Mar. 2, 2009 Obesity has become an epidemic in many parts of the western hemisphere; over 30% of the population of Germany are overweight.
Scientists from the University of Cologne, in cooperation with scientists from the University of Düsseldorf, have been able to verify the relevance of a certain gene with regard to obesity for the first time.
In 2006, scientists discovered increased amounts of variations of the FTO genes were in overweight people. However, the relevance of this gene and its regular function remained unclear for a long time.
The team working for Prof. Dr. Jens Brüning, coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence "Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases", CECAD Cologne, and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rüther, University of Düsseldorf, have now been able to show that mice which do not have FTO gene, burn more energy and do not become overweight.
These findings verify the importance of the FTO gene for the regulation of body weight. The results of this research will become very important for the development of new ways of treating obesity.
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- Fischer et al. Inactivation of the Fto gene protects from obesity. Nature, Feb 22, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/nature07848
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