Natural compounds regulate energy metabolism by the modulating the activity of lipid-sensing nuclear receptors.
The nuclear receptor superfamily consists of 48 mammalian transcription factors that regulate nearly all aspects of development, inflammation, and metabolism. Two subclasses, the Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs) and Liver X Receptors (LXRs), are lipid-sensing receptors that have critical roles in lipid and glucose metabolism. The parallel epidemics of obesity and diabetes shine a spotlight on the potential for therapeutic manipulation of PPARs and LXRs to combat these diseases. In recognition of this, a recent Keystone Symposium was devoted to these metabolic receptors. Here, we summarize some of the major highlights and future projections discussed at the meeting.