Nutritional Sciences Department
Intestine, assimilation of dietary fat, and energy balance
340a Nutritional Sciences
1415 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706
Cellular & Molecular Metabolism; Physiology
Triacylglycerol (TAG) serves as reserves of substrates for making cell membranes and generating metabolic energy, and its synthesis intermediates may serve as signaling molecules. TAG is essential for many biological processes; however, excessive accumulation of TAG leads to obesity, diabetes, and related metabolic diseases. Our lab examines the physiological functions of enzymes involved in the synthesis of TAG, focusing on acyl:CoA monoacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 and 2 (MGAT1 and MGAT2). We demonstrated that intestinal MGAT2 regulates food intake and, unexpectedly, energy expenditure. We are now using research approaches from classic biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, and systems biology to understand how intestinal lipid metabolism regulates systemic energy balance. Our on-going research has expanded into other functions of MGATs and additional genetic and dietary factors modulating energy balance in the broad context of understanding the mechanisms by which nutrition impacts health and disease.