Scientists from the Institute for Age Research . Leibniz (Germany) discovered the mechanism by which the mTORC1 protein complex controls metabolism in the mammalian body. It controls the transfer of hereditary information from genes to mRNA (gene expression), to proteins of the C / EBPβ group . Removing a short variant of these proteins from mice resulted in them becoming leaner, their metabolism became healthier, and the body’s insulin sensitivity increased . Proteins of the C / EBPβ group belong to the so-called. transcription factors – they control the process of mRNA synthesis on the DNA template (transcription) by binding to specific regions of DNA. In the body, mTORC1 activate signals for incoming nutrients and cell growth. After activation, it begins to control a part of the metabolism called anabolism – this part is responsible for the formation of tissues and cells (remember anabolics that are taken to increase muscle mass). Researchers have been studying the work of this protein complex for a long time, trying to understand the mechanism of regulation of metabolism.
Overeating is thought to lead to hyperstimulation of mTORC1, resulting in metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes. And on the contrary, a diet with calorie restriction reduces its activity. Now we know exactly how this complex controls anabolism. It does this with a transcription factor of the type C / EBPβ, a gene regulator that controls metabolism. In cells, there are two variants of these factors – a long one, which activates genes, and a short one, which suppresses them.
By examining a mutation in mice that suppresses short factor generation, the researchers found that these mice showed better metabolism, had less fat, and were more responsive to insulin and blood glucose levels. In much the same way , the body reacts to restricting calories in food compared to the daily value. But in the case of mutation, the mice did not need restrictions – they ate from the belly and remained slender. The study lays the foundations for innovative strategies to combat the effects of poor metabolism – obesity and type 2 diabetes. Drug suppression of the generation of this type of protein can help treat these ailments.