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 Water world
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

nachricht Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>