Navigation Links
Rutgers researchers find fat gene

Rutgers researchers have identified a gene ?and the molecular function of its protein product ?that provides an important clue to further understanding obesity and may point the way to new drugs to control fat metabolism.

The scientists found that the human protein known as lipin is a key fat-regulating enzyme. "Lipin activity may be an important pharmaceutical target for the control of body fat in humans, treating conditions that range from obesity to the loss of fat beneath the skin, as seen in HIV patients, " said George M. Carman, a professor in Rutgers' department of food science.

In a paper published online by the Journal of Biological Chemistry (print version, April 7), Carman and his research team at Rutgers' Cook College describe their scientific detective work, moving from clue to clue in a series of logical connections to reach their discoveries.

Previous studies with mice showed that a lack of lipin causes a loss of body fat, whereas an excess of lipin promotes extra body fat. So researchers knew that lipin was involved in fat metabolism; they just didn't know how.

The Carman team's first revelation came with the discovery that lipin is an enzyme (phosphatidic acid phosphatase or PAP), a protein catalyst that is required for the formation of fats ?triglycerides, specifically.

The breakthrough for Carman's group grew out of work with ordinary baker's yeast; a simple single cell organism. "We isolated the PAP enzyme from yeast that corresponds in form to lipin in mammals and showed that yeast cells lacking the enzyme exhibited a 90 percent reduction in the yeast's version of fat loss," Carman said.

The group worked out the sequence of the amino acids that make up the PAP enzyme, allowing them to backtrack along the path to its origin ?the gene that coded it ?linking the enzyme to the yeast gene PAH1 that made it. Carman and his group went on to confirm the link by introducing the yeast gene into bacteria , with similar results.

The researchers showed that the enzyme encoded by the PAH1 gene looks and acts very much like the lipin found in mammals. The yeast PAP enzyme shares a high resemblance to the lipin protein in mammals so they logically deduced the link between PAP enzyme function and lipin.

"These findings are of major importance to the AIDS community as well as to those concerned with the obesity epidemic," said Jean Chin, a program director at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the part of the National Institutes of Health that funded the research. Carman's research is also supported by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

Obesity in the United States has risen at an epidemic rate during the past 20 years, a condition affecting about one-third of American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the national health objectives for the year 2010 is to reduce the prevalence of obesity among adults to less than 15 percent.


Source:Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Related biology news :

1. Rutgers to lead $52.7 million protein research program
2. Rutgers researchers scientifically link dancing ability to mate quality
3. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
4. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
5. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
6. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
7. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
8. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
9. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
10. Agilent Technologies releases automated literature search tool for biology researchers
11. Self-assembled nano-sized probes allow Penn researchers to see tumors through flesh and skin
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015  In this ... the basis of product, type, application, disease ... in this report are consumables, services, software. ... are safety biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and validation ... report are diagnostics development, drug discovery and ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 09, 2015 ... the addition of the "Global Law ... their offering. --> ) ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) has ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... 2015 --> ... by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market - Global ... - 2022", the global home security solutions market is expected to ... The market is estimated to expand at a CAGR ... 2022. Rising security needs among customers at homes, the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 SHPG ) announced today that ... Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ... will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare ... Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today announced that its ... at 11:00 a.m. Israel time, at the law ... Allon Street, 36 th Floor, Tel Aviv, Israel ... and Izhak Tamir to the Board of Directors; ... directors; , approval of an amendment to certain terms of options ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...  Twist Bioscience, a company focused on synthetic ... Bioscience chief executive officer, will present at the ... 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern Time at The Lotte New ... --> --> About Twist ... on Twitter. Sign up to follow our Twitter ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, the leading ... culture models, has promoted Melanie Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. ... on the management team and was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics ...
Breaking Biology Technology: