08 April 2013

Obesity and the seven genes

Biologists have discovered seven genes associated with the development of obesity in humans

RIA NewsEuropean geneticists conducted a large-scale study among 260 thousand volunteers and identified seven previously unknown genes in their DNA, mutations in which lead to the development of obesity and metabolic disorders, according to an article published in the journal Nature Genetics (Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies 11 new loci for anthropometric traits and provides insights into genetic architecture; a popular retelling of the results can be read in the press release of Uppsala University: Genes behind obesity mapped in large-scale study - VM).

"Practice has long shown that genetic factors strongly influence the development of both mild and extremely severe forms of obesity. We did not know how much the genes associated with the appearance of a particular type of obesity or a slight increase in weight "intersect". Our study showed that extreme obesity develops due to a combination of several mutations, rather than a single error in the gene," said Erik Ingelsson from Uppsala University (Sweden).

Ingelsson and his colleagues came to this conclusion after analyzing and comparing the genomes of over 260 thousand Europeans who took part in the GIANT project, aimed at finding genes that affect height, body weight and other anthropometric indicators. As part of this study, volunteers took DNA samples, and also allowed scientists to measure their height, weight, lung volume, body mass index and other indicators.

Studying the GIANT data, the authors of the article identified 273 genes, variations in which in one way or another influenced anthropometric indicators. After analyzing their structure and properties, geneticists selected from them only those mutations in which led to changes in body weight. This allowed Ingelsson and his colleagues to discover seven previously unknown genes associated with obesity.

According to biologists, mutations in one or two of these genes lead to mild metabolic disorders and the development of mild forms of obesity. Extreme forms of obesity developed in cases where the volunteer's genome contained a large number of such mutations. This fact suggests that all forms of obesity have the same nature, and the differences between them can be explained by a different number of mutations, the authors conclude.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru08.04.2013

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