Washington: What if there was a slimming pill to help you shed those extra kilos? With the discovery of two genes that make people fat, a team of scientist is a step closer.
Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have analyzed the causes of obesity at the genetic level and have discovered one of the molecular mechanisms involved in storing and burning fat.
The OIST team discovered that mice lacking 2 genes, Cnot7 and Tob, remain lean even after eating a high-fat diet. Scientists examined the fat tissue of these mice and found that the secret of their slender waistlines lies in the increased expression of another gene called Ucp1. Ucp1 helps to reduce fat deposits by converting fat stored in fat cells into heat. It is well known that obese people and obese mice have low concentrations of Ucp1 in their fat cells, so they are prone to store fat rather than burn it off.
"We wish to inhibit the pathway that suppresses the conversion of fat into heat. Being able to enhance fat burning could have clinical applications, such as the production of anti-obesity drugs," explains researcher Takahashi Akinori.
The study is published in Cell Reports.