Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Long Noncoding RNAs Control Development of Fat Cells

15.02.2013
Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a previously unrecognized layer of genetic regulation that is necessary for the generation of undesirable white fat cells. When this regulation is disrupted, white fat cells are unable to accumulate lipid droplets or mature from their precursors.

“We’re trying to figure out what the mechanism is—what it takes to make fat cells,” says Whitehead Founding Member Harvey Lodish, who is also a professor of biology and a professor of bioengineering at MIT. “The obvious reason we’re interested in this is because a lot of people have too many of them.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity—having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher—is a serious healthcare and economic problem in the United States. More than one-third of American adults are obese, a condition that can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. In 2008 obesity-related issues were estimated to cost $147 billion.

All of these problems are caused by an overabundance of white fat cells—adipose tissue cells that store excess energy as fat or lipid droplets. Unlike white fat cells, brown fat cells, which are most prevalent in babies and have a reduced presence in adults, use lipids as fuel to maintain a stable, warm body temperature. Understanding how both types of fat cells are formed and maintained may one day lead to anti-obesity therapies.

In the quest to understand fat-cell generation and maintenance, the Lodish lab scanned mouse fat cells to determine which of the cells’ long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are active. Of the 175 identified, 10 lncRNAs were found to play significant roles in these cells.

Residing within what was once dubbed “junk DNA”, lncRNAs have recently gained fame as important gene expression regulators that modify chromatin, enhance transcription, and promote messenger RNA (mRNA) degradation, as well as through other methods that have yet to be elucidated. Recently, the Lodish lab identified lncRNAs as playing a vital role in regulating programmed cell death during one of the final stages of red blood cell differentiation.

To determine the function of the identified active lncRNAs in fat cells, Lei Sun, a former postdoctoral researcher in the Lodish lab, and Loyal Goff from Harvard University and the Broad Institute, knocked each lncRNA down individually in fat precursor cells and analyzed the results. When 10 of these lncRNAs had reduced expression, the cells did not turn on the genes that are usually expressed in mature white fat cells, and the cells had significantly smaller lipid droplets than white fat cells with normal lncRNA expression. Their work is reported in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“This is the first study showing the importance of lncRNAs for the regulation of adipogeneis,” says Sun, who is now an assistant professor at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. “Our understanding of lncRNA function in these cells is still incomplete, but in the future, this line of research may reveal new pathways that obesity drugs could target.”

This research was supported by National Institutes of Health (DK047618, DK068348, 5P01HL066105, and 1DP2OD00667), National Science Foundation, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Agency of Science, Technology and Research, Singapore, Searle Scholars Program, Smith Family Awards Program, and Merkin Family Foundation.

Written by Nicole Giese Rura

Harvey Lodish’s primary affiliation is with Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, where his laboratory is located and all his research is conducted. He is also a professor of biology and a professor of bioengineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Full Citation:

“Long noncoding RNAs regulate adipogenesis”

PNAS, online the week of February 11, 2013.

Lei Sun (a,1), Loyal A. Goff (b,c,d,1), Cole Trapnell (b,c,1), Ryan Alexander (a,d), Kinyui Alice Lo (a,d), Ezgi Hacisuleyman (b,e), Martin Sauvageau (b,c,e), Barbara Tazon-Vega (b,c), David R. Kelley (b,c), David G. Hendrickson (b,c), Bingbing Yuan (a), Manolis Kellis (c,d), Harvey F. Lodish (a,f,g), and John L. Rinn (b,c,e).

a. Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA 02142
b. Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138
c. The Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142
d. Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
e. Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138
f. Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
g. Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

1. These authors contributed equally to this work.

Nicole Giese Rura | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.wi.mit.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Quasi-sexual gene transfer drives genetic diversity of hot spring bacteria
29.05.2015 | Carnegie Institution

nachricht Scientists use unmanned aerial vehicle to study gray whales from above
29.05.2015 | NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Galapagos-Vulkanismus: Überraschend explosiv

Internationales Vulkanologen-Team präsentiert neue Erkenntnisse zur Eruptions-Geschichte

Vor 8 bis 16 Millionen Jahren gab es im Gebiet der heutigen Galapagos-Inseln einen hochexplosiven Vulkanismus. Das zeigt erstmals die Auswertung von...

Im Focus: Lasers are the key to mastering challenges in lightweight construction

Many joining and cutting processes are possible only with lasers. New technologies make it possible to manufacture metal components with hollow structures that are significantly lighter and yet just as stable as solid components. In addition, lasers can be used to combine various lightweight construction materials and steels with each other. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen is presenting a range of such solutions at the LASER World of Photonics trade fair from June 22 to 25, 2015 in Munich, Germany, (Hall A3, Stand 121).

Lightweight construction materials are popular: aluminum is used in the bodywork of cars, for example, and aircraft fuselages already consist in large part of...

Im Focus: Wie Solarzellen helfen, Knochenbrüche zu finden

FAU-Forscher verwenden neues Material für Röntgendetektoren

Nicht um Sonnenlicht geht es ihnen, sondern um Röntgenstrahlen: Wissenschaftler der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) haben zusammen mit...

Im Focus: Festkörper-Photonik ermöglicht extrem kurzwellige UV-Strahlung

Mit ultrakurzen Laserpulsen haben Wissenschaftler aus dem Labor für Attosekundenphysik in dünnen dielektrischen Schichten EUV-Strahlung erzeugt und die zugrunde liegenden Mechanismen untersucht.

Das Jahr 1961, die Erfindung des Lasers lag erst kurz zurück, markierte den Beginn der nichtlinearen Optik und Photonik. Denn erstmals war es Wissenschaftlern...

Im Focus: Solid-state photonics goes extreme ultraviolet

Using ultrashort laser pulses, scientists in Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have demonstrated the emission of extreme ultraviolet radiation from thin dielectric films and have investigated the underlying mechanisms.

In 1961, only shortly after the invention of the first laser, scientists exposed silicon dioxide crystals (also known as quartz) to an intense ruby laser to...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Potenzial aller Kinder erkennen

29.05.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Cannabis – eine andauernde Kontroverse

29.05.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Frauen können nicht alles haben - Männer aber schon?!

29.05.2015 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Mikhael Subotzky und Patrick Waterhouse erhalten den Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015

29.05.2015 | Förderungen Preise

Potenzial aller Kinder erkennen

29.05.2015 | Veranstaltungsnachrichten

HDT - Sommerakademie 2015 für Entwickler und Ingenieure

29.05.2015 | Seminare Workshops