Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Finding genes for childhood obesity: Genome wide study identifies genetic variants associated with childhood obesity

Date:
April 7, 2013
Source:
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Summary:
A new study has revealed promising targets for the development of new drugs against childhood obesity. Researchers have identified four genes newly associated with childhood obesity and an increased burden of rare genetic deletions and rearrangements in severely obese children. Gaining a better basic understanding of obesity will open new doors to clinically relevant research.

A new study has revealed promising targets for the development of new drugs against childhood obesity. Researchers have identified four genes newly associated with childhood obesity and an increased burden of rare genetic deletions and rearrangements in severely obese children. Gaining a better basic understanding of obesity will open new doors to clinically relevant research.

Researchers have identified four genes newly associated with severe childhood obesity. They also found an increased burden of rare structural variations in severely obese children.

The team found that structural variations can delete sections of DNA that help to maintain protein receptors known to be involved in the regulation of weight. These receptors are promising targets for the development of new drugs against obesity.

As one of the major health issues affecting modern societies, obesity has increasingly received public attention. Genes, behavior and environment, all contribute to the development of obesity.

Children with severe obesity are more likely to have a strong genetic contribution. This study has enhanced understanding of how both common and rare variants around specific genes and genetic regions are involved in severe childhood obesity.

“We’ve known for a long time that changes to our genes can increase our risk of obesity. For example, the gene FTO has been unequivocally associated with BMI, obesity and other obesity-related traits,” says Dr Eleanor Wheeler, first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. “In our study of severely obese children, we found that variations in or near two of the newly associated genes seem to have a comparable or greater effect on obesity than the FTO gene: PRKCH and RMST.”

The team found that different genes can be involved in severe childhood obesity compared to obesity in adults.

Rare genetic changes in one of the newly associated genes, LEPR, are known to cause a severe form of early onset obesity. The team identified a more common variant in this gene, found in 6 per cent of the population, that can increase a person’s risk of obesity. This finding is an example of where rare and more common variations around the same gene or region can influence the risk of severe obesity.

Some of the children in this study had an increased number of structural variations of their DNA that delete G-protein coupled receptors, important receptors in the regulation of weight. These receptors are key targets for current drug development and may have potential therapeutic implications for obesity.

“Some children will be obese because they have severe mutations, but our research indicates that some may have a combination of severe mutations and milder acting variants that in combination contribute to their obesity,” says Professor Sadaf Farooqi, co-lead author from the University of Cambridge. “As we uncover more and more variants and genetic links, we will gain a better basic understanding of obesity, which in turn will open doors to areas of clinically relevant research."

As part of the UK10K project (http://www.uk10k.org/) the team are now exploring all the genes of 1000 children with severe obesity in whom a diagnostic mutation has not been found. This work will find new severe mutations that may explain the causes of obesity in other children.

“Our study adds evidence that a range of both rare and common genetic variants are responsible for severe childhood obesity,” says Dr Inȇs Barroso, co-lead author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. “This work brings us a step closer to understanding the biology underlying this severe form of childhood obesity and providing a potential diagnosis to the children and their parents.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eleanor Wheeler, Ni Huang, Elena G Bochukova, Julia M Keogh, Sarah Lindsay, Sumedha Garg, Elana Henning, Hannah Blackburn, Ruth J F Loos, Nick J Wareham, Stephen O’Rahilly, Matthew E Hurles, Inκs Barroso & I Sadaf Farooqi. Genome-wide SNP and CNV analysis identifies common and low-frequency variants associated with severe early-onset obesity. Nature Genetics, April 7, 2013 DOI: 10.1038/ng.2607

Cite This Page:

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Finding genes for childhood obesity: Genome wide study identifies genetic variants associated with childhood obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130407133146.htm>.
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. (2013, April 7). Finding genes for childhood obesity: Genome wide study identifies genetic variants associated with childhood obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130407133146.htm
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Finding genes for childhood obesity: Genome wide study identifies genetic variants associated with childhood obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130407133146.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
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