Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Epidemiologist uncovers new genes linked to abdominal fat

Date:
January 22, 2014
Source:
University of Louisville
Summary:
A research team has identified five new genes associated with increased waist-to-hip ratio, potentially moving science a step closer to developing a medication to treat obesity or obesity-related diseases.

Excess abdominal fat can be a precursor to diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. A person's measure of belly fat is reflected in the ratio of waist circumference to hip circumference, and it is estimated that genetics account for about 30-60 percent of waist-to-hip ratio (WHR).

Kira Taylor, Ph.D., M.S., assistant professor, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, and her research team have identified five new genes associated with increased WHR, potentially moving science a step closer to developing a medication to treat obesity or obesity-related diseases.

The researchers recently published their findings in Human Molecular Genetics. The team conducted an analysis of more than 57,000 people of European descent, and searched for genes that increase risk of high waist-to-hip ratio, independent of overall obesity. They investigated over 50,000 genetic variants in 2,000 genes thought to be involved in cardiovascular or metabolic traits.

Their analysis identified three new genes associated with increased WHR in both men and women, and discovered two new genes that appear to affect WHR in women only. Of the latter, one gene, SHC1, appears to interact with 17 other proteins known to have involvement in obesity, and is highly expressed in fat tissue. In addition, the genetic variant the team discovered in SHC1 is linked to another variant that causes an amino acid change in the protein, possibly changing the function or expression of the protein.

"This is the first time SHC1 has been associated with abdominal fat," Taylor said. "We believe this discovery holds great opportunity for medicinal chemistry and eventually, personalized medicine. If scientists can find a way to fine-tune the expression of this gene, we could potentially reduce the risk of excessive fat in the mid-section and its consequences, such as cardiovascular disease."

Prior research has found that mice lacking the SHC1 protein are leaner, suggesting this molecule may have a role in metabolic imbalance and premature cell deterioration by supplying too much nutrition for normal growth and development.

Additional evidence finds SHC1 activates the insulin receptor, triggering multiple signaling events that affect fat cell growth.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Yoneyama, Y. Guo, M. B. Lanktree, M. R. Barnes, C. C. Elbers, K. J. Karczewski, S. Padmanabhan, F. Bauer, J. Baumert, A. Beitelshees, G. S. Berenson, J. M. A. Boer, G. Burke, B. Cade, W. Chen, R. M. Cooper-DeHoff, T. R. Gaunt, C. Gieger, Y. Gong, M. Gorski, N. Heard-Costa, T. Johnson, M. J. Lamonte, C. McDonough, K. L. Monda, N. C. Onland-Moret, C. P. Nelson, J. R. O'Connell, J. Ordovas, I. Peter, A. Peters, J. Shaffer, H. Shen, E. Smith, L. Speilotes, F. Thomas, B. Thorand, W. M. M. Verschuren, S. S. Anand, A. Dominiczak, K. W. Davidson, R. A. Hegele, I. Heid, M. H. Hofker, G. S. Huggins, T. Illig, J. A. Johnson, S. Kirkland, W. Konig, T. Y. Langaee, J. McCaffery, O. Melander, B. D. Mitchell, P. Munroe, S. S. Murray, G. Papanicolaou, S. Redline, M. Reilly, N. J. Samani, N. J. Schork, Y. T. van der Schouw, D. Shimbo, A. R. Shuldiner, M. D. Tobin, C. Wijmenga, S. Yusuf, H. Hakonarson, L. A. Lange, E. W. Demerath, C. S. Fox, K. E. North, A. P. Reiner, B. Keating, K. C. Taylor. Gene-centric meta-analyses for central adiposity traits in up to 57,412 individuals of European descent confirm known loci and reveal several novel associations. Human Molecular Genetics, 2013; DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddt626

Cite This Page:

University of Louisville. "Epidemiologist uncovers new genes linked to abdominal fat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122102538.htm>.
University of Louisville. (2014, January 22). Epidemiologist uncovers new genes linked to abdominal fat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122102538.htm
University of Louisville. "Epidemiologist uncovers new genes linked to abdominal fat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122102538.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. 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:
from the past week

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