New gene linked to obesity discovered

Washington, June 21 (ANI): Researchers have discovered that RAP1, a gene that protects telomeres- the ends of chromosomes, has a key role in obesity.

The study conducted by the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has revealed that RAP1, in addition to being located in telomeres, is also present in the rest of the chromosome; they supposed it acts regulating the action of other genes.

In order to analyse this other potential function, and its importance in the organism, CNIO researchers created a lineage of mice without RAP1 and, to their surprise, discovered a model for obesity.

"Mice-especially female mice-without RAP1 do not eat more, but do gain weight. They suffer from metabolic syndrome, accumulate abdominal fat and present high glucose and cholesterol levels, amongst other symptoms", Paula Marti'nez, first-author of the study, said.

Researchers have discovered that it acts on the same signalling pathway mediated by another protein: PPAR- gamma (PPAR-?).

In fact, PPAR-? deficient mice suffer from a type of obesity "surprisingly similar" to that seen in mice without RAP1.

The study is published in the journal Cell Reports. (ANI)

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