Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Discover Gene For Fat Cell Development

Date:
January 7, 2002
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
Independent scientific research groups from Pfizer and Harvard Medical School have discovered a critical gene responsible for fat cell development.

Independent scientific research groups from Pfizer and Harvard Medical School have discovered a critical gene responsible for fat cell development.

Obesity affects approximately 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 children in the United States. As the epidemic of obesity continues to grow, so does the research effort aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of fat development. As published in the January 1 issue of Genes & Development, scientists have made a significant advance towards this goal.

Drs. Bruce Spiegelman and Heidi Camp from Harvard and Pfizer, respectively, have determined that the gene which encodes the PPARgamma protein is responsible for fat cell development, or adipogenesis. PPARgamma is a nuclear hormone receptor that regulates gene expression in response to extra-cellular signals. The determination that PPARgamma2 is necessary for fat cell development provides a molecular target for rational drug design in the battle against the bulge.

Adipogenesis is a two-step developmental process by which an undifferentiated mesenchymal cell differentiates into a pre-adipocyte cell, which then undergoes a secondary differentiation step to become a lipid-filled adipocyte. These two research groups have discovered that PPARgamma is responsible for the transition from pre-adipocyte to fat cell.

Dr. Spiegelman and colleagues created cells lacking PPARgamma and demonstrated that previously identified components of the adipogenic cascade were unable to induce adipogenesis in the absence of PPARgamma. This evidence suggests that PPARgamma is the critical player in the fat differentiation pathway.

Dr. Camp and colleagues at Sangamo Biosciences went one step further and identified exactly which form of PPARgamma is responsible for fat cell development. The PPARgamma gene encodes two different protein products, or isoforms, called gamma1 and gamma2. Using Sangamo's zinc finger protein (ZFP) technology to control gene expression, Dr. Camp generated two cell populations: one lacking the gamma2 isoform and another lacking both isoforms. Similar to Dr. Spiegelman's results, both cell populations were unable to differentiate into fat cells.

In order to test exactly which isoform is responsible for fat cell differentiation, Dr. Camp selectively expressed either gamma1 or gamma2 in the cells that lacked both isoforms. She discovered that PPARgamma2 is singularly responsible for adipogenesis. Until now, the differential functions of these two isoforms had remained a mystery.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Scientists Discover Gene For Fat Cell Development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020107080207.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2002, January 7). Scientists Discover Gene For Fat Cell Development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020107080207.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Scientists Discover Gene For Fat Cell Development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020107080207.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins