Scientific highlights

13.05.2020

New mechanism to boost metabolism

Scientists at the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity have discovered a new signaling mechanism for the regulation of energy metabolism in brown adipose tissue.

The team led by PD Dr. Timo Müller discovered a new signaling mechanism on the regulation of energy consumption in brown adipose tissue. In contract to white fat, which stores energy, brown fat specializes in the burning of fat. In Nature Communications, the scientists describe how a protein called p62 regulates energy consumption in brown adipose tissue. Malfunction of this mechanism led to massive obesity, glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes in the animal model. Further studies will investigate whether new drugs could be developed to target this new signaling mechanism in the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. If the "good"brown fat is activated, the metabolism is stimulated and the "bad" white fat pads are reduced."This could be achieved by specifically stimulating this new signaling mechanism", said Timo Müller.

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Katrin Fischer et  al: The scaffold protein p62 regulates adaptive thermogenesis through ATF2 nuclear target activation. Nature Communications 11, 2306 (2020) doin.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16230-8