Cristina de Corral ’22
Samantha Otalvaro ’22
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Melissa Silvestrini, Biology
The synthesis, storage, delivery and breakdown of lipids in the cell is crucial for organismal homeostasis. Dysfunction in lipid metabolism can lead to a variety of pathologies including diabetes, heart disease, and even neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s. One common link between these metabolic diseases is the cellular recycling process of autophagy. Autophagy plays a complex role in lipid metabolism as it is required for both lipid storage and breakdown. In C. elegans, loss of autophagy during development impairs production of neutral lipids. Therefore, we aim to determine how the loss of autophagy results in “skinny” worms. We have determined that autophagy-deficient worms have an increase in the expression of Adipose Triglyceride Lipase (ATGL), which we believe is promoting the breakdown of stored lipids. The second messenger cAMP regulates intracellular levels of ATGL. Hence, we will determine if autophagy-deficient animals have increased cAMP levels.
4-22-2020 12:00 AM