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Role of ABC transporters in gut endocrine K-and L-cells

Energy homeostasis in man: the gut-brain axis
Energy homeostasis in man: the gut-brain axis

Cells are surrounded by an impermeable fatty membrane, and traffic in and out of cells is strictly regulated.  Transporters shuttle compounds from one side of the membrane to the other in a binding pocket.  The largest transporter family in mammals is the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily. 

My group investigates the role of ABC transporters in gut endocrine K-and L-cells.  K- and L-cells are involved in nutrient sensing in the small intestine and the subsequent secretion of peptide hormones.  Peptide hormones GIP and GLP-1 regulate many important physiological responses, such as postprandial insulin release and the suppression of appetite.  Little is known about the function of ABC transporters in gut endocrine cells and my preliminary studies are focussed on establishing a functional link between nutrient sensing, hormone secretion and protein expression.


oxford sparks Big questions podcast: why do diets fail?

"Understanding how humans interact with the food they eat is one of the most pressing and important research questions out there today. Teaching the next generation of doctors makes me aware of how important it is that doctors understand how complex obesity is as a disease. There is a large genetic component to this disease which predisposes individuals to be highly efficient at storing fat, and there are no easy fixes. 

I hope that my podcast managed to explain that it is really hard to lose weight and that the only way we will realistically lose weight, and keep it off, is by choosing to follow a more healthy lifestyle.  If you are ready to change the way you eat permanently, the NHS has fantastic resources to help you on your way.  Personally I loved one of the quotes form a successful dieter who said: ‘The NHS weight loss plan isn't about dieting, it's about changing the way you live.’  This is, of course, no trivial task and I wish everyone who aims to embark on living a healthier life-style in 2020 all the best." (Prof Heidi de Wet)

Click here for the full podcast.


If you're looking to lose weight for a healthier lifestyle, please see the following:

Our team

Understanding the role of little known gene in regulating our metabolism

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