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Scientists closer to finding what causes the birth of a fat cell
Date:8/16/2010

is certainly related to the types and amounts of foods people consume. But how the body responds to this can differ from one person to another, and could be related to some abnormalities in these protein interactions. The amount consumed may not be the only reason behind obesity. With this study, we started to understand how protein levels and complex molecular interactions in the body may influence the development of fat cells."

The research is published in a recent issue of the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

Coskun, a mathematician, began this project by reading hundreds of journal articles about the biology behind the transition of preadipocytes into adipocytes, or fat cells. He identified 16 proteins that appeared to be the most active in the process.

He and the research group, a team of math and biology experts, narrowed that number to three high-impact proteins as a starting point. Coskun then designed differential equations based on the biological model that would show how the pre-fat cells behaved under a variety of conditions, depending on the proteins' activity.

The three proteins are NF-kB, PPAR-gamma and cyclin D. NF-kB initiates inflammation in tissue. PPAR-gamma must be present for adipogenesis, or the creation of fat cells, to occur. And cyclin D is responsible for cell proliferation, or copying and growth, in almost all cells, including pre-fat cells and fat cells.

"The three target proteins of this initial model are the most commonly studied, but their mutual relationships in relation to the creation of fat cells are still not well-known, so we are putting their roles together to see how they contribute to fat cell determination for the first time, as far as we know, in the literature," Coskun said.

The mathematical equations in which these three protein levels were manipulated resulted in a model that helped define the conditions under which pre-fat cells would remain dormant, start copy
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Contact: Huseyin Coskun
hcoskun@mbi.ohio-state.edu
614-688-3493
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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