Regulating metabolism of fat is an important challenge for any animal, from nematodes to humans. Central players in the regulatory network are the nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs), which are transcription factors that turn on or off a set of target genes when bound by specific lipid molecules. In the premier open-access journal PLoS Biology, Keith Yamamoto and colleagues show that the nuclear hormone receptor nhr-49 controls two different aspects of fat metabolism, which interact to form a feedback system controlling the consumption and composition of fats in the nematode.
Regulation of b-oxidation gene expression by nhr-49. Photo: Keith Yamamoto et al.
Using RNAi to suppress gene expression, the researchers discovered that when nhr-49 was absent, the lifespan of the nematode was reduced by more than 50%, and the animal displayed numerous gross abnormalities in the gut and gonad. This was accompanied by unusually high fat content in the larvae. They further showed that deletion of nhr-49 changed expression of 13 genes related to fat and glucose metabolism, with the most dramatic effects occurring within two metabolic pathways: mitochondrial lipid oxidation and fatty acid desaturation.
Following up on these changes in gene expression, Yamamoto and colleagues show that in its normal actions, nhr-49 sets in motion two opposing pathways: it increases expression of a gene acs-2, which leads to reduction of fat content, and it increases expression of another gene fat-7, which, by reducing acs-2, increases fat content. In its function, nhr-49 resembles a mammalian NHR, called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). Further investigation of this link may lead to better understanding of the functions of PPARs and provide opportunities for altering their function for treatment of fat metabolism disorders such as diabetes and obesity.
Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences