Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MicroRNA mediates gene-diet interaction related to obesity, researchers find

Date:
April 21, 2011
Source:
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Summary:
Researchers observed that a genetic variant on the perilipin 4 (PLIN4) locus was associated with an increased risk of obesity yet, carriers with higher omega-3 fatty acid intakes tended to weigh less than carriers who consumed little or no omega-3 fatty acids. Furthermore, the researchers identified a microRNA which may help elucidate the mechanism behind the gene-diet interaction.

Eating more n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, commonly known as omega-3 fatty acids, may help carriers of a genetic variant on the perilipin 4 (PLIN4) gene locus lose weight more efficiently. Based on this observation, researchers at the Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University identified a microRNA (miRNA) which may elucidate the underlying biological mechanism.

Related Articles


Led by Jose M. Ordovas, PhD, director of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA, researchers genotyped seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), also known as gene variants, from men and women of mostly white European ancestry enrolled in the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN) study and the Framingham Offspring Study. Carriers of the gene variant tended to weigh more and exhibit higher body mass index (BMI), which would increase their risk of becoming obese. Yet carriers with higher omega-3 fatty acid intakes tended to weigh less than carriers who consumed little or no omega-3 fatty acids.

Ordovas believes this to be the first example of a genetic variant that creates a miRNA binding site that influences obesity-related traits through a gene-diet interaction. Although further research is necessary, the findings suggest that miRNA activity is a possible target for dietary-based weight-loss therapies for obesity. The results were published online April 20 by the journal PLoS ONE.

"We tested for miRNA activity after seeing significant interactions between the gene variant, characteristics of obesity, and omega-3 fatty acid intake in our meta-analysis in two large populations," says Ordovas, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition and Science Policy at Tufts. "When a gene variant is that informative, you get a strong sense that it may be functional."

The family of perilipin genes controls the release of perilipin proteins which dictate how fat is stored and broken down in the body. The current study adds to a body of research of the perilipin gene family and its role in obesity risk, yet most of the work focuses on perilipin 1 (PLIN1). "In the past, studies have shown gene variants in the PLIN1 gene locus are associated with obesity risk and appear to be regulated by polyunsaturated fat. It is encouraging that we saw both loci expressed in similar ways," Ordovas adds.

Ordovas and colleagues say future studies could explore the role of miRNA in both the PLIN1 and PLIN4 genes. "Variants that may create or destroy miRNA binding sites have tremendous potential for functional consequence, and we would want to investigate if this is occurring in the other perilipin genes," says Kris Richardson, MS, corresponding author and a doctoral student at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts. "Also, replication of our results in larger populations which record the dietary information of its participants would help clarify the role of perilipin genes interacting with dietary fats such as omega-3 fatty acids and impacting weight."

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats mostly found in fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines. The recently-issued 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans say that "(f)at intake should emphasize monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats."

This research was supported by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the USDA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tufts University, Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kris Richardson, Qiong Louie-Gao, Donna K. Arnett, Laurence D. Parnell, Chao-Qiang Lai, Alberto Davalos, Caroline S. Fox, Serkalem Demissie, L. Adrienne Cupples, Carlos Fernandez-Hernando, Jose M. Ordovas. The PLIN4 Variant rs8887 Modulates Obesity Related Phenotypes in Humans through Creation of a Novel miR-522 Seed Site. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (4): e17944 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017944

Cite This Page:

Tufts University, Health Sciences. "MicroRNA mediates gene-diet interaction related to obesity, researchers find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110420183740.htm>.
Tufts University, Health Sciences. (2011, April 21). MicroRNA mediates gene-diet interaction related to obesity, researchers find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110420183740.htm
Tufts University, Health Sciences. "MicroRNA mediates gene-diet interaction related to obesity, researchers find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110420183740.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
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