Détermination du mécanisme d'action de DEPTOR et évaluation de son rôle dans le fonctionnement des tissus et dans le contrôle de l'homéostasie métabolique.

Chercheurs boursiers - Junior 1 | Concours 2012-2013

Mathieu Laplante

Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec


Domaine : Nutrition et métabolisme

Obesity, which is caused by an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure, increases the risk of developing multiple disorders including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemias, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers. Treating obesity through diet and exercise proves to be very difficult in the long term. Therefore, safe molecular strategies aimed at improving metabolism in peripheral tissues represent interesting approaches to treat obesity-related diseases. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a protein that senses nutrients and growth factors and regulate anabolic processes in various organs. Over the last decade, several groups have observed that mTOR activity is elevated in the tissues of obese humans/mice and contributes the promotion of insulin resistance and to the deterioration of glucose/lipid homeostasis. Recently, we have identified DEP domain containing mTOR-interacting protein (DEPTOR) as a protein that binds and inhibits mTOR. The role of DEPTOR in regulating tissue function and systemic glucose/lipid metabolism in the normal state or in obesity is unknown. Whether DEPTOR could affect the metabolic profile of the obese by modulating mTOR activity has never been tested. An important part of this research program aims to determine the implication of DEPTOR in controlling metabolism and to understand its role in the development of obesity related metabolic disorders. We will also use cells in vitro to better understand the molecular mechanisms by which DEPTOR affects cell metabolism and functions and to identify new functions of this protein. We hope this approach will extend our knowledge of DEPTOR biology and will help the development of new therapeutic avenues to treat obesity and its related metabolic disorders.