Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Obesity May Be Associated With A Relative Of Anti-aging Gene, Klotho

Date:
April 24, 2007
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
A relative of the anti-aging gene Klotho helps activate a hormone that can lower blood glucose levels in fat cells of mice, making it a novel target for developing drugs to treat human obesity and diabetes.

Dr. Makoto Kuro-o, associate professor of pathology, has reported that a relative of the anti-aging gene Klotho helps activate a hormone that can lower blood glucose levels in fat cells of mice. This discovery of a particular type of Klotho protein could eventually make it a novel target for developing drugs to treat human obesity and diabetes.
Credit: Image courtesy of UT Southwestern Medical Center

A relative of the anti-aging gene Klotho helps activate a hormone that can lower blood glucose levels in fat cells of mice, making it a novel target for developing drugs to treat human obesity and diabetes, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

In a recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers show that a type of Klotho protein binds to receptors for a metabolic hormone in fat cells, forming a “co-receptor” that enables the hormone to stimulate the processing of glucose, the body’s main source of fuel. The Klotho gene has previously been found to play a role in prolonging the life of mice partly by controlling insulin.

Mice lacking this particular Klotho protein can’t stimulate this key metabolic activity, said Dr. Makoto Kuro-o, associate professor of pathology at UT Southwestern and the study’s senior author.

“The ability to stimulate the glucose processing is key to proper metabolism, so this Klotho protein, known as beta-Klotho, is a novel target for developing drugs that can enhance or block the metabolic activity of this hormone, which has been shown to be able to lower blood glucose in mice,” he said. “Klotho’s role in regulating the metabolic activity of the growth hormones is essential.”

Dr. Kuro-o and his colleagues originally discovered the Klotho gene in 1997, naming it after one of the mythical Greek characters who controlled the length of human life.

The Klotho protein, which is found in several species, acts as a hormone in mice, circulating through the blood and binding to cells. Previous studies have shown that mutant mice lacking the Klotho gene appear normal until about a month of age, and then begin showing signs of age, such as skin atrophy, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis and emphysema. The mice die prematurely at about two months.

Therapies based on Klotho could prove to be a way to extend life or slow the effects of aging, so Dr. Kuro-o and his colleagues are trying to uncover more about how Klothoworks.

In this study, the researchers examined a connection between the presence of Klotho proteins and fibroblast growth factors in the fat cells of mice. Fibroblast growth factors are hormones found in many tissues that are involved in tasks such as wound care and skeletal development.

Certain fibroblast growth factors are active only in fat cells, but it hadn’t been known why.

The UT Southwestern researchers discovered that beta-Klotho, which is active in fat cells, actually binds to receptors for metabolic fibroblast growth factors. This forms a co-receptor that activates the hormone’s metabolic function, Dr. Kuro-o said.

For example, fibroblast growth factor 21, or FGF21, is a hormone in the blood that has been shown to lower blood glucose levels in diabetic and obese mice. In fat cells it binds to the fibroblast growth factor and beta-Klotho co-receptor complex and signals glucose processing; however, without beta-Klotho, FGF21 lacks the ability on its own to bind to its receptors and can’t stimulate the metabolic function.

“Klotho’s actions determine the metabolic activity of these fibroblast growth factors, making them targets for drugs that either block or enhance the metabolic activity,” Dr. Kuro-o said. “Klotho proteins thus will be important players in future therapies for human conditions such as diabetes, obesity and kidney disease.”

Other UT Southwestern pathology researchers involved in the study were Drs. Yasushi Ogawa, postdoctoral researcher; Hiroshi Kurosu, instructor; Animesh Nandi, senior research scientist; Kevin P. Rosenblatt, assistant professor; and Masaya Yamamoto, a former instructor who has since returned to Japan. Researchers from the New York University School of Medicine also were involved.

The Eisai Research Fund, Ellison Medical Foundation, Ted Nash Long Life Foundation, Irma T. Hirschl Fund and the National Institutes of Health supported the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Obesity May Be Associated With A Relative Of Anti-aging Gene, Klotho." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070423185501.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2007, April 24). Obesity May Be Associated With A Relative Of Anti-aging Gene, Klotho. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070423185501.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Obesity May Be Associated With A Relative Of Anti-aging Gene, Klotho." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070423185501.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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