Tuesday, September 4, 2007

"Skinny" gene keeps mice lean

"Skinny" gene keeps mice lean, study finds - Yahoo! News
"A gene that keeps mice and fruit flies lean might offer a way to prevent obesity and diabetes in people...The gene, discovered more than 50 years ago in fruit flies, makes mice fat when tweaked one way and thin when manipulated another way...The gene, called adp for adipose, was discovered by Winifred Doane, while she was studying infertility in fruit flies as a graduate student at Yale University..."It was always my dream that the drosophila (fruit fly) adipose gene would turn out to be a model for controlling obesity and type 2 diabetes. It looks like it is starting in that direction now,"...Doane said the gene appears to be a regulatory gene, meaning it controls the activity of other genes...In humans, adp is in a region of the genome that is already linked to obesity and diabetes, Graff said...And it is not an all-or-nothing gene, at least not in mice tested in the lab. "This is a volume control -- not on and off. As you get less and less function of protein, you get fatter and fatter, and as you get more and more, you get skinnier and skinner," Graff said... "

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