Researchers identify a new gene with a key role in obesity and diabetes
Scientists observed that blocking the expression of the gene TRIP-Br2 in mice protects them against obesity and insulin resistance. The study shows that the gene modulates fat storage by regulating energy expenditure and lipolysis, the process which transforms fat into lipids for the body's energy consumption. If the gene expression is blocked, the mice increase their lipolysis and their energy expenditure, thus reducing their obesity. Obesity is the result of an alteration in the processes that regulate food absorption and energy production. This alteration tips the balance towards excessive storage of fat. According to the researchers, understanding the regulation of the factors that control the storage, mobilisation and use of excess energy in fat cells (the adipocytes) can lead to the development of therapies for obesity and its related illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes.
In the words of Cristina Mallol, a researcher at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and co-author of the study: "The protection of mice with no expression of the gene TRIP-Br2, and its selective elevation in the visceral fat of humans point the way to a future gene therapy to counteract obesity, insulin resistance and excess lipids in the blood."
The research, whose findings were published this week in the online edition of the journal Nature Medicine, was led by researchers from the Joslin Diabetes Center, of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts (USA), with the participation of the University of Singapore (Singapore); the Centre for Animal Biotechnology and Gene Therapy (CBATEG) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain); INSERM, Toulouse (France); the University of California, at Berkeley (USA); the University of Leipzig (Germany); and the University of Florida (USA); the University of Illinois, at Chicago (USA).
- Obesity starts in the head? 6 newly discovered genes for obesity have a neural effectThu, 8 Jan 2009, 9:45:08 EST
- 'Master switch' gene for obesity and diabetes discoveredSun, 15 May 2011, 17:32:49 EDT
- Scientists from Granada find a potential treatment to prevent diabetes and obesitySun, 19 Oct 2008, 19:21:39 EDT
- Intestinal bacteria drive obesity and metabolic disease in immune-altered miceThu, 4 Mar 2010, 14:49:40 EST
- Obesity as protection against metabolic syndrome, not its causeMon, 8 Mar 2010, 12:30:16 EST
- Researchers identify a new gene with a key role in obesity and diabetesfrom Science DailyThu, 10 Jan 2013, 10:30:38 EST
- Protein key to fighting and preventing obesity discoveredfrom Science DailyMon, 7 Jan 2013, 11:01:15 EST
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Outlook is grim for mammals and birds as human population grows
- Mars had oxygen-rich atmosphere 4,000 million years ago
- The contribution of particulate matter to forest decline
- Scientists find new source of versatility so 'floppy' proteins can get things done
- An environmentally friendly battery made from wood
- Even with defects, graphene is strongest material in the world
- Detection of the cosmic gamma ray horizon: Measures all the light in the universe since the Big Bang
- Genetic engineering alters mosquitoes' sense of smell
- Allosaurus fed more like a falcon than a crocodile, new study finds
- 'Popcorn' particle pathways promise better lithium-ion batteries