Navigation Links
Scripps Research scientists uncover new role for gene in maintaining steady weight

JUPITER, FL, November 23, 2011 Against the backdrop of the growing epidemic of obesity in the United States, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have made an important new discovery regarding a specific gene that plays an important role in keeping a steady balance between our food intake and energy expenditure. The study may help scientists better understand the keys to fighting obesity and related disorders such as diabetes.

The study, which was published in the November 25, 2011 print edition of The Journal of Biological Chemistry, focused on the melanocortin-3 receptor (MC3R), which normally responds to signals of nutrient intake.

"What we discovered was quite a surprise," said Scripps Research Associate Professor Andrew Butler, who led the study. "We thought that the actions of the receptor expressed in the brain would be critical for metabolic homeostasis. However, what we found is that actions of the receptor expressed outside the brain appear to be equally important."

The existence of drug targets in areas outside of the central nervous system (the body's "periphery") might help in the effort to develop drugs that influence metabolism without major side effects, Butler said.

The findings were made possible by the team's development of a new transgenic animal model, where expression of the MC3R gene can be selectively "switched on" in different cell types.

In the study, the suppression of MC3R expression in the brain and peripheral tissues had a marked impact on metabolic homeostasis (equilibrium). Interestingly, mice expressing the MC3R gene in the brain only displayed an obese phenotype (physical appearance) similar to those where all types of expression was suppressed, indicating that actions of this receptor in the brain are not sufficient to protect against weight gain. The finding that loss of MC3R activity in the periphery impairs metabolic homeostasis is startling, Butler said, and point to a distinct role for MC3R signaling in the peripheral tissues. However, how the actions of these receptors impacts on obesity remains to be determined.

"It's clear that these peripheral receptors are important and the new mouse model will let us explore that potential," Butler said.


Contact: Mika Ono
Scripps Research Institute

Related biology news :

1. Scripps Research team finds a weak spot on deadly ebolavirus
2. Scripps research scientists develop brand new class of small molecules through innovative chemistry
3. Scripps Health/the Medicines Company announce late breaking BRIDGE trial results presented at TCT
4. Scripps research team achieves critical step to opening elusive class of compounds to drug discovery
5. Scripps Research scientist awarded $500,000 grant to study Parkinsons disease
6. Scripps launches whole genome sequencing study to find root causes of idiopathic diseases
7. Scripps and Complete Genomics to collaborate on genetic research study on healthy aging
8. 2 Scripps Research scientists win prestigious NIH Innovator Awards
9. Scripps Research team overcomes major obstacle for stem cell therapies and research
10. Scripps Research scientists pinpoint shape-shifting mechanism critical to protein signaling
11. Scripps Research scientists establish new class of anti-diabetic compound
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Scripps Research scientists uncover new role for gene in maintaining steady weight
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a global leader ... has released a new version of its IdentityX ... North America have already installed IdentityX ... includes a FIDO UAF certified server component ... to activate FIDO features. These customers include some of ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 2015 In the present market scenario, security ... various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, electronic ... demand for secure & simplified access control and growing ... hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , and ... PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide potential ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... 2015  Delta ID Inc., a company focused on ... PC devices, announced its ActiveIRIS® technology powers the iris ... launched by NTT DOCOMO, INC in Japan ... smartphone to include iris recognition technology, after a very ... in May 2015, world,s first smartphone to have this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  Culprits beware, a ... chemistry professor Jan Halámek, is taking crime scene ...   -->   ... --> --> ... have discovered a straightforward concept for identifying whether ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Zenith Epigenetics Corp. ("Zenith" ... Norman C.W. Wong to its Board of Directors ... to Zenith with a wealth of experience as co-founder of ... biology. --> --> Dr. ... Epigenetics, board of directors. Zenith,s long standing expertise in epigenetics ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Imagine Exhibitions and Universal ... Exhibition, opening in March 2016 at Melbourne Museum in Melbourne, Australia. Immediately following ... North American tour dates. The Exhibition is based on Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), the genomics-based, technology-driven ... Genomics, Inc., a leading genome informatics company offering highly ... The San Diego -based company has ... and Co-founder, Ashley Van Zeeland , Ph.D., who is ... of the deal were not disclosed. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: