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Latest epidemic? High cholesterol, obesity in fruit flies
Date:12/2/2009

in which DHR96 was silenced, TAG levels were markedly reduced in the intestine, making the insects resistant to diet-induced obesity. But when DHR96 was overexpressed, meaning there were higher levels of the protein, it led to increased TAG levels and made the flies more prone to being overweight. These findings show that DHR96 is required for breaking down dietary fat in the intestine of fruit flies and provide insight into how dietary fat metabolism is regulated in Drosophila.

"This nuclear receptor plays a major role in sensing and regulating cholesterol and TAG uptake in the intestine in fruit flies," Thummel says. "It functions similarly to the way LXR functions in humans, although we have a relatively poor understanding about how LXR controls these pathways."

In his future studies, Thummel intends to learn more about how DHR96 regulates metabolism by studying the functions of the genes that it controls.


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Contact: Phil Sahm
phil.sahm@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-2517
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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