Relationship between obesity, insulin resistance and cell membrane properties
Introduction and aim. The obesity is one of the greatest public health problems in developing countries and it is a triggering factor for diabetes associated with insulin resistance. The importance of cell membrane lipids as essential regulators of insulin resistance, since changes in the dynamic properties of the cell membrane (e.g., membrane fluidity), could be one of the events by which obesity affects insulin sensitivity. Thus, the insulin resistance may not only be a cause but also a consequence of lipid disorders such as dyslipidemia and/or cell membrane phospholipid composition change. The modification of plasma membrane lipid composition can change membrane biophysical properties and thus influencing protein-lipid interactions, enzymatic activity and regulation of surface receptors. Alterations in the lipid composition modify the fluidity of plasma membranes and the expression of membrane functions, such as receptor binding and enzyme activities. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the effects of the modulation of plasma membrane lipid composition and membrane fluidity in the functionality of membrane proteins involved in insulin activity, including the insulin receptor, glucose transport and Na+/K+ ATPase and, in turn, the key features of the metabolic syndrome.
Material and methods. References for that article were found through PubMed and Google Scholar, using terms: “obesity”, “insulin resistance” and “membrane properties”. The research was limited to abstracts and available full-text articles.
Analysis of the literature. There is a strong relationship between dietary lipids, membrane lipid profiles and insulin resistance. The changes in the dynamic properties of the cell membrane (e.g., membrane fluidity), could be one of the events by which obesity affects insulin sensitivity. The modification of plasma membrane lipid composition can change membrane biophysical properties and thus influencing protein–lipid interactions, enzymatic activity, and regulation of surface receptors. Modifications of membrane phospholipid composition could have a role in the insulin action by altering membrane fluidity and, as a consequence, the insulin signaling pathway.
Conclusion. As conclusion the membrane-lipid therapy approach can be used to treat important pathologies such as obesity and many others diseases such as : cancer, cardiovascular pathologies, neurodegenerative processes, obesity, metabolic disorders, inflammation, and infectious and autoimmune diseases. This pharmacological strategy aims to regulate cell functions by influencing lipid organization and membrane fluidity, inducing a concomitant modulation of membrane protein localization and activity which might serve to reverse the pathological state. Through this review we suggest an in-depth analysis of the membrane lipid therapy field, especially its molecular bases and its relevance to the development of innovative therapeutic approaches.
Ahyayauch H. Relationship between obesity, insulin resistance and cell membrane properties. Eur J Clin Exp Med. 2023;21(2):357–364. doi: 10.15584/ejcem.2023.2.19.
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