A protein found in brown fat, but not typical white fat, is key to how the energy-burning brown fat cells function
While most fat cells in the human body store energy, everyone has a small subset of brown fat cells that do the opposite—burn energy and generate heat. Now, Salk researchers have discovered how the molecule ERR? gives this “healthier” brown fat its energy-expending identity, making those cells ready to warm you up when you step into the cold, and potentially offering a new therapeutic target for diseases related to obesity. The paper appears in Cell Reports on March 13, 2018.
“This not only advances our understanding of how the body responds to cold, but could lead to new ways to control the amount of brown fat in the body, which has links to obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease,” says senior author Ronald Evans, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and holder of Salk’s March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology.
Until about a decade ago, scientists thought that only babies—who can’t yet shiver to warm up—had brown fat in their bodies. Studies have since shown that adults also have brown fat, albeit at much lower levels, and people with lower body mass indexes (BMIs) tend to have more of it. At a cellular level, brown fat cells are crammed full of energy-generating mitochondria, which give the cells their brown color.
In the new work, Evans’ group focused on estrogen-related receptor gamma (ERR?), a gene that is active at high levels in brown fat cells.
“We were interested in what maintains brown fat, even when we’re not exposed to cold all the time,” says Maryam Ahmadian, a Salk research associate and first author of the new paper.
The team found that brown fat cells express the ERR? gene all the time (not just in response to cold) and that white fat cells do not express the gene at all. And by studying mice lacking the gene for ERR? (and therefore unable to make the ERRy molecule), the team observed that all brown fat cells resembled white cells in these mice. Additionally, the animals were unable to maintain their body temperature when exposed to cold temperatures. While 80 percent of normal mice are able to handle a temperature drop, all mice lacking ERR? did not tolerate the cold. However, there was no difference in the metabolism or weight of the mice. Together, the experiments reveal that ERR? is key to helping brown fat maintain its identity and its ability to respond to cold.
Since the ERR? gene codes for a protein that can travel into the cell nucleus and directly control the expression of other genes, the team also probed which genes were mediated by ERR? in brown fat cells. They pinpointed a number of genes already known to be important in brown fat, but which hadn’t been specifically linked to ERR? inthe past.
“We uncovered the factors that are both involved in protection against the cold and underpin brown fat identity,” says Michael Downes, a Salk senior scientist and co–senior author of the paper.
The group is planning future studies that look at the effect of activating ERR? in white fat cells—which they suspect could make some white fat resemble brown fat, and potentially help treat obesity and diabetes. They also want to study whether the role of ERR? in the brown fat of humans is the same as what they’ve observed in mice.
The Latest on: Drug for obesity
via Google News
The Latest on: Drug for obesity
Brain blamed for male mice gaining more weight than females
on April 18, 2018 at 12:47 pm
On the other hand, female mice developed male-like obesity." By knocking out TAp63 ... Class of type 2 diabetes drugs doesn't cut death risk compared to placebo 3 hours ago ago April 18 (UPI) -- Comparing three classes of type 2 diabetes drugs, researchers ... […]
Characterizing 'keyhole' is first step to fighting obesity at cellular level
on April 18, 2018 at 11:51 am
"This is a very important milestone in the drug discovery process," Meiler said ... Characterizing 'keyhole' is first step to fighting obesity at cellular level: Team also launches development of potential small-molecule therapeutics. […]
Characterizing ‘keyhole’ is first step to fighting obesity at the cellular level
on April 18, 2018 at 11:11 am
An international team has uncovered the potential to beat obesity at the cellular level ... said pharmaceutical companies long have attempted to develop a small-molecule drug that could do just that. But until now, nobody knew exactly what the receptor ... […]
Obesity linked with higher chance of developing rapid, irregular heart rate
on April 18, 2018 at 10:46 am
and also puts a strain on the healthcare system due to the medications, procedures and possible hospitalizations needed to manage the condition. While previous research has linked obesity and atrial fibrillation, Foy said he wanted to explore the ... […]
Leptin's neural circuit identified—Genome-editing study reveals how hormone helps prevent both obesity and diabetes
on April 18, 2018 at 10:01 am
Although its award-winning discovery transformed the study of obesity more than 20 years ago ... The Tufts researchers induced diabetes in non-obese adult mice with the drug streptozotocin (STZ), which breaks pancreatic beta cells and stops insulin ... […]
Lifestyle Drugs Sales Market Industry Scenario, Trends, Share & Future Forecast By 2022
on April 18, 2018 at 6:37 am
Based on product type segmentation it covers tablet, capsule and injections; and based on end user/application it covers depression, dermatology, sexual dysfunction, obesity. The global lifestyle drugs sales market on geographic segmentation covers various ... […]
Explore anti obesity drugs market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 40% during the period 2015-2020
on April 18, 2018 at 12:50 am
Prevailed bad eating habits, steep growth in packaged food consumption, less physical activity and hereditary concerns are the biggest factor in the increased obese people. Rising concern of health problems related to obesity, presence of large numbers of ... […]
New study: Lifestyle drugs market detailed analytical overview by 2025
on April 17, 2018 at 11:25 pm
Also lifestyle drugs treat the conditions such as obesity, alcoholism, smoking, insomnia many lifestyle drugs are available at OTC products. Popularity of the lifestyle drugs have increased as these drugs are used for increasing aesthetic appeal. […]
Global Obesity Epidemiology and Patient Flow Analysis Report 2018
on April 17, 2018 at 2:25 pm
patients diagnosed with Obesity, and patients treated with a drug therapy. The research study helps executives estimate Obesity market potential, assess unmet need, develop drug forecasting models, and build population-based health management frameworks. […]
via Bing News