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
- Obesity Therapeutic Drugs Market: Growth Factors, Applications and Regional Analysis & Key Players Norgine, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Shionogi, Roche on February 21, 2019 at 5:50 am
HTF MI recently Announced Global Obesity Therapeutic Drugs study with 100+ market data Tables and Figures spread through Pages and easy to understand detailed TOC on "Obesity Therapeutic Drugs. Global ... […]
- Obesity Treatment Market 2019 Analysis & Forecast to 2025 on February 21, 2019 at 5:23 am
Obesity Treatment Surgery Outlook and Trend Analysis Obesity can be effectively managed through surgical and non-surgical methods such as use of drugs and making changes in lifestyle. Weight loss drug... […]
- Obesity Treatment Market 2019 Grow at a CAGR of 16.7% to 2023 Segmentation, Application, Dynamics, Development Status and Outlook on February 21, 2019 at 12:54 am
Browse Complete Premium Research Report at www.marketresearchfuture.com/reports/drug-discovery-servi... Europe is second in the global obesity treatment market owing to the availability of funds for r... […]
- Why Tackling Obesity Is Harder Than You Think on February 20, 2019 at 4:30 pm
And the health risks associated with obesity are are hard to ignore. Dr. Ackermann says losing 10 to 15 pounds can reduce hypertension and high cholesterol. It’s also enough to reduce the use of medic... […]
- Needlemans commit $15 million aimed at therapies for chronic diseases on February 20, 2019 at 1:40 pm
One center will focus on understanding autophagy, a vital cellular waste recycling system that has been implicated in many processes that affect health, including aging, infections, inflammatory disea... […]
- New Study Identifies Drug to Regenerate Elderly Muscles on February 19, 2019 at 5:42 pm
About Ridgeline Therapeutics Ridgeline Therapeutics is focused on developing first-in-class oral drugs to treat age-related muscle degeneration, obesity-linked diabetes, recurrent glioblastoma, and mu... […]
- Intercept could score first NASH drug approval on positive Phase III data on February 19, 2019 at 11:05 am
A drug in development for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis ... NASH, whose global incidence is rising alongside obesity and Type 2 diabetes, is expected to grow in market value from $1.17 billion ... […]
- With NASH results, Intercept Pharma will seek approval for first-ever treatment for fatty liver condition on February 19, 2019 at 5:14 am
The drug is called obeticholic acid ... Diet and exercise are effective in reversing the early stages of fatty liver disease, but obesity rates in the U.S. are on the rise, and so is the prevalence of ... […]
- Immune Profiling: A New Opportunity for Drug Development on February 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm
as well as obesity and metabolic disease. “We’re looking at the immune system as a new opportunity to develop drugs. If we can understand it, we can turn it in the patient’s favor to treat these many, ... […]
via Bing News