Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Role in Type 1 diabetes provides clue for researchers who discovered ’obesity gene’


The discovery of a gene believed to be connected to morbid obesity has international origins and began as an exploration into the causes of Type I diabetes.

The discovery, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Public Library of Science (, involves researchers originally from Sweden and France who collaborated at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The gene, on Chromosome 10, was first connected to diabetes in 1991 by Dr. Åke Lernmark, R. H. Williams Professor of Medicine and adjunct professor of immunology at the UW. The GAD2 gene is responsible for the protein GAD65, which plays a role in the healthy use of insulin by the body. Lernmark is a native of Sweden, which has one of the highest rates of Type I diabetes incidence in the world.

Lernmark is a native of Sweden, which has one of the highest rates of Type I diabetes incidence in the world. In 1997, Lernmark was joined in his laboratory at the University of Washington by Professor Philippe Froguel as a Poll Visiting Scholar.*

Froguel, senior author of the research, is based at Imperial College London, and Hammersmith Hospital, London, and carried out the research while at the Institut Pasteur de Lille in France. Froguel and colleagues had previously determined that obese people often had genetic variations in Chromosome 10, with individual variations showing up in the GAD2 gene.

During and since the stay at the Lernmark lab, the researchers have collaborated ever since the GAD2 gene was first considered as a candidate obesity gene. The researchers believe that GAD2 produces the protein GAD65 that catalyzes the production of a neurotransmitter in the hypothalamus that stimulates or suppresses appetite.

Lermark says that several years ago, he and his colleagues in Sweden found that some obese people had antibodies to GAD65. This finding remained unexplained, but sparked Froguel’s interest when he was searching chromosome 10 for an obesity gene candidate. Lernmark says that it was a pleasant surprise for both groups when it turned out that GAD2 gene was the candidate. Research may help to untangle the role of GAD65 in obesity, he said.

Froguel and colleagues screened 575 obese people and 646 non-obese people in France and found a connection between variations in the GAD2 gene and obesity.

Obese people with two particular variations in their GAD2 genes had more difficulty controlling food intake as measured by a standard survey of eating behavior.

Lernmark, a co-author, cautions that researchers are very far from any genetic treatment of obesity. He says obesity results from the interaction of a variety of genes and environmental factors, such as nutrient intake and physical activity. Lernmark said he hopes there will be further research on genetic connections to obesity, and further work to pinpoint the underlying biology of body weight control and eating behavior. Meanwhile, research continues in the Lernmark lab and in other labs across the country about the effect of GAD2 on diabetes.

* The Poll Visiting Scholar Program

The Harvey and Judy Poll Visiting Scholar Endowment was established at the University of Washington in 1990 through the generous support of Harvey and Judy Poll, who have a long-standing interest in diabetes research. The endowment makes it possible to invite distinguished scholars in the field of diabetes research to the University of Washington, fostering new research collaborations with diabetes investigators throughout the world.

Walter Neary | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Earlier flowering of modern winter wheat cultivars

20.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Smithsonian researchers name new ocean zone: The rariphotic

20.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Molecular doorstop could be key to new tuberculosis drugs

20.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>