CD36-mediated CoQ uptake is integral to normal BAT function
CoQ is an essential molecule in the electron transport chain (ETC) which acts as an electron carrier to help generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the mitochondria. Therefore, without CoQ or under conditions of severe CoQ deficiency, the redox reactions required for efficient energy production are greatly hampered. The inordinately high levels of mitochondria in brown adipose tissue (BAT) also suggest that a CoQ deficiency could negatively and significantly impact the unique BAT function of thermoregulation through nonshivering thermogenesis. Defective BAT function could then lead to excess fat deposition, obesity, and other serious metabolic diseases. This summer, I will be exploring the scavenger receptor protein CD36 as a fatty acid transporter and its role in facilitating CoQ uptake into cells. I will be using BAT-specific CD36 Knockout mice to improve understanding of the physiological effects of CoQ deficiency in BAT, and subsequently, its effects on overall metabolic health. We aim to better characterize the mechanism and regulation of exogenous CoQ uptake, which have potential for widespread and beneficial health impact.
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- Major: Integrative Biology