Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Genetic Variants Decrease Rate of Metabolism

Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Defects to gene reveal potential new therapeutic targets against obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge have found a novel genetic cause of severe obesity. Although relatively rare, this is the first time that scientists have seen genetic variants that reduce the body's ability to burn calories.

The team identified several rare variants on the gene KSR2. These mutations disrupt signaling of a biological pathway that, in turn, slows down metabolism. KSR2 gene could represent a new therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Changes in diet and levels of physical activity underlie the recent increase in obesity in the UK and worldwide, however there is a lot of variation in how much weight people gain. This variation between people is influenced by genetic factors and many of the genes involved act in the brain.

"For a long time, scientists and clinicians have speculated that some people may burn calories at a slower rate than others," says Dr Inês Barroso, co-lead author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Our findings provide the first evidence that defects in a particular gene, KSR2, may affect a person's metabolic rate and how their bodies process calories."

The team sequenced the DNA from more than 2,000 children with early-onset obesity and identified multiple mutations in the KSR2 gene. KSR2 belongs to a group of proteins called scaffolding proteins which play a critical role in ensuring that signals from hormones such as insulin are correctly processed by cells in the body to regulate how cells grow, divide and use energy.

They found that many of the mutations disrupt these cellular signals and reduce the ability of cells to use glucose and fatty acids. Patients who had the mutations in KSR2 had an increased drive to eat in childhood, but also a reduced metabolic rate, indicating that they have a reduced ability to use up all the energy that they consume.

"Up until now, the genes we have identified that control body weight have largely affected appetite," says Professor Farooqi, lead author from the University of Cambridge "However, KSR2 is different in that it also plays a role in regulating how energy is used in the body. In the future, modulation of KSR2 may represent a useful therapeutic strategy for obesity and type 2 diabetes."

The discovery of KSR2 variants contributing to obesity adds another level of understanding to the body's mechanisms for regulating weight. The team is continuing to study the genetic factors influencing obesity, findings which they hope to translate into beneficial therapies in the future.


Further Information

Join For Free

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 3,100+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,500+ 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 TechnologyNetworks.com 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

Strongest Single Gene Conclusively Implicated in Schizophrenia
Research establishes for the first time that single-letter changes to the DNA code of one gene can have such a substantial effect on the risk of schizophrenia.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Periodic Table of Protein Complexes
New tool helps to visualise, understand and predict how proteins combine to drive biological processes.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Normal Skin Accrues High Number of Mutations Associated with Cancer
Researchers used genomic sequencing to gain insights into how somatic mutations build up in normal cells before the onset of cancer, a process that is poorly understood.
Friday, May 22, 2015
Antibiotic Resistant Typhoid Detected in Countries Around the World
Unappreciated global spread of multiple antimicrobial resistant typhoid mapped by international consortium.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Genes that Cause Pancreatic Cancer Identified by New Tool
Screening system in mice spots cancerous changes invisible to sequencing.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Large-scale Study Raises Hopes For Development Of E. coli Vaccine
Global comparison reveals surprisingly close relation between E. coli strains that cause traveller's diarrhoea.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Pathway Between Gut and Liver Regulates Bone Mass
Researchers have uncovered a previously unknown biological process involving vitamin B12 and taurine that regulates the production of new bone cells.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Atlas Shows How Genes Affect Our Metabolism
New atlas of molecules paves the way for improved understanding of metabolic diseases.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Gene Promotes one in a Hundred of Tumours
Gene discovered to play a part in one per cent of all cancers.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Stem Cells Could Set Up Future Transplant Therapies
New method for developing stem cells enables production of liver and pancreatic cells in clinically relevant quantities.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Novel Mutations Define Two Types of Bone Tumour
Two related genes underlie the development of two rare bone tumours in nearly 100 per cent of patients.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Tracking MRSA in Real Time
Study highlights benefits of rapid whole-genome sequencing.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Seeking Superior Stem Cells
One hundred-fold increase in efficiency in reprogramming human cells to induced stem cells.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Punctuated Evolution in Cancer Genomes
Remarkable new research overthrows the conventional view that cancer always develops in a steady, stepwise progression. It shows that in some cancers, the genome can be shattered into hundreds of fragments in a single cellular catastrophe, wreaking mutation on a massive scale.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
1000 Genomes Project Publishes Analysis Of Completed Pilot Phase
NIH-supported work produces tool for research into genetic contributors to human disease.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Scientific News
The Rise of 3D Cell Culture and in vitro Model Systems for Drug Discovery and Toxicology
An overview of the current technology and the challenges and benefits over 2D cell culture models plus some of the latest advances relating to human health research.
World’s Largest Coral Gene Database
‘Genetic toolkit’ will help shed light on which species survive climate change.
A Boost for Regenerative Medicine
Growing tissues and organs in the lab for transplantation into patients could become easier after scientists discovered an effective way to produce three-dimensional networks of blood vessels, vital for tissue survival yet a current stumbling block in regenerative medicine.
Breast Cancer Drug Hope
A drug for breast cancer that is more effective than existing medicines may be a step closer thanks to new research.
Untangling Disease-Related Protein Misfolding
Work advances understanding of genetic forms of thrombosis, emphysema, cirrhosis of the liver, neurodegenerative diseases and inflammation, among others.
Early Genetic Changes in Premalignant Colorectal Tissue Identified
Findings point to drivers of early cancer development, targets for cancer prevention therapies.
Harnessing Nature’s Vast Array of Venoms for Drug Discovery
Scripps scientists have developed a method for rapidly identifying venoms.
Nanoparticles Target, Transform Fat Tissue
Nanoparticles designed to target white fat and convert it to calorie-burning brown fat slowed weight gain in obese mice without affecting food intake. This proof-of-concept work could lead to new therapies to treat obesity.
New Cancer Fighters Emerge From Lab
Rice University lab simplifies total synthesis of anti-cancer agent.
Scientists Find Evidence That Cancer Can Arise Changes
Researchers at Rockefeller University have found a mutation that affects the proteins that package DNA without changing the DNA itself can cause a rare form of cancer.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

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
3,100+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!