We are working to understand human metabolism and what happens when this biological system breaks down. The problem is more important than ever, given the increasing burden that diabetes and other metabolic dysfunctions have on human health and society.

Alan Saghatelian and collaborators at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center uncovered how lipid metabolism is involved in maintaining bone health. Using a method developed in the Saghatelian lab, the team discovered that cholesterol can bind to a protein called estrogen-related receptor alpha that regulates bone density. This finding, published in Cell Metabolism on January 14, 2016, suggests that drugs commonly used to manage cholesterol levels also impact bone density and points to newer and better drugs to treat bone diseases.

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