Gene could maintain a steady weight, study finds

24 November 2011

A new gene could help people undergoing weight loss procedures to maintain a steady body mass index, research has found.

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute discovered that a specific gene plays an important role in keeping a balance between food intake and energy expenditure in a finding that may help medical professionals combat obesity and diabetes.

Published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the study looked at the melanocortin-3 receptor (MC3R), which normally responds to protein intake.

The researchers found that it is possible to "switch on" the MC3R in certain cells when tested on an animal model.

Scripps Research associate professor Andrew Butler said: "We thought that the actions of the receptor expressed in the brain would be critical for metabolic homeostasis."

According to weight loss organisation All About Weight, the key to managing a good diet is to decide on a plan that can be sustained in the long term.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Begriche, Karima, "Genetic dissection of melanocortin-3 receptor function suggests roles for central and peripheral receptors in energy homeostasis", Journal of Biological Chemistry, November 23rd 2011


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