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Seminars and Colloquia


Could FAT combat obesity and associated metabolic disease ? 
Fri, Nov 03, 2017,   03:30 PM to 04:30 PM at Seminar Room 34, 2nd Floor, Main Building

Dr. Sona Rajakumari
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum

Adipose tissue is classified into two main categories: white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). Both depots play a crucial role in regulating energy homeostasis and specifically the transition from a white to brown fat phenotype (brownlike/beige cells) is associated with protection against metabolic disease. However, the brown adipose tissue (BAT) and/or beige fat function declines with age but the underlying molecular link between aging impaired thermogenesis and its impact on metabolic complications are not studied yet. Our research interest also centers on the impact of brown and/or beige fat function on age related obesity and insulin resistance. As reported previously, Early B cell factor 2 (EBF2) is a major transcription factor in brown fat development. However, several unanswered questions relating to lineage commitment and the mechanism by which transcription factors regulate brown fat size, functionality, number and maintenance of pre-adipose stem cells under various metabolic conditions remain elusive. While several research lines dealt with regulation of brown fat development and function, the post transcriptional and RNA processing pathways that regulate the specializations of brown fat prior to or during the differentiation remain largely unknown. We thus identified and validated DEAH (Asp-Glu-Ala-His) box helicase 9 (DHX9) as EBF2 interacting molecule using protein mass spectrometry combined with affinity-based purification. DHX9 is best known for its role in transcription and RNA processing. This particular investigation evokes us to study the molecular function of DHX9 in different stages of brown fat development. The unique feature of our research program is that we will explore both transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of brown adipogenesis and function. Thus, studying the functions and development of brown/beige fat function may provide insights into new treatments/targets for obesity and reducing the risk of metabolic disease.