Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rutgers researchers find fat gene

21.03.2006


Rutgers researchers have identified a gene – and the molecular function of its protein product – that provides an important clue to further understanding obesity and may point the way to new drugs to control fat metabolism.



The scientists found that the human protein known as lipin is a key fat-regulating enzyme. "Lipin activity may be an important pharmaceutical target for the control of body fat in humans, treating conditions that range from obesity to the loss of fat beneath the skin, as seen in HIV patients, " said George M. Carman, a professor in Rutgers’ department of food science.

In a paper published online by the Journal of Biological Chemistry (print version, April 7), Carman and his research team at Rutgers’ Cook College describe their scientific detective work, moving from clue to clue in a series of logical connections to reach their discoveries.


Previous studies with mice showed that a lack of lipin causes a loss of body fat, whereas an excess of lipin promotes extra body fat. So researchers knew that lipin was involved in fat metabolism; they just didn’t know how.

The Carman team’s first revelation came with the discovery that lipin is an enzyme (phosphatidic acid phosphatase or PAP), a protein catalyst that is required for the formation of fats – triglycerides, specifically.

The breakthrough for Carman’s group grew out of work with ordinary baker’s yeast; a simple single cell organism. "We isolated the PAP enzyme from yeast that corresponds in form to lipin in mammals and showed that yeast cells lacking the enzyme exhibited a 90 percent reduction in the yeast’s version of fat loss," Carman said.

The group worked out the sequence of the amino acids that make up the PAP enzyme, allowing them to backtrack along the path to its origin – the gene that coded it – linking the enzyme to the yeast gene PAH1 that made it. Carman and his group went on to confirm the link by introducing the yeast gene into bacteria, with similar results.

The researchers showed that the enzyme encoded by the PAH1 gene looks and acts very much like the lipin found in mammals. The yeast PAP enzyme shares a high resemblance to the lipin protein in mammals so they logically deduced the link between PAP enzyme function and lipin.

"These findings are of major importance to the AIDS community as well as to those concerned with the obesity epidemic," said Jean Chin, a program director at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the part of the National Institutes of Health that funded the research. Carman’s research is also supported by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

Obesity in the United States has risen at an epidemic rate during the past 20 years, a condition affecting about one-third of American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the national health objectives for the year 2010 is to reduce the prevalence of obesity among adults to less than 15 percent.

Joseph Blumberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rutgers.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New insights into the information processing of motor neurons
22.02.2017 | Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

nachricht Wintering ducks connect isolated wetlands by dispersing plant seeds
22.02.2017 | Utrecht University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Positrons as a new tool for lithium ion battery research: Holes in the electrode

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New insights into the information processing of motor neurons

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Healthy Hiking in Smart Socks

22.02.2017 | Innovative Products

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>