2015 Beckman Symposium   

Leah Plasek

Presentation Date:

Leah Plasek

Cellular Mechanisms for Prevention of Lipotoxicity

St. Olaf College


With obesity and some metabolic disorders, high levels of fat in an individual's blood can poison their cells, causing what's known as lipotoxicity. In most cases however, cells are able to protect themselves from lipotoxicity through an unknown process. A series of reactions called a pathway that may be involved was recently discovered. The aim of our work is to assess the role of the pathway in preventing lipotoxicity. We simulated lipotoxic conditions in mouse cells and assessed their ability to protect themselves after blocking the pathway of interest. The pathway was blocked by inhibiting one of its key components ' a protein called ATGL. In our preliminary experiments, doing this had no affect on cell fate. We continue to assess the role of the new pathway in the prevention of lipotoxicity.

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