Navigation Links
The making of a fat cell

A new study reveals critical molecular events in the origin of fat cells. The findings are central to understanding chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, as fat cells produce hormones critical for metabolic control, the researchers said.

The study finds that a hormonal cocktail routinely used in the lab induces a key genetic switch in the transition from fat-cell precursors to full-blown fat, researchers at University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute report in the September Cell Metabolism.

"The body needs fat cells, both as a storage depot for fuel and as cells that sense hormonal and energy status and in response, secrete hormones that maintain whole-body energy balance," said study author Alan Saltiel. "However, you don't want too many, big fat cells. It's a careful balance, and many diseases are associated with either extreme."

Lipodystrophies are disorders characterized by fat deficiency, Saltiel said. While obesity and lipodystrophy represent opposite ends of the spectrum, both are characterized by other metabolic disorders, such as insulin resistance, he added.

The generation of fat begins before birth and continues throughout life. The first step in fat production involves proliferation of mesenchymal stem cells, followed by differentiation into fat cell precursors called preadipocytes. Mesenchymal stem cells can differentiate into various cell types, including bone, cartilage, muscle, nerve, and fat.

Fat precursor cells then migrate and proliferate at the site of fat production, where they differentiate further to become spherical adipocytes.

"The multistep process is regulated by numerous hormones and is accompanied by dramatic changes in cell shape and gene expression," Saltiel said.

The team identified changes in the activity of hundreds of genes during the transition to fat cells, including a critical switch in gene activity--from integrin alpha 5 to integrin alpha 6. That switch allows preadipocytes to cease dividing and cluster, forming bona fide fat cells.

Integrins are a superfamily of cell surface proteins that are involved in binding to the extracellular matrix, a meshwork of protein and fiber supports outside of cells that can influence their behavior.

"Fat cells require contact in order to stretch and change shape--becoming round cells able to accumulate lots of lipids," said Saltiel. "Many things happen in the generation of fat cells, the transition from one integrin to another is a crucial step."

While there is no evidence as yet to suggest that changes in integrin function underlie metabolic disorders, the fuller understanding of what happens in fat formation opens new avenues for exploration, he said.


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. Drug That Tags Decision-making Areas Of The Brain May Aid
2. Whats really making you sick? Plant pathologists offer the science behind Sick Building Syndrome
3. The making and breaking of microtubules
4. Understanding biases in epidemic models important when making public health predictions
5. Micro RNAs play role in egg making
6. Creationism is not science ?making the case for Darwin at UCL
7. Honeybee decision-making ability rivals any department committee
8. Ten years later, Dolly is still making headlines
9. Microbes compete with animals for food by making it stink
10. New fMRI technology making brain tumor surgery safer
11. Are scientists making progress in being able to regenerate bone tissue?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016   Acuant , the leading ... has partnered with RightCrowd ® to ... Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous Workforce Assurance. ... functional enhancements to existing physical access control ... with an automated ID verification and authentication ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... The global Biometric ... USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according to a ... proliferation and increasing demand in commercial buildings, consumer ... the market growth.      (Logo: ... of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric authentication and ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. ... a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented ... branch project. This collaboration will result in greater ... the credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf ... join the faculty of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ... and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the z-dimension of ... higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. Z-dimension ... of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow cell product ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university ... to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning ... New York City . ... showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the ... MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: