Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Breakthrough in regulating fat metabolism - Body’s fat switch discovered

09.12.2011
Scientists at Warwick Medical School have made an important discovery about the mechanism controlling the body’s ‘fat switch’, shedding new light on our understanding of how proteins regulate appetite control and insulin secretion.

This research, led by Professor Victor Zammit, Head of Metabolic and Vascular Health at Warwick Medical School, found that the enzyme known as ‘Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A’ (CPT1) has a switch which is thrown depending on the composition and curvature of its cellular membrane. This is the first time such a mechanism has been described and may possibly be unique, reflecting the importance of this protein to cellular function.

CPT1 is the key protein that regulates fatty acid oxidation in the liver and is critical for metabolism. Its activity determines whether individuals suffer from fatty liver in one extreme or ketosis in the other.

Professor Zammit explained: “Knowing that the CPT1 enzyme can switch and what controls it will ultimately lead to a better understanding of why some people appear to have a speedy metabolism and others struggle to curb their appetite.

“We are making great inroads to understanding the science behind our metabolism and how at cellular level it changes according to the influence of different factors – be they nutritional or hormonal.”

The importance of this work on clinical practice is that, having discovered the molecular mechanism, it should now be possible to design drugs that flick the switch of CPT1 in one way or the other, depending on the requirements of individual patients and the tissue that needs to be affected. For example, drugs can be developed for patients suffering from diabetic keto acidosis, a condition when insufficient insulin caused the body to start breaking down fat, so that the enzyme is inhibited to oxidize fewer fatty acids.

“This would be a major breakthrough in tackling the obesity crisis we now face,” added Professor Zammit.

The research, conducted in association with the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA has been published in Journal of Biological Chemistry as ‘Paper of the Week’ and the editors considered it to be within the top one percent in terms of significance both to fundamental science and potential clinical importance.

Link to paper: http://www.jbc.org/content/current ref: J. Biol. Chem. 2011 286: e99981. doi:10.1074/jbc.P111.306951

For further information or to arrange interviews, contact Kate Cox, Communications Manager on +44 (0)2476 574255/150483, m: +44(0)7920 531221 or kate.cox@warwick.ac.uk

Kate Cox | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins
12.11.2018 | Technische Universität Berlin

nachricht How to produce fluorescent nanoparticles for medical applications in a nuclear reactor
09.11.2018 | Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

Im Focus: Nanorobots propel through the eye

Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.

Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins

12.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Materials scientist creates fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices

12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

A two-atom quantum duet

12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>