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'Supermodel' mouse reveals mechanisms that regulate metabolism, researchers find
Date:5/20/2014

DALLAS May 20, 2014 A lean "Supermodel" mouse type has revealed the potentially critical role played by a largely unknown gene that regulates metabolism, findings that could provide new insight into diseases ranging from diabetes to obesity, a new study by UTSouthwestern Medical Center researchers suggests.

The Supermodel mouse's phenotype the physical characteristics that result from its gene makeup include being very small in size, with an unusual body form caused by abnormal distribution of fat, said Dr. Zhe Chen, Assistant Professor of Biophysics, and Dr. Bruce Beutler, Professor of Immunology, with UTSouthwestern's Center for the Genetics of Host Defense. The mouse phenotype is nicknamed "Supermodel."

"This mouse is important because it has revealed a new regulatory protein that's very important for normal metabolism, but was never known to exist before," said Nobel Laureate Dr. Beutler, Director of the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense. "The implications of the work may be felt in diabetes and obesity research, the study of wasting in chronic disease, the study of muscle cell function, and perhaps other fields."

While at the Scripps Research Institute, Dr. Beutler developed a mouse mutagenesis program, which at UTSouthwestern has become the largest and most technologically advanced in the world. The new mouse phenotype was discovered in the lab's colony of mutant mice several years ago, but the mutation was discovered and studied entirely at UTSouthwestern, in a collaboration that also involved researchers Dr. William Holland, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Dr. Aktar Ali, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, and John Shelt
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Contact: Russell Rian
russell.rian@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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