Gregory S. Shelness, Ph.D.Wake Forest School of Medicine

Gregory S. Shelness, Ph.D.


Contact Information

Academic: 336-716-3282 | Department: 336-716-3282


Education & Training

  • B.A., SUNY-Purchase , 1979
  • Ph.D., SUNY-Stony Brook , 1984
  • Fellowship, Rockefeller University, 1989
Gregory S. Shelness, Ph.D.

Gregory S. Shelness, Ph.D.

Professor, Molecular Medicine
Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research Interests

metabolism, obesity

Contact Information

Academic: 336-716-3282 | Department: 336-716-3282


Recent Publications

Liu M, Seo J, Allegood J, Bi X, Zhu X, Boudyguina E, Gebre AK, Avni D, Shah D, Sorci-Thomas MG, Thomas MJ, Shelness GS, Spiegel S, Parks JS. Hepatic apolipoprotein M (apoM) overexpression stimulates formation of larger apoM/sphingosine 1-phosphate-enriched plasma high density lipoprotein. J Biol Chem. 2014;289(5):2801-2814.

Ma L, Shelness GS, Snipes JA, Murea M, Antinozzi PA, Cheng D, Saleem MA, Satchell SC, Banas B, Mathieson PW, Kretzler M, Hemal AK, Rudel LL, Petrovic S, Weckerle A, Pollak MR, Ross MD, Parks JS, Freedman BI. Localization of APOL1 protein and mRNA in the human kidney: nondiseased tissue, primary cells, and immortalized cell lines. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2014;():.

Ma L, Snipes JA, Murea M, Antinozzi PA, Shelness GS, Saleem M, Satchell SC, Banas B, Mathieson PW, Kretzler M, Petrovic S, Ross MD, Pollak MR, Rudel L, Parks JS, Freedman BI. ApoL1 protein in non-diseased human podocytes: endogenous synthesis versus uptake? [abstract]. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013;24(Abstract Suppl):557A.

Ferguson D, Davis M, Zhang J, Shelnessa G [sic] [Shelness G], Brown JM. Development of a transgenic mouse for hepatitis C virus core protein-induced liver disease [abstract]. Alcohol. 2013;47(7):570.

Liu MX, Seo JM, Allegood J, Bi X, Zhu XW, Boudyguina E, Gebre AK, Sorci-Thomas M, Thomas MS, Shelness GS, Spiegel S, Parks JS. Overexpression of apoM in liver stimulates formation of larger, apoM/S1P-enriched plasma HDL [abstract]. Circulation. 2013;128(22 Suppl):A19183.

Liu M, Chung S, Shelness GS, Parks JS. Hepatic ABCA1 and VLDL triglyceride production. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012;1821(5):770-777.

Parks JS, Chung S, Shelness GS. Hepatic ABC transporters and triglyceride metabolism. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2012;23(3):196-200.

Weinberg RB, Gallagher JW, Fabritius MA, Shelness GS. ApoA-IV modulates the secretory trafficking of apoB and the size of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. J Lipid Res. 2012;53(4):736-743.

Avraham-Davidi I, Ely Y, Pham VN, Castranova D, Grunspan M, Malkinson G, Gibbs-Bar L, Mayseless O, Allmog G, Lo B, Warren CM, Chen TT, Ungos J, Kidd K, Shaw K, Rogachev I, Wan W, Murphy PM, Farber SA,. ApoB-containing lipoproteins regulate angiogenesis by modulating expression of VEGF receptor 1. Nat Med. 2012;18(6):967-973.

Khatun I, Zeissig S, Iqbal J, Wang M, Curiel D, Shelness GS, Blumberg RS, Hussain MM. Phospholipid transfer activity of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein produces apolipoprotein B and reduces hepatosteatosis while maintaining low plasma lipids in mice. Hepatology. 2012;55(5):1356-1368.

Blade AM, Fabritius MA, Hou L, Weinberg RB, Shelness GS. Biogenesis of apolipoprotein A-V and its impact on VLDL triglyceride secretion. J Lipid Res. 2011;52(2):237-244.

