The roles of integrin receptors in adipocyte differentiation

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

The hypothesis to be tested is that two proteins, integrin a5 and integrin a6, work together to control the
formation of fat cells. Obesity is a major health care problem in the United States and is closed associated
with many health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and especially diabetes.
Obesity occurs when energy input exceeds energy expenditure, resulting in more fat cells and larger fat cells.
The first step in fat production involves proliferation of mesenchymal stem cells, followed by differentiation into
fat cell precursors called preadipocytes. Preadipocytes then migrate and proliferate at the site of fat production,
where they differentiate further to become spherical adipocytes. This multi-step process is regulated by
numerous hormones and is accompanied by dramatic changes in cell shape and gene expression. We have
recently identified a critical switch in gene activity from integrin alpha5 to integrin alpha6. That switch allows
preadipocytes to cease dividing and cluster, forming bona fide fat cells. Integrins are cell surface proteins that
are involved in binding to a meshwork of proteins outside of cells that can influence their behavior. Many
things happen in the generation of fat cells and we believe that the transition from one integrin to another is a
crucial step. Here we propose experiments to manipulate those two integrins and examine the effects on the
formation of fat cells. The fuller understanding of what happens in fat formation opens new avenues for
treatment of obesity and diabetes.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/2/088/31/09

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $146,500.00

ASJC

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.