Navigation Links
Weizmann Institute scientists discover: A protein that contributes to obesity
Date:5/4/2011

Weizmann Institute scientists have added another piece to the obesity puzzle, showing how and why a certain protein that is active in a small part of the brain contributes to weight gain. This research appeared today in Cell Metabolism.

Prof. Ari Elson and his team in the Institute's Molecular Genetics Department made the discovery when working with female mice that were genetically engineered to lack this protein, called protein tyrosine phosphatase epsilon (PTPe, for short). The scientists had originally intended to investigate osteoporosis, and thus, they also removed the ovaries of these mice. Taking out ovaries typically causes mice to gain weight to the point of obesity so the scientists were surprised to find that the weight of the genetically-engineered mice remained stable. Working with Dr. Alon Chen and his group in the Neurobiology Department and Prof. Hilla Knobler, Head of the Unit of Metabolic Disease and Diabetes of Kaplan Medical Center, the researchers fed these mice a high-fat diet, yet the PTPe-deficient mice maintained their svelte figures; they burned more energy and had more stable glucose levels as well.

To find out how the lack of this protein could keep mice slim and healthy, the scientists looked at the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that takes in assorted stimuli, including a wide variety of hormones, and sends out messages of its own in the form of new hormones and nerve signals. The hypothalamus plays a vital role in regulating body mass a complex balancing act that involves, among other things, controlling appetite and physical activity.

Elson and his team found that PTPe blocks the messages from a hormone called leptin a key player in body mass regulation. They revealed exactly how it does this: PTPe responds to the leptin signal in the hypothalamus, inhibiting certain molecules, which in turn dampens that signal.

Among its actions, leptin reduces appetite and increases physical activity. Paradoxically, obese people often have a surfeit of leptin circulating in their blood. This is because, while their bodies produce the hormone normally, their cells become resistant to its effects, and more leptin is then generated to compensate.

The new research shows that PTPe plays a role in this resistance. The scientists found that the mice lacking the protein were highly sensitive to leptin; and they remained so despite aging, ovary removal or high-fat diets. This suggests that in obese humans with leptin insensitivity, inhibiting PTPe might, conceivably, help to reestablish the leptin response and help induce weight loss. This, however, requires further research to ensure that it acts in the same way in humans with no dangerous side-effects.

Elson: "Interestingly enough, the effect seems to be gender-specific. Male mice hardly benefitted at all from the lack of PTPe compared with the female mice. This finding could open up whole new lines of inquiry in obesity studies."


'/>"/>

Contact: Yivsam Azgad
news@weizmann.ac.il
972-893-43856
Weizmann Institute of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. DNA computation gets logical at the Weizmann Institute of Science
2. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a unique approach for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen
3. Weizmann Institute scientists show extra copies of a gene carry extra risk
4. Weizmann Institute scientists discover how cancer cells survive a chemotherapy drug
5. UC Berkeley launches Synthetic Biology Institute to advance research in biological engineering
6. La Jolla Institute identifies new therapeutic target for asthma, COPD and other lung disorders
7. Allen Institute for Brain Science announces first comprehensive gene map of the human brain
8. NYU Cancer Institute experts present at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011
9. Brigham and Womens Hospital researcher named National Space Biomedical Research Institute Fellow
10. La Jolla Institute-led team illuminates cell pathway key to insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes
11. Challenges for biofuels: New life cycle assessment report from Energy Biosciences Institute
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/3/2016)... June 3, 2016 ... Nepal hat ein ... hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und ... der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche ... im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 Perimeter Surveillance & Detection ... Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  The ... offers comprehensive analysis of the global Border Security ... revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: ... leader in software and hardware technologies for advanced video ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce its ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will ... VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, ... and usability. ... partnership. "This marketing and technology partnership ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing ... July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced a ... sciences incubator to accelerate the development of new therapies ... QB3@953 was created to help high-potential life science and ... stage organizations - access to laboratory infrastructure. ... "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each winner with one ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016 Cell Applications, Inc. ... them to produce up to one billion human ... within one week. These high-quality, consistent stem cells ... cells and spend more time doing meaningful, relevant ... proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process that produces affordable, reliable ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... YORK , June 22, 2016  According ... growing next generation sequencing (NGS) market include significant ... of smaller sequencers.  More accessible and affordable sequencers, ... to growing demand for consumables including sample prep ... The Market for Sample Preparation for Next Generation ...
Breaking Biology Technology: