Animal Science

Dr. James Pru

Dr. James Pru


Rochelle Chair

Office: Rm. 113





B.S., Zoology/Physiology and Chemistry, University of Wyoming

M.S., Zoology/Physiology, University of Wyoming

Ph.D., Animal Science, University of Wyoming


Professional Experience

2021-Present: Professor and Rochelle Chair, Department of Animal Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

2017-21: Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

2015-21: Associate Director, Center for Reproductive Biology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

2011-17: Associate Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

2009-11: Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA    

2007-09: Assistant Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

2006-09: Affiliate Faculty, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Boston, MA

2003-07: Instructor and Assistant Biologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Research Overview

Our research focuses on understanding molecular events coordinating the physiology of embryo implantation using transgenic mice and domestic ruminants as model organisms, as well as human tissues. The long-term goal is to identify evolutionarily conserved mechanisms that, when gone awry, contribute to infertility during early gestation (i.e., recurrent pregnancy loss). Related to embryo implantation, we are specifically interested in the processes by which the embryo signals its presence using a unique molecular dialog as it invades the uterine wall in an effort to establish an exchange apparatus with the mother for nutrients and waste. As female sex steroid progesterone coordinates many aspects of embryo implantation, we are also interested in knowing how progesterone signals in the endometrium through non-classical mechanisms. We recently demonstrated the expression of novel membrane progestin receptors in the uterus, and ongoing studies are designed to test the functional importance of these putative receptors in female reproduction using conditional mutagenesis approaches. In related studies, efforts are being made to learn how resident stem/progenitor cells of the endometrium contribute to uterine regeneration during the estrous/menstrual cycle and following parturition. Our research findings contribute to a general understanding of the molecular underpinnings of reproduction in the female. They also offer an opportunity to develop therapeutic strategies to counter aberrant molecular events that contribute to infertility and to cultivate contraceptive applications.

Representative Publications

Griffiths RM, Pru CA, Behura SK, Cronrath AR, McCallum ML, Kelp NC, Winuthayanon W, Spencer TE, Pru JK. AMPK is required for uterine receptivity and normal responses to steroid hormones. Reproduction 2020;159:707-717. PMID:32191914


Galmozzi A, Kok BP, Kim AS, Montenegro-Burke R, Lee JY, Spreafico R, Mosure S, Albert V, Cintron-Colon R, Goido C, Webb WR, Conti B, Solt LA, Kojetin D, Parker CG. Peluso JJ, Pru JK, Siuzdak G, Caravatt BF, Saez E. PGRMC2 is an intracellular heme chaperone critical for adipocyte function. Nature 2019;576:138-142 PMID:31748747


Peluso JJ, Pru CA, Liu X, Kelp NC, Pru JK. Progesterone receptor membrane components 1 and 2 regulate granulosa cell mitosis and survival through a NFKB-dependent mechanism. Biol Reprod 2019;100:1571-1580. PMID:30877763


Patterson AL, George J, Chatterjee A, Carpenter T, Wolfrum E, Pru JK, Teixeira JM. Label-retaining, putative mesenchymal stem cells contribute to repair of the myometrium during uterine involution. Stem Cells Dev 2018;27:1715-1728. PMDI:30328770


McCallum ML, Pru CA, Smith AR, Kelp NC, Foretz M, Viollet B, Du M, Pru JK. A functional role for AMPK in female fertility and endometrial regeneration. Reproduction 2018:156:501-513. PMID:30328345


Peluso JJ, Liu X, Uliasz T, Pru CA, Kelp NC, Pru JK. PGRMC1/2 promote luteal vascularization and maintain the primordial follicles in mice. Reproduction 2018;156:365-373. PMID: 30306772


Ciccarelli M, Waqas MS, Pru JK, Tibary A. Oxytocin is not involved in luteolysis and early maternal recognition of pregnancy (MRP) in alpacas. Anim Reprod Sci 2017;187:28-38. PMID:29029875


Clark NC, Pru CA, Pru JK. Novel regulators of hemodynamics in the pregnant uterus, in Molecular Biology of Placental Development and Disease (W.R Huckle, Ed.; 2017, Volume 145 in Progress In Molecular Biology and Translational Science, P. Michael Conn, Series Editor) 145:181-216. PMID:28110751


Kelleher AM, Peng W, Pru JK, Pru CA, DeMayo FJ, Spencer TE. Forkhead box a2 (FOXA2) is essential for uterine function and fertility. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2017;114:E1018-1026 PMID:28049832


Clark NC, Pru CA, Yee SP, Lydon JP, Peluso JJ, Pru JK. Conditional ablation of progesterone receptor membrane component 2 causes female premature reproductive senescence. Endocrinology 2016;158:640-651. PMID:28005395


McCallum ML, Pru CA, Niikura Y, Yee SP, Lydon JP, Peluso JJ, Pru JK. Conditional ablation of progesterone receptor membrane component 1 results in subfertility in the female and development of endometrial cysts. Endocrinology 2016;157:3309-3319. PMID: 27309940


Clark NC, Friel AM, Pru CA, Zhang L, Shioda T, Rueda BR, Peluso JJ, Pru JK. Progesterone receptor membrane component 1 promotes survival of human breast cancer cells and growth of xenograft tumors. Cancer Biol Ther 2016;17:262-271. PMID:26785864


Dey S, Chamero P, Pru JK, Chien MS, Ibarra-Soria X, Spencer KR, Logan DW, Matsunami H, Peluso JJ, Stowers L. Cyclic regulation of sensory perception by a female hormone alters behavior. Cell 2015;161:1334-1344. PMID: 26046438


Friel AM, Zhang L, Pru CA, Clark NC, McCallum ML, Blok LJ, Shioda T, Peluso JJ, Rueda BR, Pru JK. Progesterone receptor membrane component 1 deficiency attenuates growth while promoting chemosensitivity of human endometrial xenograft tumors. Cancer Lett 2015;356:434-442. PMID:25304370


Pru JK, Clark NC. PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 in uterine physiology and disease. Front Neurosci. 2013;7:168. PMID: 24065879


Patterson AL, Pru JK. Long-term label retaining cells localize to distinct regions within the female reproductive epithelium. Cell Cycle. 2013;12:2888-2898. PMID: 24018418


Patterson AL, Zhang L. Arango NA, Teixeira J, Pru JK. Mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition contributes to endometrial regeneration following natural and artificial decidualization. Stem Cell Dev. 2013;22:962-974. PMID: 23216285


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