Vitor Lira

Assistant Professor
Health & Human Physiology
End Degree: 
PhD in Exercise Physiology
University of Florida
4324 PBDB, 432 FH
Muscle biology,exercise physiology, substrate metabolism, proteostasis, gene regulation

Lab: Integrative Muscle Biology and Metabolism Laboratory and FOE Diabetes Research Center

Post-doctoral Fellowship 

Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Virginia

Courses Taught

  • HHP:4510 Energy Metabolism in Health and Disease
  • HHP:6510 Advanced Energy Metabolism in Health and Disease
  • HHP:4410 Exercise Physiology
  • HHP:6410 Advanced Exercise Physiology
  • HHP:4130 Skeletal Muscle Physiology
  • HHP:6130 Advanced Skeletal Muscle Physiology
  • HHP:4500 Undergraduate Independent Study
  • HHP:6400 Integrative Physiology Seminar

Research Interests

Obesity and diabetes are chronic diseases that negatively impact metabolism of several tissues in the body. In those conditions, skeletal muscle and heart metabolism are promptly affected often leading to skeletal muscle insulin resistance and diabetic cardiomyopathy. In contrast, both exercise and calorie restriction cause metabolic adaptations in muscle and in the heart that are protective against the insults of over nutrition and diabetes. The overall objective of our research is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that participate in the development of and protection against metabolic impairments in skeletal muscle and in the heart. To achieve this goal, we combine metabolomics and genomics tools with molecular and mouse genetics interventions. Ultimately, we hope to identify novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Recent Selected Publications

Meyers EE, Kronemberger A, Lira V, Rahmouni K, Stauss HM. Contrasting effects of afferent and efferent vagal nerve stimulation on insulin secretion and blood glucose regulation. Physiol Rep 4(4):pii:e12718, 2016.

Klionsky DJ, Abdelmohsen K, Abe A,..., Lira, VA, et al. Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition). Autophagy 12(1):1-222, 2016.

Ebert SM, Dyle MC, Bullard SA, Dierdorff JM, Murry DJ, Fox DK, Bongers KS, Lira VA, Meyerholz DK, Talley JJ, Adams CM. Identification and small molecule inhibition of an activating transcription factor 4 (ATF)-dependent pathway to age-related skeletal muscle weakness and atrophy. J Biol Chem 290(42):25497-511, 2015.

Chao H, Li H, Grande R, Lira V, Yan Z, Harris TE, Li C. Involvement of mTOR in type 2 CRF receptor inhibition of insulin signaling in muscle cells. Mol Endocrinol 29(6):831-41, 2015.

Cohen TJ, Choi MC, Kapur M, Lira VA, Yan Z, Yao TP. HDAC4 regulates muscle fiber type-specific gene expression programs. Mol Cells 38(4):343-48, 2015.

Lira VA. Exercise-induced cardioprotection: more to k“NO”w. Cardiology 130(3):172-174, 2015.

Call JA, Chain KH, Martin KS, Lira VA, Okutsu M, Zhang M, Yan Z. Enhanced skeletal muscle expression of EcSOD mitigates streptozotocin-induced diabetic cardiomyopathy by reducing oxidative stress and aberrant cell signaling. Circ Heart Fail 8(1):188-97, 2015.

Okutsu M, Call JA, Lira VA, Zhang M, Donet JA, French BA, Martin KS, Peirce-Cottler SM, Rembold CM, Annex BH, Yan Z. Extracellular superoxide dismutase ameliorates skeletal muscle abnormalities, cachexia, and exercise intolerance in mice with congestive heart failure. Circ Heart Fail. 2014;7(3):519-30.

Okutsu M, Lira VA, Higashida K, Peake J, Higuchi M, Suzuki K. Corticosterone accelerates atherosclerosis in the apolipoprotein E-deficient mouse. Atherosclerosis. 2014;232(2):414-9.

Lira VA, Okutsu M, Zhang M, Greene NP, Laker RC, Breen DS, Hoehn KL, Yan Z. Autophagy is required for exercise training-induced skeletal muscle adaptation and improvement of physical performance. FASEB J. 2013;27(10):4184-93.

Soltow QA, Zeanah EH, Lira VA, Criswell DS. Cessation of cyclic stretch induces atrophy of C2C12 myotubes. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013;434(2):316-21.

Yan Z, Lira VA, Greene NP. Exercise training-induced regulation of mitochondrial quality. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2012;40(3):159-64.

Meher AK, Sharma PR, Lira VA, Yamamoto M, Kensler TW, Yan Z, Leitinger N. Nrf2 deficiency in myeloid cells is not sufficient to protect mice from high-fat diet-induced adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance. Free Radic Biol Med. 2012;52(9):1708-15.

Yan Z, Okutsu M, Akhtar YN, Lira VA. Regulation of exercise-induced fiber type transformation, mitochondrial biogenesis, and angiogenesis in skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol. 2011;110(1):264-74.

Soltow QA, Lira VA, Betters JL, Long JH, Sellman JE, Zeanah EH, Criswell DS. Nitric oxide regulates stretch-induced proliferation in C2C12 myoblasts. J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2010;31(3):215-25.

Lira VA, Brown DL, Lira AK, Kavazis AN, Soltow QA, Zeanah EH, Criswell DS. Nitric oxide and AMPK cooperatively regulate PGC-1 in skeletal muscle cells. J Physiol. 2010;588(Pt 18):3551-66.

Lira VA, Benton CR, Yan Z, Bonen A. PGC-1{alpha} regulation by exercise training and its influences on muscle function and insulin sensitivity. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2010;299(2):E145-61.

Pogozelski AR, Geng T, Li P, Yin X, Lira VA, Zhang M, Chi JT, Yan Z. p38gamma mitogen-activated protein kinase is a key regulator in skeletal muscle metabolic adaptation in mice. PLoS One 4:e7934, 2009.

Lira VA, Soltow QA, Long JH, Betters JL, Sellman JE, Criswell DS. Nitric oxide increases GLUT4 expression and regulates AMPK signaling in skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Oct;293(4):E1062-8.