Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers identify new target in fight against obesity

20.09.2005


University of Cincinnati (UC) scientists have identified a possible new target for treating obesity and diabetes.



The new target, a molecule called hVps34, is activated by amino acids (nutrients) entering the cell. This molecule triggers the activation of an enzyme, S6 Kinase 1 (S6K1), whose function UC researchers linked last year to obesity and insulin resistance.

"Insulin and amino acids both play a critical role in growth and development," said lead author George Thomas, PhD, interim director of UC’s Genome Research Institute and Department of Genome Science. "Both are responsible for ’driving’ cell growth. Now we have found that they actually work through independent pathways to trigger a molecule that turns on S6K1.


"Since we know S6K1 is linked to obesity and insulin resistance," he added, "learning that it can actually be turned on by more than one pathway is important, because it represents a potential target to regulate obesity."

The findings appear in the Sept. 19, 2005, online edition of Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS).

In 2004, Dr. Thomas led research that identified S6K1’s function. Normally turned on through a series of reactions initiated by the presence of insulin, it works to drive growth. But it also has a second regulatory function.

When an organism "overfeeds," S6K1 becomes hyperactive, essentially telling insulin to stop bringing more nutrients into the cell. This hyperactive regulation actually results in insulin resistance.

"It would make sense then," said Dr. Thomas, "that once S6K1 tells insulin to stop working, this enzyme would become inactive and its other function of promoting growth would also stop."

But in laboratory studies, Dr. Thomas and his team noticed that mice on high-fat diets continued to grow, even after insulin quit performing its normal function--indicating that S6K1 was still active even after it had seemingly sealed its own fate by shutting down the very trigger that turns it on.

In single-cell organisms, said Dr. Thomas, feeding is the organism’s main concern. As multicelluar organisms arose, there became a need to share nutrients within different cell types in order to develop and grow. It is believed that growth hormones, such as insulin, developed to carryout this function.

But in this transition from a self-serving single cell to a complex organism, the feeding-only amino acid pathways and the sharing, insulin pathways were merged.

Scientists have thought that amino acids began entering the cell at some point along the insulin pathway.

"We have determined that amino acids are actually entering the cell at a different location than previously thought, and that these nutrients are working independently of insulin," said Dr. Thomas.

"Knowing that S6K1 can be activated by more than one pathway will allow us to learn more about the mechanisms driving obesity and insulin resistance."

This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health Mouse Models for Human Cancer Consortium, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Netherlands Genomics Initiative, and the Collaborative Cancer Research Project of the Swiss Cancer League.

Dama Kimmon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>