Compartmentalized Metabolism – University of Copenhagen

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Compartmentalized Metabolism research

The desire to understand metabolism and its regulation dates back several centuries, but regardless of the vast invested research efforts, it still today remains elusive. I believe that one of the reasons may be the lack of important information to reach full understanding, a lack of an integrative approach towards cellular processes. 

Today's science is mainly based on snapshots of a limited number of variables of the system at determined time points. As stated by Ludwig von Bertalanffy in The General System Theory, contemporary science should recognize the importance of "Wholeness". One of the rather ignored important variables of metabolic regulation is intracellular compartmentalization. Read about the research background


Intracellular compartmentalization as a regulator of Metabolism

Our research focuses on investigating the role of intracellular compartmentalization of cellular processes on their regulation. Our group has described several novel regulatory mechanisms by which cells regulate metabolic pathways through the compartmentalization of substrates, enzymes and signaling molecules (e.g. Gathering of glycogen related enzymes on a spherical structure formed in cells with critically low levels of glycogen to increase re-synthesis efficiency (Prats et al. 2006 and 2009), insulin stimulation signaling travels through the transverse tubuli membrane towards the inner regions of muscle fibers (Lauritzen et al. 2006), and Hormone Sensitive Lipase needs to translocate to the lipid droplets surface in order to utilize skeletal muscle triacylglycerides (Prats et al 2006). Recently, using high resolution confocal micrsocopy, our group has reported severe morphological alterations in the quality of skeletal muscle lipid droplets and mitochondrial networks in subjects with morbid obesity, alterations that are reversed with surgery-induced weight loss and linked to improvements in insulin sensitivity ( Kristensen et al 2018).

The already existing images can be relocated around and the instead of the titles on top of image we can have the list under:

Research areas

  1. Lipid droplets coating by PLINs and morphological integrity
  2. Mitochondrial networks structural organization and dynamics. Link to organelle function
  3. Glycogen storage quality and role of intracellular compartmentalization in the regulation of glycogen metabolism
  4. Microscopy – super resolution structured illumination microscopy to investigate intracellular structure of compartments and their interaction
  5. Carnitine transporter OCTN2, regulation by insulin and effects of severe mutations on whole body health

For more information on this area, please contact Clara Prats