Metabolomics: An Essential Tool to Understand the Function of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Alpha

1Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences and The Center for Molecular Toxicology and Carcinogenesis, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA.
Toxicologic Pathology (Impact Factor: 2.14). 11/2012; 41(2). DOI: 10.1177/0192623312466960
Source: PubMed


The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) family of nuclear hormone transcription factors (PPARα, PPARβ/δ, and PPARγ) is regulated by a wide array of ligands including natural and synthetic chemicals. PPARs have important roles in control of energy metabolism and are known to influence inflammation, differentiation, carcinogenesis, and chemical toxicity. As such, PPARs have been targeted as therapy for common disorders such as cancer, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes. The recent application of metabolomics, or the global, unbiased measurement of small molecules found in biofluids, or extracts from cells, tissues, or organisms, has advanced our understanding of the varied and important roles that the PPARs have in normal physiology as well as in pathophysiological processes. Continued development and refinement of analytical platforms, and the application of new bioinformatics strategies, have accelerated the widespread use of metabolomics and have allowed further integration of small molecules into systems biology. Recent studies using metabolomics to understand PPARα function, as well as to identify PPARα biomarkers associated with drug efficacy/toxicity and drug-induced liver injury, will be discussed.

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