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Telemetric control of peripheral lipophagy by hypothalamic autophagy

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nuria Martinez Lopez, Professor Rajat Singh


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Autophagy maintains cellular quality control by degrading organelles, and cytosolic proteins and their aggregates in lysosomes. Autophagy also degrades lipid droplets (LD) through a process termed lipophagy. During lipophagy, LD are sequestered within autophagosomes and degraded by lysosomal acid lipases to generate free fatty acids that are -oxidized for energy. Lipophagy was discovered in hepatocytes, and since then has been shown to function in diverse cell types. Whether lipophagy degrades LD in the major fat storing cellthe adipocyteremained unclear. We have found that blocking autophagy in brown adipose tissues (BAT) by deleting the autophagy gene Atg7 in BAT MYF5 (myogenic factor 5)-positive progenitors increases basal lipid content in BAT and decreases lipid utilization during cold exposureindicating that lipophagy contributes to lipohomeostasis in the adipose tissue. Surprisingly, knocking out Atg7 in hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons also blocks lipophagy in BAT and liver suggesting that specific neurons within the central nervous system (CNS) exert telemetric control over lipophagy in BAT and liver.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Martinez-Lopez N, Singh R

Publication type: Editorial

Publication status: Published

Journal: Autophagy

Year: 2016

Volume: 12

Issue: 8

Pages: 1404-1405

Print publication date: 01/01/2016

Online publication date: 24/06/2016

Acceptance date: 27/04/2016

ISSN (print): 1554-8627

ISSN (electronic): 1554-8635

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2016.1185578