Mulya A, Seo J, Brown AL, Gebre AK, Boudyguina E, Shelness GS, Parks JS. Apolipoprotein M expression increases the size of nascent pre beta HDL formed by ATP binding cassette transporter A1. J Lipid Res. 2010;51(3):514-524.

Chung S, Timmins JM, Duong M, Degirolamo C, Rong S, Sawyer JK, Singaraja RR, Rudel LL, Shelness GS, Parks JS, et al. Targeted deletion of hepatocyte ABCA1 leads to very low density lipoprotein triglyceride overproduction and low density lipoprotein hypercatabolism. J Biol Chem. 2010;285(16):12197-209.

Chung S, Gebre AK, Seo J, Shelness GS, Parks JS. A novel role for ABCA1-generated large pre-beta migrating nascent HDL in the regulation of hepatic VLDL triglyceride secretion. J Lipid Res. 2010;51(4):729-742.

Cheng D, MacArthur PS, Rong S, Parks JS, Shelness GS. Alternative splicing attenuates transgenic expression directed by the apolipoprotein E promoter-enhancer based expression vector pLIV11. J Lipid Res. 2010;51(4):849-855.

Chung S, Rong S, Degirolamo C, Brown AW, Bi X, Forrest L, Temel R, Shelness GS, Parks JS. Hepatocyte-specific knockout of ABCA1 alleviates liver lipid accumulation but exacerbates hepatic insulin resistance and inflammation [abstract]. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010;30(11):e187.

Khatun I, Iqbal J, Wang MH, Zeissig S, Blumberg R, Curiel D, Shelness GS, Hussain MM. Phospholipid transfer activity of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein promotes assembly of phospholipid-rich ApoB-containing lipoproteins in mice [abstract]. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010;30(11):e193-e194.

Ledford AS, Cook VA [sic] [Cook VR], Shelness GS, Weinberg RB. Structural and dynamic interfacial properties of the lipoprotein initiating domain of apolipoprotein B. J Lipid Res. 2009;50(1):108-115.

Degirolamo C, Shelness GS, Rudel LL. LDL cholesteryl oleate as a predictor for atherosclerosis: evidence from human and animal studies on dietary fat. J Lipid Res. 2009;50(Suppl):S434-S439.

Chung S, Timmins JM, Duong M, Rong S, Sawyer JK, Maeda N, Rudel LL, Shelness GS, Parks JS. Targeted deletion of hepatocyte ABCA1 induces futile cycling of VLDL production and clearance in C57BL/6 mice [abstract]. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2009;29(7):e36.

MacArthur PS, Shelness GS. Mechanism of neutral lipid translocation across the endoplasmic reticulum membrane [abstract]. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2009;29(7):e105.

Seo J, Mulya A, Gebre AK, Tall A, Shelness GS, Parks JS. ApoM expression causes formation of larger nascent HDL particles and preferential cholesterol efflux from late endosomes by ABCA1 [abstract]. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2009;29(7):e71.

Blade AM, Hou L, Shelness GS. Biogenesis and posttranscriptional regulation of apolipoprotein [abstract]. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008;28(6):e-59.

Chung S, Timmins J, Duong M, Seo J, Gebre A, Boudyguina E, Shah R, Sawyer J, Rudel L, Shelness G, Parks JS, et al. Hepatic-specific deletion of ABCA1 promotes PI3 kinase-dependent VLDL maturation: a novel role for ABCA1 in the regulation of VLDL triglyceride assembly [abstract]. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008;28(6):e-93-e-94.

Chung S, Timmins JM, Duong M, Seo J, Gebre A, Boudyguina E, Rudel LL, Shelness G, Shah R, Sawyer J, Parks JS, et al. A novel role for Abca1-generated large nascent HDL in the regulation of VLDL triglyceride secretion [abstract]. Circulation. 2008;118(18 Suppl 2):S558.

Temel RE, Hou L, Rudel LL, Shelness GS. ACAT2 stimulates cholesteryl ester secretion in apoB-containing lipoproteins. J Lipid Res. 2007;48(7):1618-1627.

