Department Directory

Gregorio Gil, Ph.D.

Gregorio GilProfessor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

PO Box 980614
Richmond, VA 23298-0614

Telephone: 804-828-0140

  • B.S., 1974, University of Zaragoza, Spain
  • B.S., 1977, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • M.S., 1978, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Ph.D., University of Barcelona, Spain, 1981

Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, 1982-1988


The overall goal of this laboratory is the molecular characterization of the regulation of cholesterol and bile acid metabolism. In particular, we are interested in two genes. One is the gene that encodes the enzyme cholesterol 7a-hydroxylase, a key regulatory enzyme of the bile acid biosynthetic pathway. The activity of this enzyme is negatively regulated by the end products of the pathway, bile acids, as well as positively regulated by its substrate, cholesterol. Both regulations occur at the level of the transcription of its gene. The second gene that we are interested in encodes sterol 12a-hydroxylase, which determines the ratio of cholic acid to chenodeoxycholic acid and it is also subjected to a feedback control. We are studying the molecular mechanisms involved in the bile acid-mediated regulation of the transcription of the cholesterol 7a-hydroxylase and 12a-hydroxylase genes. We use tissue culture systems, transgenic mice technology, and in vitro approaches. We have identified an orphan nuclear receptor, called FTF, that plays a key role in the transcription and regulation of both genes and we are studying novel interactions between this receptor and other nuclear receptors as well as other transcriptional factors.

Selected Publications

  • del Castillo-Olivares, A., and Gil, G.: a1-Fetoprotein Transcription Factor is required for the Expression of Sterol 12a-hydroxylase, the Specific Enzyme for Cholic Acid Synthesis. J. Biol. Chem. 275: 17793-17799, 2000

  • del Castillo-Olivares, A. & Gil, G. Differential Effects of Sterol Regulatory Protein 1 and 2 on Sterol 12a-Hydroxylase. J. Biol. Chem. 277: 6750-6757, 2002

  • Gerbod, M.-C., del Castillo-Olivares, A., Janciauskiene, S., Gil, G., and Hylemon, P.B., An a1-Antitrypsin Carboxy-terminal Peptide Represses Cholesterol 7a-Hydroxylase via Interaction with a1-Fetoprotein Transcription Factor. J. Biol. Chem. 277: 42973-42980. 2002

  • Pandak, W.M., Ren, S., Marques, D., Hall, E., Redford, K., Mallonee, D., Bohdan, P., Heuman, D., Gil, G. and Hylemon, P.B. Transport of Cholesterol into Mitochondria is Rate Limiting for Bile Acid Synthesis Via the Alternative Pathway in Primary Rat Hepatocytes. J. Biol. Chem. 277: 48158-48164. 2002

  • del Castillo-Olivares, A., Campos, J.A., Pandak, W.M. and Gil, G. The Role of a1-Fetoprotein Transcription Factor /LRH-1 on Bile Acid Biosynthesis. A Known Nuclear Receptor that Can Act as a Suppressor of Bile Acid Biosynthesis. J. Biol. Chem. 278: 16813-16821. 2004


View Dr. Gil's Publications via the National Library of Medicine's PubMed.


VCU Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Virginia Commonwealth University VCU Medical Center
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