Chewing the fat: lipid metabolism and homeostasis during M. tuberculosis infection

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems; UMass Metabolic Network



Document Type



Biochemistry | Cell Biology | Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Microbiology | Molecular Biology


The interplay between Mycobacterium tuberculosis lipid metabolism, the immune response and lipid homeostasis in the host creates a complex and dynamic pathogen-host interaction. Advances in imaging and metabolic analysis techniques indicate that M. tuberculosis preferentially associates with foamy cells and employs multiple physiological systems to utilize exogenously derived fatty-acids and cholesterol. Moreover, novel insights into specific host pathways that control lipid accumulation during infection, such as the PPARgamma and LXR transcriptional regulators, have begun to reveal mechanisms by which host immunity alters the bacterial micro-environment. As bacterial lipid metabolism and host lipid regulatory pathways are both important, yet inherently complex, components of active tuberculosis, delineating the heterogeneity in lipid trafficking within disease states remains a major challenge for therapeutic design.

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Citation: Curr Opin Microbiol. 2016 Feb;29:30-6. doi: Epub 2015 Nov 3. Link to article on publisher's site

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