Li-Na Wei, PhD

Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Department of Pharmacology

Li-Na Wei

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-9402

Office Address:
3-124 Nils Hasselmo Hall
312 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Lab Address:
3-210 Nils Hasselmo Hall
312 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

PhD, Texas Tech University


Dr. Wei is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, and a Full Professor of the Dept. of Pharmacology. She received B.S. (Botany) from National Taiwan University, M.S. (Microbiology & Immunology) from the University of Michigan, Ph.D. (Microbiology) from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and post-doctoral training (Microbiology/Medicine) from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Dr. Wei joined the Dept. Pharmacology, University of Minnesota, as an Assistant Professor in 1993, was promoted to tenured Associate Professor in 1999, and Full Professor in 2003. She was named Distinguished McKnight University Professor in 2009 till present. Since 1993, Dr. Wei has been continuously supported by multiple research projects by the NIH till today. 


Epigenetics, Neuro-endocrine, Inflammatory and Neurological disease mechanism.

Awards & Recognition

NIH Career Development Award 2002-2012

Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Univ. Minnesota 2009-present

Distinguished Woman Scholar Award in Science & Engineering 2011

Univ. Minnesota

Distinguished Mentor (PDFMP), Univ. Minnesota 2013

Distinguished Alumni Award, Texas Tech Univ. 2014

Commencement speaker, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 2014

Professional Associations

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)

American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Society of Neuroscience

Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (SCBA)


Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Wei's lab is interested in regulatory pathways and underlying mechanisms in diseases related to motor function, neuro-endocrine regulation, and immunity. Key targets of investigation are: a) 3D-organ culture of neural muscular junction (NMJ), b) hypothalamus-pituitary regulation/signaling in aging/stress, c) regulation of exosome secretion by vitamin A, and d) hormonal regulation of chromatin remodeling (eipgenetics).

Major experimental systems/methods include genetic (CRISPR-edited) mouse models, primary/stem cell cultures, in vitro 3D organ culture of NMJ, and d) molecular, biochemical and biophysical methods for drug screening. The ultimate goal is for developing new therapeutic and diagnostic tools.


View list of publications

Selected (from >200) publications since 2005

  • Lin YW; Nhieu J; Wei CW; Lin YL; Kagechika H; Wei LN (2021) Regulation of exosome secretion by cellular retinoic acid binding protein 1 contributes to systemic anti-inflammation. Cell Communication and Signaling, Cell Comm & Signaling 19(1):69.
  • Yu-Lung Lin, Yi-Wei Lin, Jennifer Nhieu, Xiaoyin Zhang, and Li-Na Wei (2020) Sonic hedgehog-Gli1 signaling and cellular retinoic acid binding protein 1 gene regulation in motor neuron differentiation and diseases. Int J Mol Sci. 21, 4125.
  • Yu-Lung Lin, Yi-Wei Lin and Li-Na Wei (2020) RIP140 in stress response of the brain. J Neurol Neuromed 5 (2) 3-10.
  • Jennifer Nhieu, Yu-Lung Lin and Li-Na Wei (2020) Noncanonical retinoic acid signaling. Methods in Enzymology 637: 261-281.
  • Sung Wook Park, Jennifer Nhieu,Shawna D. Persaud, Michelle C. Miller, Youlin Xia, Yi-Wei Lin, Yu- Lung Lin,Hiroyuki Kagechika, Kevin H. Mayo, and Li-Na Wei (2019) 

    A new regulatory mechanism for Raf kinase activation, retinoic acid-bound Crabp1. Sci Rep. 9 (1), 10929.

  • Yi-Wei Lin, Sung Wook Park, Yu-Lung Lin, Frank Burton, and Li-Na Wei (2019) Cellular retinoic acid binding protein 1 protects mice from high fat diet-induced obesity by decreasing adipocyte hypertrophy. Int J Obesity, 43 (11), 2347.
  • Park, S-W, Nhiey J, Lin YW and Wei, L-N (2019) All-trans retinoic acid attenuates isoproterenol-induced cardiac dysfunction throught Crabp1 to dampen CaMKII activation. E J Pharmacol. 858, 172485.
  • Isha Nagpal and Li-Na Wei (2019) All-trans retinoic acid as a versatile cytosolic signal modulator mediated by CRABP1 (2019) Int J Mol Sci. 20 (15), 3610.
  • Park SW, Persaud SD, Ogokeh S, Meyers TA, Townsend D, and Wei L-N (2018) Crabp1 protects the heart from isoproterenol-induced acute and chronic remodeling. J Endocrinol 236: 151-65.
  • Mariana Bertini Teixeira, Ana Carolina M. Figueira, Ariane S. Furlan, Bruno Aquino, Marcos R. Alborghetti, Adriana F. PaesLeme, Li-Na Wei and Jörg Kobarg (2018) Fasciculation and elongation zeta-1 protein interacts with the retinoic acid receptor and participates in transcriptional regulation of the Hoxb4 gene. FEBS Open Bio, 8(1): 4-14.
  • Bomi Lee, Ping-Chih Ho and Li-Na Wei (2018) Nrip1 (Nuclear Receptor Interacting Protein 1) Encyclopedia of Signaling Molecules, Springer. p.3605-16
  • Yi-Wei Lin, Pu-Ste Liu, Kasey Ah Pook and Li-Na Wei (2018) Glyburide and retinoic acid synergize to promote wound healing by anti-inflammation and RIP140 degradation. Sci. Rep 8(1): 834.
  • Lee B, Iwaniec UT, Turner RT, Lin YW, Clarke BL, Gingery A and Wei LN (2017) RIP140 in monocyte/macrophage regulates osteoclast differentiaton and bone homeostasis. JCI Insights, 2(7):e90517.
  • Lin YW, Montassier E, Knights D and Wei LN (2016) Gut microbiota from metabolic disease-resistant, macrophage-specific RIP140 knockdown mice improves metabolic phenotype and gastrointestinal integrity. Scientific Reports 6:38599.
  • Persaud SD, Park SW, Ishigami-Yuasa M, Koyano-Nakagawa N, Kagechika H and Wei L-N (2016) All trans-retinoic acid analogs promote cancer cell apoptosis through non-genomic Crabp1 mediating ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Scientific Reports 6, 22396.
  • Yi-Wei Lin, Bomi Lee, Pu-Ste Liu and Li-Na Wei (2016) RIP140 orchestrates the dynamics of macrophage M1/M2 polarization. J Innate Imm. 8 (1):97-107
  • Pu-Ste Liu, Yi-Wei Lin, Frank H. Burton& Li-Na Wei (2015) Injecting engineered anti-inflammatory macrophages therapeutically induces white adipose tissue browning and improves diet-induced insulin resistance. Adipocyte 4: 123-8.
  • Xudong Feng, Kelly A. Krogh, Cheng-Ying Wu, Yi-Wei Lin, Hong-Chieh Tsai, Stanley A. Thayer and Li-Na Wei (2014)Receptor interacting protein 140 (RIP140) attenuates ER stress in neurons by interacting with the IP3 receptor. Nature Communication 5:4487.
  • Pu-Ste Liu, Yi-Wei Lin, Bomi Lee, Sherlly K. McCrady-Spitzer, James A. Levine, and Li-Na Wei (2014) Reducing RIP140 expression in macrophage alters ATM infiltration, facilitates white adipose tissue browning and prevents high fat diet-induced insulin resistance. Diabetes 63 (12): 4021-31
  • Wu, CY, Feng, X and Wei, L-N (2014) Coordinated repressive chromatin remodeling of Oct4 and Nanog genes in RA-induced differentiation of embryonic stem cells involves RIP140. Nucleic Acid Res. 42: 4306-17.
  • Qifang Wu, Cheol Kyu Hwang, Hui Zheng, Yadav Wagley, Hong-Yiou Lin, Do Kyung Kim, Ping-Yee Law, Horace H. Loh, and Li-Na Wei (2013) MicroRNA 339 down-regulates m-opioid receptor at the post-transcriptional level in response to opioid treatment. FASEB J 27: 522-535.
