Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

COPI Complex Is A Regulator Of Lipid Homeostasis

Date:
November 24, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
New research investigates some of the mysteries surrounding how our bodies store and release fat. Understanding lipid storage and use is important in tackling obesity and other metabolic disorders, and the researchers identify a cellular pathway that regulates lipid storage, and show that interrupting it can reduce the amount of fat sequestered by our cells.

Magazine articles describing ways to burn fat, lose weight, etc. are omnipresent in Western culture, but science's understanding of the way fat is stored in the cells of the human body is rather slimmer. In this week's issue of PLoS Biology, a new paper by Dr. Mathias Beller, Carole Sztalryd, and colleagues investigates some of the mysteries surrounding how our bodies store and release fat.

Understanding lipid storage and use is important in tackling obesity and other metabolic disorders, and the authors identify a cellular pathway that regulates lipid storage, and show that interrupting it can reduce the amount of fat sequestered by our cells.

Fat is a major source of energy, and humans must consume a certain amount daily to remain healthy. Excess fat is stored in the cells of the body by converting the fatty acids found in food into droplets. These droplets then sit within a cell until the energy contained is required. The processes that create droplets and break them down again have previously been poorly understood. New work, led by Dr. Brian Oliver, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in the USA, has identified some of the proteins that regulate the process, using first fruitflies and then mice, and have also identified chemicals that can perturb the pathway.

One protein family already know to be essential to lipid storage are the PAT proteins, which sit on the outside of the lipid droplet. Dr. Oliver and colleagues have identified another, somewhat surprising, key player – COPI (Coat Protein Complex I) transport complex, - already known to have a separate role in trafficking cellular components. The new study shows that PAT proteins are regulated by COPI; COPI acts to change the composition of the lipid droplet surface, attracting an enzyme called ATGL, which causes the droplet to be broken down. Therefore, COPI reduces the amount of lipid stored in a cell, releasing energy for movement and other activities. COPI acts to reduce the amount of PAT at the lipid droplet surface. An absence of some of the PAT proteins in mice or flies lead to lean animals, whereas greater than average expression of these proteins led to obese animals.

The authors found that COPI and PAT proteins have the same roles in energy storage in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and in mammals such as mice and humans. This study hopes to open up further study of lipids and exploration of therapeutic possibilities for treating obesity and other metabolic disorders.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Beller et al. COPI Complex Is a Regulator of Lipid Homeostasis. PLoS Biology, 2008; 6 (11): e292 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060292

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "COPI Complex Is A Regulator Of Lipid Homeostasis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124203709.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, November 24). COPI Complex Is A Regulator Of Lipid Homeostasis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124203709.htm
Public Library of Science. "COPI Complex Is A Regulator Of Lipid Homeostasis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124203709.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. 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