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Scholars Day 2008, Wednesday, April 9

Regulation of Melanin-concentrating Hormone Receptor Function

Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and its receptor help regulate appetite, however little is known about how cells regulate its activity. MCH receptors (MCHRs) are found in brain, and a peripheral role has been hypothesized in the fat cell. Plasma membrane lipids are known to participate in the organization of signaling molecules and lipid composition of cells can vary depending upon individual fat intake. This suggests MCHR activity could influence the hormonal response of fatty tissue, and that fatty tissue could influence appetite responses. Cytoskeletal interactions may also regulate receptor activity. Knowing how MCHR activity is regulated by cells could be helpful in the design of new treatments for appetite disorders. We utilize cells expressing MCHRs to ask whether MCHR function depends upon caveolae and the actin cytoskeleton. Biochemical techniques and fluorescence microscopy are used to analyze receptor function in hopes of identifying key players in the regulation of MCHR signaling.

Presenter: Laurie Cook (Faculty)
Topic: Biological Sciences
Location: 127 Hartwell
Time: 10:45 am (Session II)