Most of us are aware of the negative effects of fat on human body and consider it bad. But only few know that there is good fat as well. Human body consists of good and bad fat, in scientific terms- brown adipose and white adipose tissue respectively. Brown adipose tissue is rich in energy producing mitochondria that burns calories whereas white adipose stores energy as big droplets and are present surrounding the visceral organs and under the skin. Excess white adipose tissue leads to obesity hence more of brown fat is potentially good for the body.
A research team led by Prof. Susanne Mandrup from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Southern Denmark identified a protein called KLF11 in fat cells that could be potentially involved in the conversion of white adipose tissue to brown. In their study, the researchers have treated white adipocytes with rosiglitazone, a drug used to treat type II diabetes for reprogramming to brown adipocytes, the process called as turning it ‘brite’ by researchers. The ‘brite’ fat cells showed a distinct gene program to that of white adipose cells.
Rosiglitazone induces the reprogramming of PPARᵧ that leads to the formation of brite-selective PPARᵧ superenhancers. Brite-selective PPARᵧ superenhancers is a complex of proteins binding to the genomic regions responsible for the transcription of brite specific transcripts including the transcriptional regulator KLF11. The initial KLF11 transcripts work in co operation with PPARᵧ, leads to the transcription of brite specific genes resulting in conversion of white adipose to brown. Manipulating this KLF11 could help in the development of potential therapy for the treatment of obesity.
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