Brown JM, Chung S, Das A, Shelness GS, Rudel LL, Yu L. CGI-58 facilitates the mobilization of cytoplasmic triglyceride for lipoprotein secretion in hepatoma cells. J Lipid Res. 2007;48(10):2295-2305.

Mohler PJ, Zhu M-Y, Blade AM, Ham A-JL, Shelness GS, Swift LL. Identification of a novel isoform of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein. J Biol Chem. 2007;282(37):26981-88.

Brown JM, Shelness GS, Rudel LL. Monounsaturated fatty acids and atherosclerosis: opposing views from epidemiology and experimental animal models. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2007;9(6):494-500.

Krugner-Higby L, Shelness GS, Holler A. Heritable, diet-induced hyperlipidemia in California mice (Peromyscus californicus) is due to increased hepatic secretion of very low density lipoprotein triacylglycerol. Comp Med. 2006;56(6):468-475.

All Publications

For a listing of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.

For a list of earlier publications, visit the Carpenter Library Publication Search.

Gregory S. Shelness, Ph.D.

Gregory S. Shelness, Ph.D.

Professor, Molecular Medicine
Comprehensive Cancer Center

Contact Information

Academic: 336-716-3282 | Department: 336-716-3282


Current Research:

Lipid Biosynthesis; Cellular Lipid Trafficking and Mobilization; Lipoprotein Assembly and Secretion; Targeted Drug Delivery 

Apolipoprotein B (apoB) is responsible for the packaging of dietary and endogenous lipids into lipoprotein particles. These particles are distributed to peripheral tissues, such as muscle and adipose, where the lipids are either utilized for energy or stored. However, intravascular metabolism of apoB-containing lipoproteins, particular those originating from liver, give rise to low density lipoproteins (LDL), which in elevated concentrations in the blood cause atherosclerosis and heart disease. Furthermore, imbalances among hepatic and intestinal lipid biosynthesis, storage, utilization and secretion are important in the pathobiology of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Our laboratory is studying the process by which apoB, in combination with the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) and other cofactors, controls lipid transport by the liver and intestine. Our most recent studies have focused on the unexpected evolutionary origins of lipid transport proteins. It is now clear that MTP is the ancestral member of this gene family and exists in divergent vertebrate and invertebrate species, whose last common ancestor diverged over 550 million years ago. During its long evolutionary history, MTP has acquired distinct functions enabling it to participate in a disparate array of lipid mobilization and transport pathways, ranging from primitive lipoprotein assembly in nematodes and arthropods, to bulk lipid transport and antigenic lipid presentation in humans. Our phylogenic dissection of MTP and apoB function coupled with ongoing structural, biochemical, and biophysical analyses, are providing new insights into mechanisms of lipid mobilization and secretion and strategies to beneficially control disturbances in lipid metabolism associated with chronic disease.

As an outgrowth of our studies on the structure and function of apoB, we are also exploring the use of apoB’s lipid binding domains to achieve the packaging of lipophilic drugs. By fusing apoB to single chain antibodies unique to transformed cells, we hope to achieve the selective delivery of drug-containing complexes to cancer cells without affecting healthy cells and tissues.


Figure Legend: Lipid Mobilization and Secretion by Lipoprotein Producing Cells. Neutral lipids such as triglycerides and cholesterol esters are synthesized by enzymes associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane (1). These lipids are either stored in the cytosol or consumed for energy production (Utilization). Lipid secretion requires the mobilization of cytosolic lipid, a step that involves cytosolic and membrane-associated factors that are not well defined (2).  Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP), which resides in the lumen of the ER, possesses a neutral lipid transfer activity that is required for the generation of lumenal lipid droplets. MTP also functions directly on apolipoprotein B  (apoB) to form precursor lipoprotein particles (5). These precursor particles fuse with lipid droplets to form mature intestinal chylomicrons of hepatic VLDL (6), which are then secreted via the classical secretory pathway (7).


Link to PubMed

Gregory S. Shelness, Ph.D.

Gregory S. Shelness, Ph.D.

Professor, Molecular Medicine
Comprehensive Cancer Center

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