Abstract: Novak & Piontkivska

Probing the active kinome to understand brain regulation of thermogenesis

Colleen Novak, (Biological Sciences, Kent State University) and Helen Piontkivska, (Biological Sciences, Kent State University)

Increasing the capacity for thermogenesis has implications for modulating energy balance. We have demonstrated that exposure to predator threat provokes muscle thermogenesis, and that this is driven by modulation of the sympathetic nervous system by the brain, specifically the ventromedial hypothalamic region (VMH). The ability of threatening contextual cues like predator odor to elevate muscle temperature is rapid, with muscle temperature increasing within 2 to 5 min after exposure to the predator odor, implicating mechanisms that do not rely on transcription and translation of new proteins. Phoshorylation by protein kinases is key to intracellular communication. To probe potential kinase signaling mechanisms involved in the ability of the VMH facilitate a rapid response to predator threat, we employ kinomics arrays along with bioinformatics data analysis platforms to measure kinase activity. Here, we will identify altered kinase activity of tyrosine kinases and serine-threonine kinases within the rat VMH after exposure to predator odor. The active kinome of the skeletal muscle cells will also be probed. This study will create a high-yield dataset to elucidate changes in brain and muscle signaling involved in muscle thermogenesis. Additionally, the study provides the opportunity to involve students in research.