Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fueling the body on fat: Critical tuning dial for controlling energy found

Date:
January 5, 2011
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Researchers have found what appears to be a critical tuning dial for controlling whole body energy. When energy levels within cells drop, it sets off a series of events designed to increase the amount of calorie-rich dietary fat that the body will absorb.

Researchers have found what appears to be a critical tuning dial for controlling whole body energy, according to a new report in the January issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. When energy levels within cells drop, it sets off a series of events designed to increase the amount of calorie-rich dietary fat that the body will absorb.

Related Articles


This energy reset mechanism is surely critical for survival under natural conditions of scarcity to ensure a steady supply of fuel, the researchers say. Today, many of us who enjoy a Western diet loaded with fat might do better if we could find a way to turn the activity of the so-called AMPK-SRC-2 pathway down.

"Thousands of years ago, this would have been crucial," said Bert O'Malley of Baylor College of Medicine. "Now it's trouble because we eat so much fatty food."

Earlier studies had shown the enzyme AMPK to be an ancient energy sensor. The enzyme causes cells to consume less energy in the form of ATP and to produce more. AMPK also drives appetite.

The new work shows that AMPK also allows for the optimal absorption of the most energy-rich fuel from the diet: fat. That effect of AMPK depends on its activation of SRC-2, a master control gene whose job is to switch other genes on.

When SRC-2 springs into action, it controls genes that lead to the secretion of bile from the gall bladder into the intestine. "You need bile to emulsify and absorb fat," O'Malley explained.

Mice lacking SRC-2 fail to absorb fat normally, they report. Those deficiencies can be corrected by restoring bile acids to the gut.

Together with earlier work, the findings present a "pretty picture" in which SRC-2 is involved in absorbing and storing fat. SRC-2 is also known to play a role in releasing stored glucose from the liver. "It's all about energy accretion, storage and delivery," O'Malley says.

This process takes place on a daily basis even when there is already plenty of fat stored in the body. "It's designed to get in more fat," he says. "Over evolutionary time, when you didn't know when the next meal would be, you really couldn't get enough fat. Now, our next meal is at the corner McDonald's."

The discovery reveals a key mechanism linking the cellular energy state with the whole-body energy state and may ultimately have important clinical implications, the researchers say.

"Obesity is all about fat absorption and storage," O'Malley said. "If you could turn that down, you could have a major effect on a disease that is slowly killing the population." He says his team is now conducting studies in search of SRC-2 inhibitors that might do exactly that.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Atul R. Chopra, Ramakrishna Kommagani, Pradip Saha, Jean-Francois Louet, Christina Salazar, Junghun Song, Jaewook Jeong, Milton Finegold, Benoit Viollet, Franco DeMayo, Lawrence Chan, David D. Moore, Bert W. O'Malley. Cellular Energy Depletion Resets Whole-Body Energy by Promoting Coactivator-Mediated Dietary Fuel Absorption. Cell Metabolism, 2011; 13 (1): 35-43 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2010.12.001

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Fueling the body on fat: Critical tuning dial for controlling energy found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110104133903.htm>.
Cell Press. (2011, January 5). Fueling the body on fat: Critical tuning dial for controlling energy found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110104133903.htm
Cell Press. "Fueling the body on fat: Critical tuning dial for controlling energy found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110104133903.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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