D, Hu D, Li Z, Su X, Chen H, Gao X, Bialowas C, O’Connor J, Liu M, Dong LQ, Liu F. DsbA-L Protects Obesity-induced Inflammation and Promotes Beige Fat Thermogenesis by Suppressing mtDNA Release-induced Activation of the cGAS/STING Pathway. Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 114(46):12196-12201. (2017).
  • Meng W, Liang X, Chen H, Luo H, Bai J, Li G, Zhang Q, Xiao T, He S, ZhangY, Xu Z, Xiao B, Liu M, Hu F, and Liu F. Rheb Inhibits Beigeing of White Adipose Tissue via PDE4D5-dependent Down-regulation of the cAMP-PKA Signaling Pathway. Diabetes, 61: 3189-98, (2017).
  • Zheng H, Zhang X, Castillo EF, Luo Y, Liu M*, Yang XO*. Leptin Enhances TH2 and ILC2 Responses in Allergic Airway Disease. J Biol Chem, 291(42):22043-22052 (2016). (* co-corresponding author)
  • Ding X, Luo Y, Zhang X, Zheng H, Yang X, Yang X*, Liu M*. ILC2/eosinophil Axis in Subcutaneous Fat Is Driven by Sympathetic Tone and Suppressed by Obesity. J of Endocrinol, 231(1):35-48 (2016). (* co-corresponding author)
  • Liu M, Chen H, Wei L, Jia W, Dong L, and Liu F. ER localization is critical for DsbA-L to Suppress ER Stress and Adiponectin Down-Regulation in Adipocytes. J Biol Chem, 17;290(16):10143-8 (2015).
  • Liu M, Bai J, He S, Villarreal R, Hu D, Zhang C, Yang X, Liang H, Slaga T, Zhou Z, Yu Y,  Zhou Z, Blenis J, Scherer P, Dong L, and Liu F. Grb10 Promotes Lipolysis and Brown Adipocyte Gene Expression by Phosphorylation-dependent Feedback Inhibition of mTORC1. Cell Metabolism, 19(6):967-80 (2014).
  • Liu M, Xiang R, Wilk S, Zhang N, Kian, A, Sloane L, Zhou L, Chen H, Xiang G, Walter C, Austad S, Musi N, Defronzo R, Asmis R, Scherer P, Dong L, Liu F. Fat-specific DsbA-L overexpression promotes adiponectin multimerization and prevents mice from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Diabetes, 61(11):2776-86 (2012).
  • Liu M*, Zhou L, Wei Li, Ricardo, Yang X, Hu D, Riojas R, Holmes B, Langlais P, Lee H, Dong L*. Phosphorylation of Adaptor Protein Containing Pleckstrin Homology Domain, Phosphotyrosine Binding Domain and Leucine Zipper Motif 1 (APPL1) at Ser430 Mediates ER stress-induced Insulin Resistance in Hepatocytes. J Biol Chem. 287(31): 26087-92 (2012). (* Corresponding author)
  • Wang A, Liu M*, Liu X, Dong L, Glickman R, Slaga T, Zhou Z and Liu F*. Up-regulation of Adiponectin by Resveratrol: The Essential Roles of the Akt/FOXO1 and AMPK Signaling Pathways and DsbA-L. J Biol Chem. 286: 60-6 (2011). (* Corresponding author)
  • Liu M*, Wilk S, Wang A, Zhou L, Wang R, Ogawa W, Deng C, Dong L, Liu F*. Resveratrol inhibits Amino Acid-induced mTOR Signaling by Promoting the Interaction between mTOR and DEPTOR. J Biol Chem. 285: 36387-94 (2010). (* Corresponding author) Evaluated and recommended by Faculty of 1000:
  • Zhou L, Liu M, Zhang J, Chen H, Dong L.Q, and Liu F. DsbA-L Alleviates Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-induced Adiponectin Down-regulation. Diabetes. 59, 2809-16 (2010).
  • Liu M, Zhou L, Xu A, Lam KS, Wetzel MD, Xiang R, Zhang J, Xin X, Dong LQ, Liu F. A Disulfide-bond-A Oxidoreductase-like Protein (DsbA-L) Regulates Adiponectin MultimeriZation.  Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 105: 18302-7(2008). Evaluated and recommended by Faculty of  1000:

Presentations to Conferences and Symposia


  • Keystone Symposia, Diabetes: Glucose Control and Beyond conference, Santa Fe, Jan 27-31.
    Title: Adipocyte COX-2/PGE2 Pathway is Required for Intermittent Fasting-induced Treg Development and Improvement of Insulin Sensitivity


  • Endocrinology in Basis and Clinic Symposium, Wulumuqi, China, August 9-10.
    Title: COX-2/Treg Axis in Intermittent Fasting-induced Metabolic Benefits
  • Hangzhou International Obesity and Diabetes Symposium, Jiande, Zhejiang, China, August 5-8.
    Title: COX-2/Treg Axis in Intermittent Fasting-induced Metabolic Benefits
  • Nutrition and Metabolism Symposium, Taiyuan, China, July 24-25.
    Title: COX-2/Treg Axis in Intermittent Fasting-induced Metabolic Benefits


  • Texas A&M University Diabetes Symposium on Immunometabolism and Chronic Diseases, College Station, TX, December 16
    Title: Resident Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cell and Adipose Remodeling
  • 1st Aging Biology Scientific Symposium, Changsha, China, October 19-22
    Title: Adipose Tissue Remodeling and Aging
  • Keystone Symposium: Organ Crosstalk in Obesity and NAFLD,
    Keystone, Colorado, January 21-26th, 2018.
    Title: “mTORC1 via CRTC2/COX-2/PG Pathway Differentially Regulates Treg Cells and Thermogenesis in White and Brown Adipose Tissue”


  • 77th Scientific Sessions of American Diabetes Association,
    San Diego, LA, June 11th
    Title: “Myeloid Adrenergic Signaling via CaMKII Forms a Feedforward Loop of   Catecholamine Biosynthesis”
  • 8th Scientific Symposium of Chinese American Diabetes Association,
    San Diego, LA, June 8th
    Title: “Adiponectin Regulation of ILC2 and Adipose Immune Response”
  • 12th Xiangya International Diabetes and Immunology Forum,
    Changsha, China, April 21th
    Title: “Adipokine Regulation of ILC2 and Browning of Fat”
  • Keystone Symposium: Diabetes,
    Keystone, Colorado, January 26th
    Title: “mTORC1 Suppresses Beige Fat Development via Autophagy-dependent Mechanisms”


  • 2nd Oriental Congress of Endocrinology Diabetes Symposium,
    Shanghai, China, July 9th
    Title: “Adipokine Regulation of Type 2 Immunity and Browning of Fat”
  • 76th Scientific Sessions of American Diabetes Association,
    New Orleans, LA, June10th
    Title: “Raptor Deficiency Promotes Browning of White Adipose Tissue via Adiponectin‐dependent Mechanisms”
  • Frontiers in Immunometabolism,
    Hongkong, China, April 21th
    Title: “Adipokine Regulation of Type 2 Immunity and Browning of Fat”


  • 19th Sicentific Meeting of Chinese Diabetes Society,
    Suzhou, China, Dec 10th
    Title: “mTORC1 Regulation of Adipose Inflammation and Browning of Fat”
  • 15th International Symposium of Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America,
    Taibei, Taiwan, June 28th
    Title: “mTORC1 Regulation of Browning of White Adipose Tissue”
  • 6th Scientific Symposium of Chinese American Diabetes Association,
    Boston, MA, June 4th
    Title: “The Inhibitory role of mTORC1 Signaling in the Development of Beige Fat”


  • 74th Scientific Sessions of American Diabetes Association,
    San Francisco, CA, June 15th
    Title: “Grb10 Promotes Lipolysis and Thermogenesis by Phosphorylation-dependent Feedback Inhibition of mTORC1”

Helpful Links

Liu Faculty Profile

Liu Laboratory Page