Sameer Mohammad Pages 771 - 775 ( 5 )
Besides being an important source of fuel and structural components of biological membranes, free fatty acids (FFAs) are known to display a wide variety of roles that include modulation of receptor signaling and regulation of gene expression among many. FFAs play a significant role in maintaining metabolic homeostasis by activating specific G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) in pancreatic β cells, immune cells, white adipose tissue, intestine and several other tissues. Free Fatty acid receptor 2 (FFAR2) also known as GPR43 belongs to this group of GPCRs and has been shown to participate in a number of important biological activities. FFAR2 is activated by short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as acetate, propionate and butyrate. SCFAs are formed in the distal gut by bacterial fermentation of macro-fibrous material that escapes digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract and enters the colon and have been shown to play vital role in the immune regulation and metabolic homeostasis. FFAR2 and other free fatty acid receptors are considered key components of the body’s nutrient sensing mechanism and targeting these receptors is assumed to offer novel therapies for the management of diabetes and other metabolic disorders. This review aims to summarize the current state of our understanding of FFAR2 biology with a particular focus on its role in metabolic homeostasis.
Free fatty acid receptors, gut microbiota, insulin resistance, metabolic homeostasis, short chain fatty acids, type 2 diabetes.
Department of Experimental Medicine, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.