Using genomic biology to study liver metabolism

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The liver plays a central role in coordinating the body's metabolism, including glucose homeostasis, xenobiotic metabolism and detoxification, and steroid hormone synthesis and degradation. Many of the regulatory effects in response to diet initially occur in the liver, which then modulates the activities of other organs in terms of nutrient utilization and metabolism. The health consequences of abnormal liver function are widespread, many of which are not entirely understood. Recent advances in genomic biology, nanotechnology, computer science and related fields have supplied researchers with a powerful set of tools for the laboratory and clinic. Because nutrient status has been proven to be an important factor in health and disease, the use of these tools to identify nutrient-gene interactions and their association with disease has greatly increased over the past decade. Given its great importance to intermediary metabolism, the liver has been one of the primary organs of focus in recent nutrigenomic experiments. This paper will provide a brief synopsis of the recent technological advancements that may be applied to nutrition research, common mechanisms by which nutrients and genes interact with one another, a few examples pertaining to hepatic function, and future directions in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-252
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Gene expression
  • Liver metabolism
  • Nutrigenomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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