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C. elegans: A Model for Understanding Lipid Accumulation

Author(s): Ida C. Elle | Louise C.B. Olsen | Mai-Britt Mosbech | Steven V. Rødkær | Dennis Pultz | Sanne G. Boelt | Julius Fredens | Pernille Sørensen | Nils Joakim Færgeman

Journal: Lipid Insights
ISSN 1178-6353

Volume: 1;
Start page: 13;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: lipid accumulation | neuro-endocrine signaling | transcriptional regulation | drug screening

Regulation and coordination of lipid metabolism involve complex interactions between the feeding regulatory centres in the nervous system and the regulated uptake, intracellular transport, storage, and utilization of stored lipids. As energy is essential to all cellular processes, it is thought that complex networks have evolved to ensure survival by maintaining adequate energy reservoirs. However, in times of nutrient abundance and imbalance, improper regulation and coordination of these networks can lead to obesity and other metabolic diseases and syndromes. Obesity genes must be considered as molecular components of such networks which function at an organismal level to orchestrate energy intake and expenditure. Thus, the functions of obesity genes must be understood within the context of these networks in intact animals. Since the majority of genes required for lipid homeostasis are evolutionarily conserved, much information can be obtained relevant to complex organisms by studying simple eukaryotes like C. elegans. Its genetic tractability makes C. elegans a highly attractive platform for identifying lipid regulatory pathways, drugs, and their molecular targets which ultimately will help us to understand the origin of metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Here we briefly present some central aspects of lipid accumulation in C. elegans and discuss its merits as a platform for identification and development of novel bioactive compounds regulating lipid storage.
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Tango Rapperswil
Tango Rapperswil