Eric Klett, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine and Nutrition, Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism

Specialty Areas

General endocrinology with clinical interests in thyroid disease, lipid disorders and transgender medicine; endocrinology education.

Education and Experience

MD: Medical University of South Carolina, 1999; Intern and Resident Internal Medicine: Medical University of South Carolina, 1999-2002; Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Fellowship: Medical University of South Carolina, 2002-2005; Lexington Medical Specialists, 2005-2008; Instructor of Medicine: University of North Carolina, 2008-2010; Assistant Professor of Medicine: University of North Carolina 2010-1/2018; Assistant Professor of Nutrition: University of North Carolina 2015-1/2018; Associate Professor of Medicine and Nutrition: 1/2018-present.

Clinical and Research Interests

Dr. Eric Klett is a physician-scientist whose research interest is in the role of dietary fatty acids, specifically polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and their effects on the development of diabetes mellitus.

Dr. Klett’s research interest is in the role of dietary fatty acid and intra-pancreatic beta-cell fatty acid metabolism on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). Insulin secretion is a complex process initiated by nutrient secretagogues, including glucose and fatty acids. GSIS is augmented by saturated long-chain fatty acids, but is impaired by ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Glucose and fatty acids are essential to GSIS, though the exact molecular mechanism by which specific fatty acids alter GSIS remains unclear. Dr. Klett’s lab is examining the role of the rate-limiting enzymes in glycerolipid synthesis on beta-cell function and how different dietary fatty acids alter these enzymes activities. These studies have significant implications in all disease processes that involve fatty acid metabolism, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Select Bibliography

Klett EL, Chen S, Edin ML, Li LO, Ilkayeva O, Zeldin DC, Newgard CB, Coleman RA. (2013) Diminished acyl-CoA synthetase isoform 4 activity in INS 832/13 cells reduces cellular epoxyeicosatrienoic acid levels and results in impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. J Biol Chem 288(30): 21618-21629. PMID: 23766516.

Grevengoed T, Klett EL, Coleman RA (2014) Acyl-CoA metabolism and partitioning. Ann Rev Nutr 34: 2.1-2.30. PMID 24819326.

Cooper DE, Young PA, Klett EL, Coleman RA. (2015) Physiological Consequences of Compartmentalized Acyl-CoA Metabolism. J Biol Chem. 290(33): 20023-31. PMID: 26124277.

Klett EL, Chen S, Yechoor A, Lih F, Coleman RA (2017) Long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase isoforms differ in preferences for eicosanoid species and long-chain fatty acids. J Lipid Res. 58(5): 884-894. PMID 28209804. (Subject of a companion commentary- PMID 28242788)

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