Author(s): Varga T, Czimmerer Z, Nagy L
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Abstract Cells are constantly exposed to a large variety of lipids. Traditionally, these molecules were thought to serve as simple energy storing molecules. More recently it has been realized that they can also initiate and regulate signaling events that will decisively influence development, cellular differentiation, metabolism and related functions through the regulation of gene expression. Multicellular organisms dedicate a large family of nuclear receptors to these tasks. These proteins combine the defining features of both transcription factors and receptor molecules, and therefore have the unique ability of being able to bind lipid signaling molecules and transduce the appropriate signals derived from lipid environment to the level of gene expression. Intriguingly, the members of a subfamily of the nuclear receptors, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are able to sense and interpret fatty acid signals derived from dietary lipids, pathogenic lipoproteins or essential fatty acid metabolites. Not surprisingly, Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors were found to be key regulators of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Unexpectedly, later studies revealed that Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors are also able to modulate inflammatory responses. Here we summarize our understanding on how these transcription factors/receptors connect lipid metabolism to inflammation and some of the novel regulatory mechanisms by which they contribute to homeostasis and certain pathological conditions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Translating nuclear receptors from health to disease. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Biochim Biophys Acta
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology