Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Fat-specific protein 27 and Intermittent fasting

I was alerted to this study recently whereby Intermittent fasting upregulates something called Fat specific protein 27 ( fsp27 ) in lipid droplets.

First, what is a lipid droplet?

Its basically a car-park for triglyceride inside cells, its classified as an organelle, and its where all the triglyceride goes for long term storage. The lipid droplet is surrounded by a phospholipid monolayer along with protein linking chains, one type of the proteins is called fsp27

What does Fat-specific protein 27 do?

Well it would appear that research is ongoing at the moment, a pubmed search of fsp27 yields only a small number of reports. But what we have so far seems to indicate that it is involved in the merging of smaller lipid droplets into larger ones. If you look at this study you can see pictures of fat cells with both small and large amounts of fsp27. In the cells with alot of fsp27, the lipid droplets are enlarged, and merged. The study also reports increased mitochondria in cells that have relatively little fp27, and they have many many small lipid droplets.

I should point out though that the form of intermittent fasting in the study mentioned above was an extreme version, 3 days on 3 days off. As im aware, that is a far cry from what many people practice normally.

Anyway, another study was able to show that fsp27 knockout causes fragmentation of lipid droplets, resulting in increased energy expenditure. They have some colorful cartons to show how it works.

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