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 When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

nachricht WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>