Molecular Metabolism in the Treebak Group

The Treebak Group investigates the signaling pathways which control cellular and whole-body glucose and lipid homeostasis in cell-based and animal models.

Research focus

The overarching goal is to define the molecular and physiological mechanisms by which dietary compounds, weight loss, and physical activity improve insulin sensitivity to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.

The Treebak Group primary focus area is to investigate the signalling pathways controlling cellular and whole-body glucose and lipid homeostasis in cell-based and animal models. Functional genomics, metabolomics, and epigenetics related methodologies are used to define the physiological role of novel and previously identified candidate genes/proteins associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Main findings

“Perturbations of NAD salvage systems impact mitochondrial function and energy homeostasis in mouse myoblasts and intact skeletal muscle”
Published in American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2018 this study examines the role of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) in maintaining nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)+levels in skeletal muscle and suggest NAMPT deficiency compromises oxidative phosphorylation capacity and alters energy homeostasis in this tissue.

“Dietary fat drives whole-body insulin resistance and promotes intestinal inflammation independent of body weight gain”
Published in Metabolism in 2016 this study uses rDNA amplicon sequencing and real-time PCR to analyze the gut microbiota in mice on high-fat diets and finds that high-fat diets profoundly affected glucose homeostasis, gut inflammatory responses, and gut microbiota composition in the absence of fat mass accretion.

“AMP-activated protein kinase controls exercise training- and AICAR-induced increases in SIRT3 and MnSOD”
Published in Frontiers in Physiology in 2015 this study investigates the role for AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in regulating mitochondrial function and reactive oxygen species handling in skeletal muscle in mice in response to exercise training.

Staff of the Treebak Group

Team leader: Associate Professor Jonas T. Treebak

The Treebak Group