14 February 2013

Will non-coding RNAs help fight obesity?

The RNA responsible for the formation of fat has been found

Copper newsAmerican scientists have discovered ten non-coding RNAs that regulate the formation of fat cells, EurekAlert! (Long non-coding RNAs control development of fat cells) reports.

The results of the work of researchers from several well–known institutes, conducted under the leadership of Professor Harvey Lodish from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (a division of MIT), are published in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Sun et al., Long noncoding RNAs regulate adipogenesis - VM).

Fat cells (adipocytes) present in the human body belong to white or brown fat. White fat, which contains fat droplets, accumulates energy, brown, on the contrary, consumes it with the formation of heat. A large amount of brown fat is present in the body of children, and as they grow older, its reserves decrease.

"We tried to figure out what this mechanism is and what is necessary for the formation of fat cells," Lodish said. In search of information about the mechanism of adipocyte formation, researchers studied the transcriptome (a set of RNA molecules formed as a result of transcription, including matrix and non-coding RNAs) of white and brown fat cells, as well as their progenitor cells. Bioengineers have discovered 175 long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) involved in the regulation of the emergence and vital activity of fat cells.

Out of 175 lncRNAs, scientists were able to isolate 10 RNAs, the suppression of the expression of which in white fat cells leads to a decrease in fat droplets. A decrease in the expression of these RNAs in adipocyte progenitor cells led to the fact that the genes that usually begin to "work" when these cells mature do not "turn on". This stops the process of formation of new white fat from progenitor cells.

The formation of an excessive number of white fat cells is usually associated with the appearance of excess weight and obesity. According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity is a serious problem for the United States – it affects more than a third of adults in the country. Excess weight is also associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes and stroke. According to experts, the problems associated with obesity cost the country $147 billion in 2008.

The authors hope that after further study of the mechanism of adipocyte formation and the functions that long non-coding RNAs perform in these cells, it will be possible to find a new method of obesity therapy.

Another group of scientists in December last year proposed their own method of treating obesity based on brown fat transplantation. A series of experiments on brown fat transplantation in mice has been completed successfully.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru14.02.2013

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