Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic mutation provides clues to battling childhood obesity

Date:
October 24, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
A new paper identifies a possible genetic root to the insatiable appetite and slow metabolism of some obese patients. The study, which sequenced 2,101 individuals with severe early-onset obesity, found that patients harboring mutations in a particular gene, KSR2, had an increased appetite and a slower metabolism, suggesting that drugs developed to modulate the activity of the protein encoded by the KSR2 gene could provide new treatment options for obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

As the number of children battling obesity continues to grow, researchers are racing to identify causes and possible interventions. Now, a new paper publishing October 24 in the journal Cell identifies a possible genetic root to the insatiable appetite and slow metabolism of some obese patients. The study, which sequenced 2,101 individuals with severe early-onset obesity, found that patients harboring mutations in a particular gene, KSR2, had an increased appetite and a slower metabolism than people with a normal copy of the gene. The findings suggest that drugs developed to modulate the activity of the protein encoded by the KSR2 gene could provide new treatment options for obesity and type-2 diabetes.

Related Articles


"Changes in diet and levels of physical activity underlie the recent increase in obesity; however, some people gain weight more easily than others" says study author Sadaf Farooqi of the University of Cambridge. "This variation between people is largely influenced by genetic factors. The discovery of a new obesity gene, KSR2, demonstrates that genes can contribute to obesity by reducing metabolic rate -- how well the body burns calories."

Farooqi and colleagues found that the gene KSR2 provides clues to how early-onset obesity can develop in some people. The deletion of KSR2 was previously shown to cause obesity in mice, underlining its role in controlling energy balance and metabolism. The genetic results in patients validated KSR2's involvement in the regulation of weight and metabolic processes in humans. Obese children carrying mutations in KSR2 displayed increased appetite, lower heart rate, slowed metabolism, and severe insulin resistance. Experiments in cells showed that the KSR2 mutations also impaired metabolic processes such as glucose and fatty acid oxidation.

"This work adds to a growing body of evidence that genes play a major role in influencing a person's weight and may be useful for developing new ways to treat people who are heavy and develop diabetes" adds Farooqi.

The authors found that the diabetes drug metformin corrected the low levels of fatty acid oxidation seen in cells expressing the KSR2 mutations. These findings suggest that drugs like metformin may help obese patients harboring mutations in the KSR2 gene, offering exciting prospects for future pharmacological therapies and targets.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pearce et al. KSR2 mutations are associated with obesity, insulin resistance and impaired cellular fuel oxidation. Cell, October 2013

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Genetic mutation provides clues to battling childhood obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024121446.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, October 24). Genetic mutation provides clues to battling childhood obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024121446.htm
Cell Press. "Genetic mutation provides clues to battling childhood obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024121446.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) 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