Lucia A. Seale

Lucia A. Seale, PhD, MSc

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Full Member, Cancer Biology Program, University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center

Academic Appointment(s):
Associate Researcher, Pacific Biosciences Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Affiliated Member, Center for Cardiovascular Research, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Affiliated Faculty, Cell and Molecular Biology Program, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Cooperating Faculty, Animal Sciences Program, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

PhD, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
MSc, Human Physiology: Endocrinology, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Research Fellow, Medicine - Thyroid Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Research Focus

My research focus has been for decades on the role of micronutrient selenium in energy metabolism and obesity. Over the years, obesity has been recognized as an increased risk factor for developing several types of cancer, including cancers of the liver, pancreas, thyroid, and kidney, which are organs either directly involved in selenium metabolism or highly dependent on selenium levels for its function. Moreover, excess selenium may cause prostate cancer as determined by clinical trials with dietary supplements containing selenium and vitamin E. Currently, our laboratory's main project is focused on understanding the role of intracellular selenium recycling in thermogenic adipocyte physiology. Adipocyte selenium metabolism impacts energy expenditure and, consequently, obesity pathogenesis. We investigate the regulatory mechanism by which adipocyte selenium metabolism and selenium levels may trigger endocrine responses that induce cell proliferation, priming a tissue for cancer development. Our research focus also includes selenium metabolism in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a risk factor for liver cancer development.

Selected Publications

Shimada BK, Swanson S, Toh P, Seale LA. (2022) Metabolism of selenium, selenocysteine, and selenoproteins in ferroptosis in solid tumor cancers. Biomolecules 12(11):1581. doi: 10.3390/biom12111581. PMID: 36358931; PMCID: PMC9687593

Seale LA, Ogawa-Wong AN, Watanabe LM, Khadka VS, Menor M, Torres DJ, Carlson BA, Hatfield DL, Berry MJ. (2021). Adaptive thermogenesis in a mouse model lacking selenoprotein biosynthesis in brown adipocytes. Int J Mol Sci;22(2): E611. doi: 10.3390/ijms22020611. PMID: 33435397. PMCID: PMC7827413.

Seale LA, Ogawa-Wong AN, Berry MJ. (2018). Sexual dimorphism in selenium metabolism and selenoproteins. Free Radic Biol Med;127:198-205. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.03.036. Epub 2018 Mar 21. PMID: 29572096; PMCID: PMC6150850.

Seale LA, Gilman CL, Hashimoto AC, Ogawa-Wong AN, Berry MJ. (2015). Diet-induced obesity in the selenocysteine lyase knockout mouse. Antioxid Redox Signal;23(10):761-74. PMID: 26192035. PMCID: PMC4589310.

Seale LA, Hashimoto AC, Kurokawa S, Gilman CL, Seyedali A, Bellinger FP, Raman AV, Berry MJ. (2012). Disruption of the selenocysteine lyase-mediated selenium recycling pathway leads to metabolic syndrome in mice. Mol Cell Biol;32(20):4141-54. PMID: 22890841. PMCID: PMC3457337.

De Jesus LA*, Carvalho SD, Ribeiro MO, Schneider M, Kim S, Harney JW, Larsen PR, Bianco AC. (2001). The type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase is essential for adaptive thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue. J Clin Investig;108 (09):1379-1385. PMID: 11696583. PMCID: PMC209445.

Publication list via NIH my Bibliography (PubMed)

Active Grants

L. Seale, PI
1 R01 DK128390-01
Selenium metabolism in cold-induced adaptive thermogenesis.
The major goal of this project is to determine the role of selenium and Scly-mediated selenium recycling in selenoprotein synthesis and degradation, and its impact on cold-induced adaptive thermogenesis.

L. Seale, PI
Hawaii Community Foundation
Effects of selenium on adipocyte lipids.
The major goal of this proposal is to determine how dietary Se modulates adipocyte growth and lipid speciation in the white adipose tissue.