Tags: gene | tied | to | obesity

Gene Tied to Obesity

Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012 04:26 PM




Genetic defects that affect a protein that functions as a dietary fat sensor may be a cause of obesity and liver disease, according to a new study published in the journal Nature.

Researchers at Imperial College London said the findings highlight a promising target for new drugs to treat obesity and metabolic disorders.

The protein – known scientifically GPR120 -- is found on the surface of cells in the gut, liver and fat tissue. It allows cells to detect and respond to unsaturated fatty acids from the diet.

Scientists found that mice deficient in the protein were more prone to developing obesity and liver disease when fed a high-fat diet. They also found that people with a certain mutation in the gene encoding GPR120, which stops the protein from responding to omega-3 fatty acids, were significantly more likely to be obese.

“Our study suggests that in both mice and humans, defects in GPR120 combined with a high-fat diet greatly increase the risk of this unhealthy pattern of obesity," said lead researcher Philippe Froguel, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London. “We think GPR120 could be a useful target for new drugs to treat obesity and liver diseases."

© HealthDay

 
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A genetic defect could leave some people more prone to obesity and liver disease.
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2012-26-21
Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012 04:26 PM
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