Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Gene Sequence that can make Half of us Fatter is Discovered

Published: Monday, May 05, 2008
Last Updated: Monday, May 05, 2008
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have found a gene sequence linked to an expanding waist line, weight gain and a tendency to develop type 2 diabetes.

A gene sequence linked to an expanding waist line, weight gain and a tendency to develop type 2 diabetes has been discovered as part of a study published in the journal Nature Genetics.

The study also shows that the gene sequence is significantly more common in those with Indian Asian than European ancestry. The research, which was funded by the British Heart Foundation, could lead to better ways of treating obesity.

Scientists from Imperial College London and other international institutions have discovered that the sequence is associated with a 2cm expansion in waist circumference, a 2kg gain in weight, and a tendency to become resistant to insulin, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. The sequence is found in 50% of the UK population.

"Until now, we have understood remarkably little about the genetic component of common problems linked with obesity, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes," said Professor Jaspal Kooner, the paper's senior author from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London. "Finding such a close association between a genetic sequence and significant physical effects is very important, especially when the sequence is found in half the population."

The study shows that the sequence is a third more common in those with Indian Asian than in those with European ancestry. This could provide a possible genetic explanation for the particularly high levels of obesity and insulin resistance in Indian Asians, who make up 25% of the world's population, but who are expected to account for 40% of global cardiovascular disease by 2020.

The new gene sequence sits close to a gene called MC4R, which regulates energy levels in the body by influencing how much we eat and how much energy we expend or conserve. The researchers believe the sequence is involved in controlling the MC4R gene, which has also been implicated in rare forms of extreme childhood obesity.

Previous research on finding the genetic causes of obesity has identified other energy-conserving genes. Combining knowledge about the effects of all these genes could pave the way for transforming how obesity is managed.

"A better understanding of the genes behind problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease means that we will be in a good position to identify people whose genetic inheritance makes them most susceptible," added Professor Kooner. "We can't change their genetic inheritance. But we can focus on preventative measures, including life-style factors such as diet and exercise, and identifying new drug targets to help reduce the burden of disease."

This research was carried out by scientists at Imperial College London, University of Michigan, USA, and the Pasteur Institute, France.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

New Technique Negotiates Neuron Jungle To Target Source Of Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers from Imperial College London and Newcastle University believe they have found a potential new way to target cells of the brain affected by Parkinson’s disease.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Using Human Stem Cells To Identify Dangerous Side Effects Of Drugs
Scientists have developed a test that uses cells from a single donor's blood to predict whether a new drug will cause a severe reaction in humans.
Monday, March 09, 2015
Switch that Enables Salmonella to Sabotage Host Cells Revealed in new Study
A new switch that enables Salmonella bacteria to sabotage host cells is revealed in a study published in the journal Science.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Research Reveals Exactly How Coughing is Triggered by Environmental Irritants
Scientists identify the reaction inside the lungs that can trigger coughing when a person is exposed to particular irritants in the air.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Drug Shrinks Lung Cancer Tumours in Mice
A potential new drug for lung cancer has eliminated tumours in 50% of mice in a new study published today in the journal Cancer Research.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Scientists Discover new Genetic Variation that Contributes to Diabetes
Study identifies a genetic variation in people with type 2 diabetes that affects how the body's muscle cells respond to the hormone insulin.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Urine Samples could be Used to Predict Responses to Drugs, Say Researchers
Researchers show possibility to predict how different individuals would deal with one drug by looking at metabolites in their urine.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Schizophrenia Linked to Signaling Problems in New Brain Study
The study supports the theory that abnormalities in the way in which cells 'talk' to each other are involved in the disease.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Liver Damage in Hepatitis C Patients Could be Treated with Warfarin
The drug warfarin may help prevent liver failure in thousands of people with Hepatitis C, according to new research.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Alzheimer's Disease Patients Show Improvement in Trial of new Drug
A new drug has been shown to improve the brain function of Alzheimer's patients and reduce a key protein associated with the disease in the spinal fluid.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Chemical Signature of Manic Depression Discovered by Scientists
People with manic depression have a distinct chemical signature in their brains, according to a new study.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Targeting Gut Bugs could Revolutionize Future Drugs, say Researchers
Revolutionary new ways to tackle certain diseases could be provided by creating drugs which change the bugs in people's guts.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Research Showing How Drugs Stick to a Key Protein
This information should help scientists to modify the structures of drugs to improve their effectiveness.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Scientific News
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
Personalized Drug Screening for Multiple Myeloma Patients
A personalized method for testing the effectiveness of drugs that treat multiple myeloma may predict quickly and more accurately the best treatments for individual patients with the bone marrow cancer.
Nanocarriers May Carry New Hope for Brain Cancer Therapy
Berkeley lab researchers develop nanoparticles that can carry therapeutics across the brain blood barrier.
Cancer-Fighting Tomato Component Traced
The metabolic pathway associated with lycopene, the bioactive red pigment found in tomatoes, has been traced by researchers at the University of Illinois.
Batten Disease may Benefit from Gene Therapy
NIH-funded animal study suggests one-shot approach to injecting genes.
Shedding Light on “Dark” Cellular Receptors
UNC and UCSF labs create a new research tool to find homes for two orphan cell-surface receptors, a crucial step toward finding better therapeutics and causes of drug side effects.
Molecule Proves Key to Brain Repair After Stroke
Scientists found that a molecule known as growth and differentiation factor 10 (GDF10) plays a key role in repair mechanisms following stroke.
Towards Patient-Specific Drug Screening
A new breakthrough by the 3D stem cell printing team at Heriot-Watt could pave the way to individually tailored drug testing regimes, both reducing the need for animal testing and ensuring that patients receive drugs which are most effective for their individual needs.
Antibody Targets Key Cancer Marker
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have created a molecular structure that attaches to a molecule on highly aggressive brain cancer and causes tumors to light up in a scanning machine.
Gut Bacteria Can Dramatically Amplify Cancer Immunotherapy
Manipulating microbes maximizes tumor immunity in mice.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos