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Turning off a Fat Accumulation Gene to Reduce Obesity proven in Mice

RATE THIS! +43
Posted in Science on 11th Apr, 2014 01:58 AM by AlexMuller

Many who struggle with their weight will often blame a “slow” metabolism; meaning their bodies do not burn calories as quickly or as efficiently as others’. For those who do suffer this condition, investigators say they have found a genetic “switch” that can accelerate a person’s basal metabolic rate.

 

This leads to a dramatic reduction in the risk for obesity and diabetes. Their research, published in the journal Nature, involves turning off a gene that encodes a protein called nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT), which is found in the fat cells and the liver. NNMT is known to process vitamin B3 and has been previously linked with certain types of cancers.

 
In order to lower the expression of the NNMT gene, the researchers used antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) technology, which allowed them to interfere with the expression of the gene only in the fat cells and the liver. ASOs are short molecular strings of DNA, which can be designed to prevent the synthesis of specific proteins.
 
When the researchers turned off the NNMT gene in mice on high-fat diets, the mice did not gain as much weight compared to when the NNMT gene was functioning normally. Furthermore, the mice did not change their eating or exercise habits, meaning the NNMT solely affected the mice’s basal metabolic rates.
 
More than 1/3 of adults in the United States are considered obese, and 25.8 million people – 8.3 percent of the American population – have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tags: obesitymetabolismgenesgeneticssugardiabetes

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-11
+3
Yes, obesity is a big problem, however, there are so many things that people should do about their lifestyle before we start changing some genes....and mice are not little men, this just may not be feasible for humans
7 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-11
+2
Some people see this as "another step towards easy and quick fixes to everyday problems." Well, it just could be but this may not be possible and we better adjust lifestyle, no matter how many difficult efforts this involves
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-11
+1
We should not forget that obesity and under-nutrition often exist side by side. We also need to act urgently to deal with millions of cases of extreme hunger and under-nutrition in children. This requires funds also Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-11
+1
It is so surprising how quickly proportion of overweight people increased during the past 20 years, humans evolved to be on the move with the food limits. Our body metabolism can not change so quickly Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-11
+1
More and more research is showing that being overweight should itself diagnosis for illness or indicator of great possibility of one - take notice, take care! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-11
+0
I think that this is because consumption of fat, salt and sugar, which has increased globally and is a significant factor in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-11
+0
I think that keeping more closely to a lifestyle that human bodies evolved to experience is the key to tackle this problem Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-11
+3
This is great work and significant contribution to our understanding of obesity. Researchers identified an enzyme that links two metabolic hubs and found it to be upregulated in the fat cells of overweight mice. Inhibition of the gene encoding this enzyme protects mice from diet-induced obesity. - This is an important finding regardless of applications
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-11
+2
This is not so simple. The human body is complex beyond our understanding. Turning off a gene to prevent fat deposition might have additional, unknown consequences.
At least lawyers will benefit.
 Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-11
+0
Yes, but should be considered when helpful. The NHS should provide appropriate bariatric surgery. The cost should be seen in the light of future savings. I think that the surgery could pay for itself in two to three years. Reply


 

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