Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Understanding How Obese Fat Cells Work

Date:
August 30, 2007
Source:
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Summary:
In obese individuals, fat cells are bloated and inflamed because they receive too many nutrients, including lipids. In these cells, various components cannot work properly anymore and, instead, they activate new proteins to cope with the situation. One of the most challenged organelles in obese fat cells is a maze-like compartment called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that makes proteins and lipid droplets and senses the amount of nutrients that enter the cell.

In obese individuals, fat cells are bloated and inflamed because they receive too many nutrients, including lipids. In these cells, various components cannot work properly anymore and, instead, they activate new proteins to cope with the situation. One of the most challenged organelles in obese fat cells is a maze-like compartment called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that makes proteins and lipid droplets and senses the amount of nutrients that enter the cell.

Margaret F. Gregor and Gokhan S. Hotamisligil review current knowledge about how the ER works in fat cells and is modified in obesity. They show that when a fat cell receives too many nutrients, the ER is overwhelmed and triggers a process called the unfolded protein response (UPR). This process is one of many cellular responses that activate proteins that increase inflammation and can even result in the death of the cell. UPR also causes insulin resistance, a condition in which the production and function of insulin -- a hormone produced by the pancreas -- is impaired and blood sugar is too high.

The scientists show that by better understanding how the ER works, it may be possible to devise a therapy that enhances the function of the ER and maybe improve the health of obese people. Already, two molecules that protect the ER from obesity-related stress have shown some success in mice. Called PBA and TUDCA, the molecules decreased blood sugar and insulin levels and improved overall response to insulin production.

ER stress may also be reduced by targeting molecules involved in the UPR process. For example, a drug called Salubrinal was recently shown to inhibit one of the UPR-involved molecules and to protect cells from ER stress-induced cell death. Also, there is emerging evidence that anti-diabetic drugs may also work, at least in part, through this mechanism.

A deeper knowledge of how fat cells become dysfunctional will be critical in devising successful therapies in the future, the scientists conclude.

Article: "Adipocyte stress: the endoplasmic reticulum and metabolic disease," by Margaret F. Gregor and Gokhan S. Hotamisligil


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "Understanding How Obese Fat Cells Work." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070827184840.htm>.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. (2007, August 30). Understanding How Obese Fat Cells Work. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070827184840.htm
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "Understanding How Obese Fat Cells Work." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070827184840.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins