Obesity and Ordinary Weight Gain Linked To Guess What? Not Simply Junk Food But A Gene Called Niemann Pick Type C.
The first genetic map of obesity has been constructed using DNA microarray technology and guess what gene obesity is linked to? The Niemann Pick Type C gene on Chromosome 18 that is mutated in Addi and Cassi and which is causing their deadly cholesterol metabolism disorder. I have now found out that the NPC gene that is involved in all people’s cholesterol metabolism is liked to the HIV/AIDs viruses ability to assembly itself in the body of infected persons, Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy and now Obesity!
Would the NIH please provide more funding into studying the NPC gene — the NPC cholesterol gene dates back 500 million years to worms, flies and plants and obviously is involved in many critical processes in the human body.
The obesity report was publsihed in Nature Genetics by a research group led by CNRS researcher Philippe Froguel and Inserm researcher David Meyre. This study led to the discovery of three new genes that increase the risk not only of severe obesity but also ordinary weight gain in the population. It underlines that there is no difference between being overweight and other forms of obesity (mild, severe or massive).
Even though the increase in the number of obese people over the two last decades is partially due to social causes (inactivity, junk food, etc.), heredity plays an important part in determining body weight (70% hereditary) and the occurrence of obesity, especially when this is severe and appears early in life, according to researchers.
Froguel’s team has been working for 15 years to better understand the molecular basis of type 2 diabetes and the obesity found in 80% of diabetics. Their work has revealed several genes responsible for monogenic forms of obesity and has demonstrated the essential role these genes play in appetite control. The scientists first confirmed that the genes FTO and MC4R(4) played a major role in susceptibility to common obesity and weight gain in the population as a whole. These two genes work by controlling eating behavior.
The researchers also found variations in the DNA close to the genes MAF and PTER(5), and directly in the coding sequence of the NPC1 gene. Mutations associated with obesity could therefore directly induce an increase in the function of the NPC1 protein, such that it would work too well if the gene had mutated.
As for the MAF gene, it codes for a particular protein involved in the differentiation of adipose tissue (tissue responsible for fat storage) and in the production of a digestive hormone involved in satiety and insulin secretion. The last gene (PRL) is more particularly associated with obesity and weight gain in adults. PRL produces prolactin, a hormone well known for its effect in stimulating lactation in women. Prolactin also plays a role in controlling the amount of food we consume.