Dissecting Novel Regulatory Pathways Controlling Lipid Homoeostasis

Professor Peng Li
Tsinghua-Peking Center for Life Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing
19 November 2012 - 2:00pm
Rountree Room 356, Biological Sciences Building

Maintenance of lipid homeostasis is achieved by the coordination of lipid metabolism in various tissues, including adipose tissue, liver and skeletal muscle. Disruption of lipid homeostasis often results in the development of metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes, liver steatosis and cardiovascular diseases.

We have shown that CIDE family proteins consisting Cidea, Cideb and Fsp27 (Cidec) are expressed in adipose tissues, liver, kidney and intestine. Animals with their deficiency all display increased whole body energy expenditure and are resistant to diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. CIDE proteins are localized to lipid droplets (LD) and ER, and control lipid metabolism in adipocytes and hepatocytes through regulating AMPK activity, lipolysis, lipid storage and secretion. Our recent analyses suggest that CIDE family proteins are highly enriched at LD-LD contact sites (LDCS) and promote atypical form of LD fusion by initiating a directional lipid transfer from smaller to larger LDs.

In addition, we observed that Cidea could act as a novel transcriptional co-activator with C/EBPβ in mammary glands to control lipid secretion and pup survival. I will discuss the molecular mechanisms underlying CIDE proteins in controlling lipid homeostasis

Professor Peng Li is currently the Dean for Research at the School of Biological Sciences of TsingHua University, one of the top two universities in China. Trained at UCSD and then at Dallas. Her 1997 Cell paper on apoptosome (Cytochrome C, Caspase 3 and APAF1) has been cited ~4500 times to date. Her group recently identified the CIDE family of proteins as the key regulators of fat storage in adipocytes and liver, which led to a series of publications in high profile journals including Nature Medicine, Cell Metabolism and the Journal of Cell Biology.