Gage Stuttgen, Biochemistry Graduate Student has Manuscript Published in Endocrinology Research Journal
Gage Stuttgen, Biochemistry Graduate Student, along with his mentor Dr. Daisy Sahoo, authored "FFAR4: A New Player in Cardiometabolic Disease?", which was published in the August edition of Endocrinology.
Free fatty acids (FFAs) are implicated in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases that include obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and cardiovascular disease (CVD). FFAs serve as ligands for free fatty acid receptors (FFARs) that belong to the family of rhodopsin-like G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and are expressed throughout the body to maintain energy homeostasis under changing nutritional conditions. Free fatty acid receptor 4 (FFAR4), also known as G protein-coupled receptor 120 (GPR120), is a long-chain fatty acid receptor highly expressed in adipocytes, endothelial cells, and macrophages. Activation of FFAR4 helps maintain metabolic homeostasis by regulating adipogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation. Furthermore, dysfunction of FFAR4 is associated with insulin resistance and obesity in both humans and mice, making FFAR4 an attractive therapeutic target for treating or preventing metabolic diseases. While much of the previous literature on FFAR4 has focused on its role in obesity and diabetes, recent studies have demonstrated that FFAR4 may also play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis and CVD. Most notably, FFAR4 activation reduces monocyte-endothelial cell interaction, enhances cholesterol efflux from macrophages, and reduces lesion size in atherogenic mouse models. Our review focuses on the role of FFAR4 in metabolic diseases and highlights an underappreciated role of FFAR4 in the development of atherosclerosis and CVD. Additionally, this review was deemed significant and was accepted for commentary.