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 Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>