Department of Reproductive Medicine

Notice: Dr. Coss has moved to UC Riverside

Her UC Riverside contact info:
Phone number: 951-827-7791
303 School of Medicine Research Building;
Riverside, CA 92521

Djurdica Coss

Djurdjica Coss , PhD
Assistant Professor
Division of Reproductive Endocrinology

Visit our site at: The Coss Lab

Education and Training

  University of California, Riverside, CA. Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, 2000
  University of California, San Diego, CA. Postdoctoral Fellow, 2000 – 2005
  University of California, San Diego, CA. Research Scientist, 2005 –2009


Research Interests

Our research goal is to understand the molecular basis of the regulation of fertility; in particular to delineate the cellular mechanisms of signal transduction and regulation of gene expression by hormonal influences and environmental factors. We aim to understand how cells respond to the endocrine network that activates signaling pathways between growth factor receptors and target genes in the nucleus, in order to bring forth integrated transcriptional responses and the precise fluctuation of hormones that ultimately regulate reproduction, physiology and homeostasis. We use gonadotrope cells as a model to understand how endocrine cells integrates environmental, endocrine and paracrine influences to specifically, but differentially, synthesize two different hormones that are crucial for reproductive fitness. We are using integrative genetic, biochemical and cell and molecular biology approaches from in vitro systems, cell culture, to whole animal physiology to define the strategies used by the endocrine system to regulate the physiology of the organism.
Currently, our research centers on understanding the neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate gene expression in the gonadotrope cell using cell models and primary cells; to identify the spatiotemporal expression patterns of gonadotrope-specific genes throughout the reproductive cycle; to identify genes necessary for the appropriate expression of gonadotropin hormones using genetically modified mice; and to elucidate the neuroendocrine and paracrine mechanisms controlling pituitary gene expression, delineation of which will aid in overcoming infertility problems as well as in developing contraceptive approaches.

Selected Publications

Kuo CB, Coss D, Walker AM. Prolactin Receptor Antagonists. Endocrine 9 (2): 121-131,1998.

Coss D, Kuo CB, Yang L, Ingleton P, Luben RA, Walker AM. Dissociation of Janus Kinase 2 and Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 5 Activation after Treatment of Nb2 Cells with a Molecular Mimic of Phosphorylated Prolactin. Endocrinology 140 (11): 5087-5094, 1999.

Coss D, Yang L, Kuo CB, Xu X, Luben RA, Walker AM. Effects of Prolactin on Osteoblast Alkaline Phosphatase and Bone Formation in the Developing Rat. American Journal of Physiology 279 (6): E1216-E1225, 2000.

Yang L, Kuo CB, Liu Y, Coss D, Xu X, Chen C, Oster-Granite ML, Walker AM. Administration of Unmodified Prolactin (U-PRL) and a Molecular Mimic of Phosphorylated Prolactin (PP-PRL) during Rat Pregnancy Provides Evidence that the U-PRL:PP-PRL Ratio is Crucial to the Normal Development of Pup Tissues. Journal of Endocrinology 168 (2): 227-238, 2001.

Yang L, Lii S, Kuo B, Buckley A, Buckley D, Chen C, Xu X, Coss D, Walker AM. Maternal Prolactin Composition Can Permanently Affect Epidermal Gamma Delta T Cell Function in the Offspring. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 26 (9): 849-860, 2002.

Kuo CB, Wu W, Xu X, Yang L, Chen C, Coss D, Birdsall B, Nasseri D, Walker AM. Pseudo-Phosphorylated Prolactin (S179D PRL) Inhibits Growth and Promotes ß-Casein Gene Expression in the Rat Mammary Gland. Cell and Tissue Research 309 (3): 429-437, 2002.

Wu W*, Coss D*, Lorenson MY, Kuo CB, Xu X, Walker AM. Different Biological Effects of Unmodified Prolactin and a Molecular Mimic of Phosphorylated Prolactin Involve Different Signaling Pathways. Biochemistry 42 (24): 7561-7570, 2003. *co-first authors.

Jacobs SB, Coss D, McGillivray SM, Mellon PL. Nuclear Factor -Y and Steroidogenic Factor-1 Physically and Functionally Interact to Contribute to Cell-Specific Expression of the Mouse Follicle-Stimulating Hormone ß Gene. Molecular Endocrinology 17 (8): 1470-1483, 2003.

Coss D, Jacobs SBR, Bender CE, Mellon PL. Novel AP-1 Site is Critical for Maximal Induction of the Mouse Follicle-Stimulating Hormone ß Gene by Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279 (1): 152-162, 2004.

Bailey JS, Rave-Harel N, McGillivray SM, Coss D, Mellon PL. Activin Regulation of the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone - Subunit Gene Involves Smads and the TALE Homeodomain Proteins Pbx1 and Prep1. Molecular Endocrinology 18 (5): 1158-1170, 2004.

Rave-Harel N, Givens ML, Nelson SB, Duong HA, Coss D, Clark ME, Hall SB, Kamps MP, Mellon PL. TALE Homeodomain Proteins Regulate Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Gene Expression Independently and via Interaction with Oct-1. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279 (29): 30287-30297, 2004.

Coss D, Thackray VG, Deng CX, Mellon PL. Activin Regulates Luteinizing Hormone ß - Subunit Gene Expression thought Smad-Binding and Homeobox Elements. Molecular Endocrinology 19 (10): 2610-2623, 2005.

Zhang H, Bailey JS, Coss D, Lin B, Tsutsumi R, Lawson MA, Mellon PL, Webster NJG. Activin Modulates the Transcriptional Response of LßT2 Cells to GnRH and Alters Cellular Proliferation. Molecular Endocrinology 20 (11): 2909-2930, 2006.

McGillivray SM, Thackray VG, Coss D, Mellon PL. Activin and Glucocorticoids Synergistically Activate Follicle-Stimulating Hormone ß-Subunit Gene Expression in the Immortalized LßT2 Gonadotrope Cell Line. Endocrinology 148 (2): 762-773, 2007.

Coss D, Hand CM, Yaphockun KKJ, Ely HA, Mellon PL. p38 Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase is Critical for Synergistic Induction of the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Gene by GnRH and Activin through Augmentation of the c-Fos Induction and Smad Phosphorylation. Molecular Endocrinology 21 (12): 3071-3086, 2007.

Thackray VG, Mellon PL, Coss D. Hormones in Synergy: Regulation of the Pituitary
Gonadotropin Genes. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 314 (2):192-203, 2010.

Corpuz PS, Lindaman LL, Mellon PL, Coss D. FoxL2 Is Required for Activin Induction
Of the Mouse and Human Follicle-Stimulating Hormone ß-Subunit Gene.
MolecularEndocrinology 24 (5): 1037-1051, 2010.

Breen KM, Thackray VG, Coss D, Mellon PL. Runt-Related Transcription Factors
ImpairActivin Induction of the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone ß-Subunit Gene.
Endocrinology 151 (6): 2669–2680, 2010.

Coss D, Mellon PL, Thackray VG. Recent Insights into Activin Regulation of FSH Synthesis. Trends Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Coss, D., Mellon, P.L., and Thackray, V.G. (2010) A FoxL in the Smad House: Activin Regulation of FSH. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 21, 562-268. PDF


Administrative Assistant:
Kristal Cerimele

(858) 534-1140