February 2013

The role of frataxin in the neurological disorder Friedreich ataxia

In a recent “Paper of the Week” in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, a team led by Elena Hidalgo at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain identified a frataxin homologue in the mitochondria of fission yeast.


Antipsychotics and their adverse metabolic effects

Alberto Canfrán-Duque and colleagues at Hospital Ramón y Cajal in Madrid compared the effects of three atypical antipsychotics with those of a first-generation antipsychotic on intracellular lipid metabolism in three human cell lines. The team’s in vitro results indicated that all four drugs reduced de novo cholesterol biosynthesis, which seems to fly in the face of all the negative metabolic issues experienced by patients.


Where do sperm cells get their energy?

For decades, researchers have been debating whether sperm cells get their fuel, molecules of ATP, from mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation or glycolysis. In a recent Molecular & Cellular Proteomics paper, a group of researchers described a series of experiments that seem to suggest that, apart from the ATP derived from sugars, sperm may also get their ATP from fatty acids metabolized in mitocondrial and peroxisomal pathways.

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