Shingo Kajimura lab

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This week we profile a recent publication in Developmental Cell from the lab of Dr. Shingo Kajimura (pictured, back row, third from left) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus?

My lab aims to understand the molecular mechanisms of bioenergetics in physiology and disease, with a focus on metabolic disease.

What is the significance of the findings in this publication?

Mammals have an inducible form of thermogenic fat, a.k.a. beige adipocytes, that is highly regulated by certain external stimuli, such as cold acclimation, cachexia, burn injury, and others. How such diverse stimuli induce beige fat biogenesis (often called the “browning” of white fat) is poorly understood. This work identified the common pathway – fat lipolysis – that is required for beige fat biogenesis in response to cold acclimation and burn injury. Specifically, lipolysis-derived linoleic acid is the major mediator that triggers the proliferation of beige fat progenitors.

What are the next steps for this research?

With this work in mind, we aim to manage beige fat biogenesis in pathophysiology, e.g., burn-induced hypermetabolic state.

If you’d like to mention your funding sources, please list them.

This work is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and NIH.

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