Navigation Links
Body weight influenced by thousands of genes
Date:1/14/2008

PHILADELPHIA (January 14, 2008) Reporting in the online journal BMC Genetics, researchers from the Monell Center have for the first time attempted to count the number of genes that contribute to obesity and body weight.

The findings suggest that over 6,000 genes about 25 percent of the genome help determine an individuals body weight.

Reports describing the discovery of a new obesity gene have become common in the scientific literature and also the popular press, notes Monell behavioral geneticist Michael G. Tordoff, PhD, an author on the study.

Our results suggest that each newly discovered gene is just one of the many thousands that influence body weight, so a quick fix to the obesity problem is unlikely.

To obtain an estimate of how many genes contribute to body weight, the Monell researchers surveyed the Jackson Laboratory Mouse Genome Database for information on body weights of knockout mouse strains.

Knockout mice have had a specific gene inactivated, or "knocked out. By studying how the knockout mice differ from normal mice, researchers obtain information about that genes function and how it might contribute to disease. Mice can provide valuable information on human disease because they share many genes with humans.

The knockout approach is so useful that the inventors of the technology were awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Knockout mice are now standard tools in all mouse models of behavior and disease.

In 60% of strains, knocking out a gene produces mice that are nonviable; that is, the mouse cannot survive without the knocked out gene.

The Monell survey revealed that body weight was altered in over a third of the viable knockout stains; 31 percent weighed less than controls (indicating that the missing genes contribute to heavier body weight), while another 3 percent weighed more (contributing to lighter weight).

Extrapolating from the total number of genes in the mouse genome, this implies that over 6,000 genes could potentially contribute to the body weight of a mouse.

Tordoff comments, It is interesting that there are 10 times more genes that increase body weight than decrease it, which might help explain why it is easier to gain weight than lose it.

Because body weight plays a role in many diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, the implications of the findings extend beyond studies of obesity and body weight. Gene knockouts reported to affect these diseases and others could potentially be due to a general effect to lower body weight.

The findings also hold clinical relevance, according to lead author Danielle R. Reed, PhD, a Monell geneticist. "Clinicians and other professionals concerned with the development of personalized medicine need to expand their ideas of genetics to recognize that many genes act together to determine disease susceptibility."


'/>"/>

Contact: Leslie Stein
stein@monell.org
267-519-4707
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Weight loss -- not one size fits all
2. Lush or lightweight?
3. Knocking out cell receptor may help block fat deposits in tissues, prevent weight gain
4. Exercise improves thinking, reduces diabetes risk in overweight children
5. Researchers find evidence linking stress caused by the Sept. 11 disaster with low birth weights
6. New drug makes weight loss safer
7. Weight gain between first and second pregnancies associated with increased odds of male second child
8. Soft drinks alone do not affect childrens weight
9. Mice stressed in simulated weightlessness show organ atrophy
10. How mother of thousands makes plantlets
11. Thousands of starving children could be restored to health with peanut butter program
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017 With the biometrics ... Research identifies four technologies that innovative and agile ... significant share in the changing competitive landscape: multifactor ... authentication.   "Companies can no longer ... security," says Dimitrios Pavlakis , Industry Analyst ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Feb. 16, 2017  Genos, a community for ... it has received Laboratory Accreditation from the College ... presented to laboratories that meet stringent requirements around ... rigorous processes. "Genos is committed to ... practices. We,re honored to be receiving CAP accreditation," ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... 13, 2017 Former 9/11 Commission border counsel ... Janice Kephart of Identity Strategy Partners, LLP, ... Trump,s "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign ... "As President Trump,s ,Travel Ban, Executive Order ... essentially banned the travel ban, it is important that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... BEIJING, Feb. 23, 2017 China Biologic Products, Inc. ... integrated plasma-based biopharmaceutical company in China, today announced its financial ... Fourth Quarter 2016 Financial Highlights ... increased by 21.7% in RMB terms, or increased by 13.6% ... the same quarter of 2015. Gross profit ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... BellBrook Labs is ... include an array of biochemical analyses critical for Lead Discovery. The company’s ... and SAR programs, including inhibitor potency and selectivity, mechanism of action, and inhibitor ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017  Imanis Life Sciences announced ... of oncolytic vaccinia viruses for virotherapy research. These ... of Genelux,s proprietary, vaccinia virus-based technology platform for ... enter into a partnership with Genelux to offer ... viruses for use in research," said Dr. ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... The Greater Gift Initiative, Inc , (GGI) a ... Research . GGI's mission is to advance global health and highlight the greater good ... honor of each clinical trial volunteer. The vision of GGI is to serve as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: