Team Finds On-off Switch to Burning Stored Fat
Targeted News Service
Scientists this week reported that a molecular pathway called mTORC1 controls the conversion of unhealthy white fat into beige fat, an appealing target for increasing energy expenditure and reducing obesity. The team, led by researchers from the School of Medicine at
The finding could inform development of novel diabetes and obesity drugs, the scientists said. The study is reported in this month's issue of Cell Metabolism and was selected as the highlighted featured article.
Grb10 is stimulated by cold stress, which causes the body to burn energy. ""We know that if we want to keep our body lean, we have to get rid of extra nutrients in the body, which means burning more energy," said senior author
"Understanding how beigeing is controlled is so very important because if we can improve energy expenditure, we can reduce obesity," Dr. Liu said.
Adipose (fat) tissues, which include white adipose tissue and brown adipose tissue, are important regulators of metabolism. Having too much white adipose tissue and not burning it off through exercise or other energy expenditure is associated with obesity and metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
"Normally when we eat something, we store it in white fat," said co-author
The mTORC1 pathway is also involved in aging, cardiovascular disease and cancer, so identifying the regulator of this pathway, Grb10, should be very informative for researching other fields, Dr. Liu said.
Drs. Liu and Dong also are members of the
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