  • Shlomit Flaisher-Grinberg, Shawna D. Persaud, Horace H. Loh & Li-Na Wei (2012) Stress-induced epigenetic regulation of Kappa opioid receptor gene involves c-Myc. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109(23):9167-72.
  • P-C Ho, Y-C Tsui, X Feng, DR Greaves and L-N Wei (2012) NF-kB-mediated RIP140 degradation regulates inflammatory response and contributes to endotoxin tolerance. Nature Immunology 13: 379-86.
  • Chuang, Y-S, Huang, W-H, Park, S.W., Persaud, S.D., Hung, C-H, Ho, P-C, and Wei, L-N (2011) Promyelocytic leukemia protein in retinoic acid-induced chromatin remodeling of Oct4 gene promoter. Stem Cells 29: 660-9.
  • Nien-Pei Tsai, Ya-Lun Lin, Yao-Chen Tsui and Li-Na Wei (2010) Dual action of epidermal growth factor: extracellular signal-stimulated nuclear cytoplasmic export and coordinated translation of selected mRNA. J. Cell Biol. 188: 325-33
  • Nien-Pei Tsai, Yao-Chen Tsui, John E Pintar, Horace H Loh and Li-Na Wei (2010) Kappa opioid receptor contributes to EGF-stimulated neurite extension in development. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 107:3216-21
  • Ping-Chih Ho, Yi-Wei Lin, Yao-Chen Tsui, Pawan Gupta, and Li-Na Wei (2009) A negative regulatory pathway of GLUT4 trafficking in adipocyte: new function of RIP140 in the cytoplasm via AS160. Cell Metabolism 10: 516-523
  • Nien-Pei Tsai, Ping-Chih Ho and Li-Na Wei (2008) Regulation of stress granule dynamics by Grb7 and FAK signaling pathway. EMBO J. 27: 715-26.
  • P Gupta, MDM Huq, SG Ha, SW Park, AA Khan, NP Tsai and L-N Wei (2008) Retinoic acid-stimulated sequential phosphorylation, PML recruitment and SUMOylation of nuclear receptor TR2 to suppress Oct4. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105: 11424-9
  • Jing Bi, Nien-Pei Tsai, Hsin-Yi Lu, Horace H. Loh and Li-Na Wei (2007) Copb1 facilitated axonal transport and translation of kappa opioid receptor mRNA. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 104: 13810-13815.
  • MD Mostaqul Huq, Nien-Pei Tsai, Ya-Ping Lin, LeeAnn Higgins and L-N Wei (2007) Vitamin B6 conjugation to nuclear co-repressor receptor interacting protein 140 (RIP140) and its role in gene regulation. Nature Chemical Biology 3: 161-165
  • N-P Tsai, J Bi and L-N Wei (2007) The adaptor Grb7 links netrin-1 signaling to regulation of mRNA translation. EMBO J. 26: 1522-31.
  • Sung Wook Park, Xinli Hu1, Pawan Gupta, Ya-Ping Lin, Sung Gil Ha & Li-Na Wei (2007) Sumoylation of Tr2 orphan receptor involves PML and fine-tunes Oct4 expression in stem cells. Nature Structure & Molecular Biology 14: 68-75
  • Jing, Bi, Nien-Pei Tsai, Ya-Ping Lin, Horace H. Loh and L-N Wei (2006) Axonal mRNA transport and localized translational regulation of kappa opioid receptor in primary neurons of dorsal root ganglia. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 103: 19919-24.
  • MD Mostaqul Huq, Pawan Gupta, Nien-Pei Tsai, Roger White, Malcom G. Parker, and Li-Na Wei (2006) Suppression of receptor interacting protein 140 (RIP140) activity by protein arginine methylation. EMBO J. 25, 5094-5104.
  • Sung Wook Park, Guangjin Li, Ya-Ping Lin, Maria J. Faroqui,Kai Ge, Robert G. Roeder and Li-Na Wei (2005) Thyroid hormone-induced juxtaposition of regulatory elements/factors and chromatin remodeling of Crabp1 dependent on MED1/TRAP220. Molecular Cell 19: 643-653.