William Rainey

William Rainey, PhD

Jerome W. Conn Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology and Internal Medicine
Director, Endocrine Neoplasia Basic Research

1150 W. Medical Center Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-5622

(734) 764-7514

Areas of Interest

The human adrenal cortex acts as a compound endocrine gland that secretes mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids and the so-called adrenal androgens. These steroids arise from distinct zone of the adrenal cortex that have both morphologic and biochemical differences. Neither the origin of the stem cells of the cortical zones nor the mechanisms leading to the zone-specific production of steroids is clearly defined. The functional zonation of the adrenal cortex can be traced to the zone-specific expression of the enzymes involved in steroid biosynthesis. Here we take the novel approach of focusing on the molecular mechanisms that regulate the development of a glomerulosa, fasiculata or reticularis phenotype. We propose to define the mechanisms that regulate adrenal cell expression of key enzymes that directly impact the ability of adrenal cells to produce aldosterone, cortisol or DHEA-S. The proposed studies will provide insight into the normal physiology of the adrenal as well as pathologies associated with dysregulation of adrenal steroids.


Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Published Articles or Reviews

Monticone S, Hattangady NG, Nishimoto K, Mantero F, Rubin B, Cicala MV, Pezzani R, Auchus RJ, Ghayee HK, Shibata H, Kurihara I, Williams TA, Giri JG, Bollag RJ, Edwards MA, Isales CM, Rainey WE Effect of KCNJ5 mutations on gene expression in aldosterone-producing adenomas and adrenocortical cells. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 97:E1567-72, 2012 PMCID:PMC3410264

Rege J, Nakamura Y, Satoh F, Morimoto R, Kennedy MR, Layman LC, Honma S, Sasano H, Rainey WE Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of human adrenal vein 19-cardbon steroids before and after ACTH stimulation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 98:1182-8, 2013 PMCID: PMC3590473

Rege J, Nakamura Y, Wang T, Merchen TD, Sasano H, Rainey WE Transcriptome profiling reveals differentially expressed transcripts between the human adrenal zona fasciculata and zona reticularis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 99:E518-27, 2013 PMCID:PMC3942232 

Nanba K, Chen A, Nishimoto K, Rainey WE. Role of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase in adrenal aldosterone production. Endocrinology 156:1750-6, 2015 PMCID:PMC4398758

Rege J, Nishimoto KH, Nishimoto K, Rodgers RJ, Auchus RJ, Rainey WE Bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP4): A paracrine regulator of human adrenal C19 steroid synthesis. Endocrinology 156:2530-40, 2015 PMCID:PMC4475723

Nishimoto K, Tomlins SA, Kuick RD, Cani AK, Giordano TJ, Hovelson DH, Liu C-J, Sanjanwala AR, Edwards MA, Gomez-Sanchez CE, Nanba K and Rainey WE Cellular origins of primary aldosteronism: aldosterone-stimulating mutations are common in normal adrenals. PNAS 18;112:E4591-9, 2015 PMCID:PMC4547250

Rege JKarashima SLerario AMSmith JMAuchus RJKasa-Vubu JZSasano HNakamura YWhite PC, Rainey WE Age-dependent increases in adrenal cytochrome b5 and serum 5-androstenediol-3-sulfate. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 101:4585-4593, 2016 PMCID:PMC5155691

Nanba K, Vaidya A, Williams GH, Zheng I, Else T, Rainey WE Age-related autonomous aldosteronism. Circulation 136:347-355, 2017 PMCID:PMC5568806

Casaburi I, Avena P, De Luca A, Sirianni R, Rago V, Chimento A, Trotta F, Campana C, Rainey WE, Pezzi V. GPER-independent inhibition of adrenocortical cancer growth by G-1 involves ROS/Egr-1/BAX pathway. Oncotarget  8(70):115609-115619, 2017 PMCID:PMC5777797

Sun N, Wu Y, Nanba K, Sbiera S, Kircher S, Kunzke T, Aichler M, Berezowska S, Reibetanz J, Rainey WE, Fassnacht M, Walch A, Kroiss M High resolution tissue mass spectrometry imaging reveals a refined functional anatomy of the human adult adrenal gland. Endocrinology 2018 Jan 29. [Epub ahead of print] PMCID:PMC5839739

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