About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Gene Mutations Also Cause Obesity

by Julia Samuel on January 9, 2018 at 4:16 PM
Font : A-A+

Gene Mutations Also Cause Obesity

Mutations in certain genes can cause obesity. This was evident in children suffering from obesity in Pakistan.

A new study, led by Imperial College London found that the genetic links to obesity had been previously identified in about 30% of cases.

Advertisement


Research into the genetic causes of obesity, and related conditions, could be incredibly valuable in finding ways to treat them. Currently, there are some drugs available or being tested, but knowing what specific mutations cause obesity allows scientists to create drugs that target them specifically.

Genes Related To Obesity

The link of genes to obesity is due to recessive mutations that are more likely to be inherited and passed on to children in a region like Pakistan because of the high level of consanguinity (inter-family relationships) in its population. This is because parents who are closely related are more likely to be carrying the same mutation, so a child may inherit from both sides, causing the mutation to take effect.
Advertisement

This new study used genome sequencing and found mutations in one specific gene related to obesity: adenylate cyclase 3 (ADCY3). When mutations occur in ADCY3, the protein it codes for forms abnormally and doesn't function properly. This leads to abnormalities relating to appetite control, diabetes, and even sense of smell.

Professor Philippe Froguel, chair of Genomic Medicine at Imperial, said: "Early studies into ADCY3 tested mice that were bred to lack that gene, found that these animals were obese and also lacked the ability to smell, known as anosmia. When we tested our patients, we found that they also had anosmia, again showing a link to mutations in ADCY3."

ADCY3 is thought to impact a system that links the hypothalamus (part of the brain) to the production of hormones that regulate a wide variety of biological functions, including appetite.

After identifying the mutations in the Pakistani patients, the research team entered their results into GeneMatcher, described by Professor Froguel as a "dating agency for genetics". This led to another group of scientists in the Netherlands contacting the team with their own ADCY3 findings in one of their patients with obesity.

This new European patient inherited different mutations on the same ADCY3 gene from both parents (as they were not closely related, as in Pakistan) so the ADCY3 gene of the offspring was not functioning properly, leading to obesity.

Further connections were made with a group of Danish scientists, studying the Inuit population of Greenland. Whilst not traditionally consanguineous (as in close family marriages), this population is small, so inbreeding is likely to have occurred.

Professor Froguel added: "Obesity is not always gluttony, as is often suggested, and I think we should have a positive outlook considering the new treatments that are becoming possible. Such attempts to understand obesity and look for a cure are a real strength of the Imperial Faculty and Department of Medicine."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Is COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy Safe?
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Bariatric Surgery DNA Finger Printing Obesity Bulimia Nervosa Body Mass Index Liposuction Cystic Fibrosis Battle of the Bulge Diabesity Hunger Fullness and Weight Control 

Recommended Reading
Obesity
Obesity is a condition where there is excess accumulation of body fat which poses a risk to the ......
Anti-Quick Fix Weight Loss
Trying to lose weight? Weight loss is not a race or a competition against time but a lifestyle ......
Brown Fat to Fight Flab
Around 50 grams of white fat stores 300 kilocalories. In contrast the same amount of brown fat ......
Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity is one of the most serious health challenges in the developing countries and ......
Battle of the Bulge
The ‘battle of bulge’ is the toughest of all battles. Once you put on weight it is so difficult to g...
Body Mass Index
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool that is generally used to estimate the total amount of body f...
Bulimia Nervosa
The term ''Bulimia'' refers to episodes of uncontrolled excessive eating, known as "binges," followe...
Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease involving the mucus and sweat glands and the medical world has ...
Diabesity
With more than one billion people affected, diabesity is the largest epidemic in the world today. Fo...
DNA Finger Printing
DNA fingerprinting is a technique which helps forensic scientists and legal experts solve crimes, id...
Hunger Fullness and Weight Control
An erratic way of eating or any metabolic disturbance in the hunger fullness signals is one of the m...
Liposuction
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, which is used to suck out the excess or abnormal fat deposition...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use