Fuel homeostasis in mammals is accomplished by the interplay between tissues and organs with distinct metabolic roles. These regulatory mechanisms are disrupted in obesity and diabetes, leading to a renewed emphasis on discovery of molecular and pharmacologic methods for reversing metabolic disorders. In this chapter, we review the use of recombinant adenoviral vectors as tools for delivering metabolic regulatory genes to cells in culture and to tissues of intact animals. Included are studies on the use of these vectors for gaining insights into the biochemical mechanisms that regulate glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic islet β-cells. We also highlight their use for understanding the function of newly discovered genes that regulate glycogen metabolism in liver and other tissues, and for evaluating “candidate” genes such as glucose-6-phosphatase, which may contribute to development of metabolic dysfunction in pancreatic islets and liver. Finally, we discuss the use of adenoviral and related vectors for causing chronic increases in the levels of circulating hormones. These examples serve to highlight the power of viral gene transfer vectors as tools for understanding metabolic regulatory mechanisms.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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