October 2011

Chewing the fat

Metabolic branchpoints 

A developing area of inquiry is how lipids are channeled from biosynthetic or catabolic enzymes to specific fates in different subcellular compartments. Moreover, various proteins serve multiple functions, providing enzymatic activity against lipid substrates while influencing either lipid partitioning or transcription.

In “Metabolic Branchpoints and Lipid Channeling,” Deborah M. Muoio (Duke University) will discuss the relationship between incomplete fat oxidation and the pathophysiology of insulin resistance in muscle as an example of how altered flux of metabolites can perturb energy balance.

Kaveh Ashrafi (University of California, San Francisco) will describe recent whole-organism studies in C. elegans to identify novel pathways and compounds that influence fat storage.

The third speaker, Peter J. Espenshade (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) will examine the regulation of lipid metabolism by cellular sterol levels and hypoxia through modulation of the sterol regulatory element-binding protein pathway in fission yeast.

Lipids and inflammation 

The third session, “Lipid Signaling, Infection, and Atherosclerosis,” will explore the role of cellular lipid metabolism in modulating the host-pathogen interface. Christopher K. Glass (University of California, San Diego) will discuss oxysterols and cholesterol synthesis intermediates as LXR agonists for the regulation of gene expression related to Toll-like receptor signaling in macrophages.

Timothy F. Osborne (Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute) will expand on the link between the regulation of lipogenesis by SREBPs and innate immune pathways crucial for macrophage function.  

Finally, Melanie Ott (The Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology) will describe the role that lipid metabolism plays in the propagation of the hepatitis C virus in the liver.


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