Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Expanding waistlines triggered by your genes

05.05.2006


A gene that degrades the body’s collagen infrastructure has been shown to make fat cells fatter and expand girth.

Excess fat is stored in white adipose tissue, the primary energy depot in the body, primarily around the midsection. The gene studied by a University of Michigan team acts as a metabolic scissors, cutting through the collagen tissue matrix that holds fat in place, which allows fat cells to expand beneath the belly.

The collaborative research team, headed by researchers Tae-Hwa Chun, Stephen Weiss, and Alan Saltiel at U-M’s Life Sciences Institute (LSI), discovered that the gene membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) shears the collagen meshwork that holds fat cells in place and frees expanding fat cells, allowing their spread and expansion underneath the skin. The study illustrates a relationship between the gene and obesity and metabolism.



The MT1-MMP gene is specifically important in regulation of fat cell size and metabolic gene expression. When the gene function was deleted, mice became skinny. The fat tissues around their bellies were very small, but the brown adipose tissue, a specialized fat depot to regulate body energy consumption, was unaffected.

Importantly, the research team also discovered that adipocyte differentiation in conventional two-dimensional (2-D) cell culture is different from three-dimensional (3-D) microenvironment taking place inside the complex body. In regular 2-D culture system, the MT1-MMP gene was not necessary, but it becomes a critical metabolic scissors once cells are inside 3-D environment either in collagen gel or in the real tissue of mouse. This finding may fill a gap between conventional 2-D cell biology and 3-D tissue function.

These findings shed new light on adipocyte biology and possibly will provide novel therapeutics to prevent the progression of obesity. The researchers will continue to work on the cellular mechanism of obesity and metabolic diseases from the perspective of 3-D cell biology.

Robin Stephenson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lsi.umich.edu
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>