General transcription factors used specifically for regulating lipid metabolism

  • 于洋
  • Published: 2017-04-06
  • 1742

Lipid is the major form of energy storage in organisms. Disorders of lipid storage and lipid metabolism lead to many severe human diseases, such as obesity, fatty liver and diabetes. Lipid droplets (LDs) are main lipid storage structures in most cells. The size of LDs is closely related to different cellular functions or metabolic status. Previous studies have identified numerous regulatory mechanisms of lipid storage and LD dynamics. However, our understanding of the lipid storage network and regulation of LD dynamics is far from clear.

The recent study in Professor Xun Huang’s lab from Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of Chinese Academy of Sciences identified that general transcription factors, including TRF2 and TAF9, regulate LD size and phospholipid fatty acid composition in Drosophila larval fat body. Inactivation of trf2 and taf9 results in larger LDs and increased level of fatty acids with long chain lengths in phospholipids. We found that TRF2 and TAF9 affect these biological processes by modulating the transcription of a common set of genes, including peroxisomal fatty acid -oxidation-related genes and other genes such as eIF2B-Our findings therefore reveal that general transcription factors, which were previously thought to be involved in the transcription of all genes, can play a specific role in lipid homeostasis. The research was published on PLoS Genetics (

Edited by: Sun Yiming