Sivitz awarded $1.26M to continue study of brown fat

William Sivitz, MD, Emeritus Professor in Endocrinology and Metabolism, received a four-year, $1.26M grant from the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. His project, “UCP1 and the Regulation of Mitochondrial Respiration in Brown Adipose Tissue by Oxaloacetate,” will examine the metabolic control of the citric acid cycle in brown fat. 

Sivitz recently discovered how low membrane potential in mitochondria can lead to accumulation of oxaloacetic acid (OAA) and consequent inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase and of mitochondrial respiration. 

“The focus is upon the role of a mitochondrial metabolite called oxaloacetic acid in controlling respiration and upon how mitochondrial OAA content is regulated,” Sivitz said. “Our project should improve our understanding of the clinical issue of obesity and its complications, since improved knowledge of brown adipose tissue physiology will add to our knowledge of whole-body energetics.”

Sivitz’s new study will build on his previous research published in the Federation of American Society for Experimental Biology Journal and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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