PPARa, which stands for Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor alpha, is a receptor that can be found in numerous tissues, including liver, heart and intestine. It reacts to certain drugs by turning on specific genes, yet can also respond to fatty acids and fatty acid look-a-likes. Activation of PPARa is known to lower levels of triglycerides in blood, providing a rationale for their use in patients suffering from altered blood lipid levels.
In their nutrigenomics study, the research team led by Linda Sanderson fed mice individual fatty acids in the form of synthetic triglycerides. Using a technique called microarray, which allows for monitoring the expression of thousands of genes simultaneously, they were able to determine exactly which genes are turned on in the mouse liver and which ones are turned off. The researchers found that the fatty acid DHA has the most significant impact and changes the expression of around 600 genes. DHA is found in fatty fish and fish oil and has been associated with numerous health benefits, including lowering of plasma triglycerides and decreasing blood clotting.
The most remarkable about the study is that the effects of unsaturated fatty acids are almost entirely lost in mice that lack the PPARa receptor.From the literature it is known that numerous receptors can supposedly bind fatty acids and turn on genes. Most of these receptors belong to the family of the so called 'nuclear hormone receptors', which includes receptors that bind steroid hormones and fat soluble vitamins. However, it was unknown how important they are in an actual living animal. The new data show that PPARa is by far the most important.
Many of the genes that are turned on by unsaturated fatty acids are involved in breaking down fatty acids to generate energy. This mechanism likely protects the liver cell from build-up of unsaturated fatty acids, which is harmful to the cell. It also likely accounts for the lowering of plasma triglycerides by fish oil.
Until now, all nutritional interventions with dietary fat in either mice or human subjects involved a mixture of fatty acids. For that reason, it has been very difficult to draw clear conclusions about the effects of individual fatty acids. The mixed nutritional/pharmacological intervention with synthetic triglycerides pursued by Sanderson and colleagues represents a creative and novel way to study the molecular effects of dietary fat. They expect that their approach will set a new standard for many future nutrigenomic studies.
Jac Niessen | alfa
23.03.2017 | Technische Universität München
How prenatal maternal infections may affect genetic factors in Autism spectrum disorder
22.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego
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...
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...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
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...
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...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences