New obesity gene discovered

obesityA new study by the University of British Columbia has determined that a which encodes a specific called 14-3-3zeta is responsible for addressing obesity.

Obesity has caused global chronic health conditions and is associated with an increased level of throughout the body which in turn affects diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Scientists used a mouse model to prevent expression by silencing the . The result was a 50% reduction in a specific type of unhealthy fat, “white fat” which is associated with obesity, and diabetes.

The expressed by the controls the production of fat cells, (known as adipogenesis), and the growth of those cells.

“People gain fat in two ways — through the multiplication of their fat cells, and through the expansion of individual fat cells,” said Gareth Lim, a postdoctoral fellow in UBC’s Life Sciences Institute. “This affects both the number of cells and how big they are, by playing a role in the growth cycle of these cells.”

“Until now, we didn’t know how this affected obesity,” Johnson said. “This study shows how fundamental research can address major health problems and open up new avenues for drug discovery.”


Gareth E. Lim, Tobias Albrecht, Micah Piske, Karnjit Sarai, Jason T. C Lee, Hayley S. Ramshaw, Sunita Sinha, Mark A. Guthridge, Amparo Acker-Palmer, Angel F. Lopez, Susanne M. Clee, Corey Nislow, James D. Johnson. 14-3-3ζ coordinates adipogenesis of visceral fat. Nature Communications, 2015; 6: 7671 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8671

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