Nutrient: Gene Interactions

Nutrient: Gene Interactions

There is increasing recognition that nutrients have the capacity to directly regulate metabolic processes through impacting on the expression of enzymes, receptors, hormones and other proteins. As such they can impact on growth, ageing and susceptibility to non-communicable diseases. Our interests span the impact of macro- and micro-nutrients on food intake, tissue differentiation, growth and repair and diseases processes such as atherosclerosis and muscular-skeletal degeneration. A greater understanding of such nutrient: gene interactions should lead to improved nutritional advice and pharmacological interventions to maintain lifelong health and prevent, or delay the onset of, chronic diseases commonly associated with the aging process.

Nutrient Gene Interactions


Application of molecular techniques it elucidating the impact of nutrients on disease processes.




Key aims and expertise

The group has significant experience of applying biochemical, molecular, cell biology and systems biology expertise to problems including:

  • Impact of dietary fatty acids on lipoprotein metabolism and atherogenesis
  • Regulation of food intake and adiposity
  • Regulation of muscle and adipose tissue growth and development
  • Impact of micronutrients on gene/protein expression in in cell culture systems

Current projects

Regulation of hepatic lipid metabolism (funded by MRC in collaboration with Prof Victor Zammit, University of Warwick) – looking at impact of dietary fatty acids on triacylglycerol synthesis and secretion in the liver.

Regulation food intake and energy expendiuture (funded by BBSRC)- Interaction between nutrients and specific peptides in hypothalamic regulation of food intake and energy expenditure.

Role of micronutrients in regulating cell growth and differentiation.

Significant results

  • The effects of dietary fatty acids on lipid metabolism are, in part, mediated through modulating the activity of Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins.
  • Dietary polyphenols (Resveratrol, Quercetin and EGCG) alter expression of key blood pressure-related genes in vascular endothelial cells.
  • Different VGF-derived peptides have opposing effects on hypothalamic control of food intake and energy expenditure. 

Nutrient Gene Interactions

The University of Nottingham
31 North Laboratory, Sutton Bonington Campus
Loughborough, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 6120