Genes behind severe childhood obesity identified
Washington: A genome wide study has identified four new genetic variants associated with severe childhood obesity.
The researchers also found an increased burden of rare structural variations in severely obese children.
The team found that structural variations can delete sections of DNA that help to maintain protein receptors known to be involved in the regulation of weight. These receptors are promising targets for the development of new drugs against obesity.
As one of the major health issues affecting modern societies, obesity has increasingly received public attention. Genes, behavior and environment, all contribute to the development of obesity.
Children with severe obesity are more likely to have a strong genetic contribution. This study has enhanced understanding of how both common and rare variants around specific genes and genetic regions are involved in severe childhood obesity.
"We`ve known for a long time that changes to our genes can increase our risk of obesity. For example, the gene FTO has been unequivocally associated with BMI, obesity and other obesity-related traits," said Dr Eleanor Wheeler, first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
"In our study of severely obese children, we found that variations in or near two of the newly associated genes seem to have a comparable or greater effect on obesity than the FTO gene: PRKCH and RMST," Dr Wheeler stated.
The team found that different genes could be involved in severe childhood obesity compared to obesity in adults.
Rare genetic changes in one of the newly associated genes, LEPR, are known to cause a severe form of early onset obesity. The team identified a more common variant in this gene, found in 6 per cent of the population that can increase a person`s risk of obesity. This finding is an example of where rare and more common variations around the same gene or region can influence the risk of severe obesity.
Some of the children in this study had an increased number of structural variations of their DNA that delete G-protein coupled receptors, important receptors in the regulation of weight. These receptors are key targets for current drug development and may have potential therapeutic implications for obesity.
"Some children will be obese because they have severe mutations, but our research indicates that some may have a combination of severe mutations and milder acting variants that in combination contribute to their obesity," said Professor Sadaf Farooqi, co-lead author from the University of Cambridge.
"As we uncover more and more variants and genetic links, we will gain a better basic understanding of obesity, which in turn will open doors to areas of clinically relevant research," he added.
As part of the UK10K project the team are now exploring all the genes of 1000 children with severe obesity in whom a diagnostic mutation has not been found. This work will find new severe mutations that may explain the causes of obesity in other children.
Dr Ins Barroso, co-lead author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute , noted that their study adds evidence that a range of both rare and common genetic variants are responsible for severe childhood obesity.
"This work brings us a step closer to understanding the biology underlying this severe form of childhood obesity and providing a potential diagnosis to the children and their parents," Dr Ins Barroso added.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Para athlete Deepa Malik complains of callous service by Air India
- Smriti Irani visits Amethi, promises to pay insurance money to 25,000 women
- One year of Modi govt: Amit Shah addresses media
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- BBV: What challenges lie ahead of Modi govt?
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced on May 28
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark