The X factor in liver metabolism

After you eat, your liver switches from producing glucose to storing it. At the same time, a cellular signaling pathway known as the unfolded protein response (UPR) is transiently activated, but it is not clear how this pathway contributes to the liver's metabolic switch.

In this issue of the , researchers led by Phillip Scherer at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center report that activation of the UPR triggers the expression of Xbp1s, a protein that regulates genes needed for the metabolic switch. Scherer and colleagues found that they could induce changes in just by increasing expression of Xbps1.

These results suggest that Xbps1 could play a role in metabolic disease.

More information: The Xbp1s/GalE axis links ER stress to postprandial hepatic metabolism, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2012.

Related Stories

Cellular stress causes fatty liver disease in mice

date Dec 08, 2008

A University of Iowa researcher and colleagues at the University of Michigan have discovered a direct link between disruption of a critical cellular housekeeping process and fatty liver disease, a condition that causes fat ...

In obesity, a micro-RNA causes metabolic problems

date Sep 20, 2012

Scientists have identified a key molecular player in a chain of events in the body that can lead to fatty liver disease, Type II diabetes and other metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity. By blocking ...

Secreted protein sends signal that fat is on the way

date Dec 02, 2008

After you eat a burger and fries or other fat-filled meal, a protein produced by the liver may send a signal that fat is on the way, suggests a report in the December issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press public ...

Endotrophin links obesity to breast cancer progression

date Oct 08, 2012

Fat cells (adipocytes) surround breast tumors and contribute to tumor growth by expressing factors that aid oncogenesis. Col6 is a protein that is highly expressed in adipocytes and its expression is further increased in ...

Recommended for you

Protein may improve liver regeneration

date 13 hours ago

Researchers at UC Davis have illuminated an important distinction between mice and humans: how human livers heal. The difference centers on a protein called PPARα, which activates liver regeneration. Normally, mouse PPARα ...

Female embryos less likely to survive to birth

date 22 hours ago

New research has challenged the prevailing belief that the higher proportion of male babies born in the general population results from a higher proportion of males being conceived. 

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.