Michael Yin, Class of 2014
Completed research 05/2013
Dr. Elam, Department of Cardiology and Department of Pharmacology
Time spent: average of 35 hours/week for 4 weeks
Briefly, this lab is trying to map out the molecular pathways of the effects of insulin on the SREBP-1c protein (sterol regulatory element binding protein, a transcriptional factor promoting fatty acid synthesis. It is known that insulin promotes fatty acid synthesis by binding to its receptor and phosphorylating numerous downstream proteins. One or more of these proteins in turn phosphorylates the precursor SREBP-1c protein and enhances its processing to the mature, active form. We have identified more than 20 phosphorylation sites on the precursor SREBP protein and are now observing how the processing of this protein from its precursor to its active form will be affected by modulating these phosphorylation sites. We can then develop agents that can block some of the mediators and reduce liver fatty synthesis. My project focused on transfecting hepatocytes with plasmids that contain the single point mutation that either constitutively activated or silenced phosphorylation sites. I then determined the level of both the precursor SREBP and the mature form, nSREBP within the transfected cells.