Navigation Links
Fat associated with chemical changes in DNA that may help explain obesity-related disease

AUGUSTA, Ga. Fat appears to associate with some distinctive chemical changes in the DNA a finding that may help explain why obesity can increase the risk for chronic problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, researchers report.

The finding, published in BMC Medicine, may one day help identify those at risk and reduce it, according to Dr. Xiaoling Wang, genetic epidemiologist at the Medical College of Georgia's Georgia Prevention Institute.

"Losing fat is very difficult; we know that. We also know it causes many diseases so we want to identify and target pathways to reduce those diseases," Wang said.

Fat used to be viewed as essentially padding and a ready energy source but scientists are learning it's more like a factory that makes chemicals and compounds such as hormones and proteins. Studies comparing two groups of obese versus lean teens found higher levels of chemical change, or methylation, in a portion of the UBASH3A gene and lower levels in part of the TRIM3 gene.

Both genes are known to have roles in regulating the immune system, which is often dysregulated in obese individuals. Dysregulation can result in a level of chronic inflammation that contributes to diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Methylation can impact immune function by affecting gene expression levels which ultimately impacts downstream functions of the proteins produced by genes.

"You need to know disease pathways to find novel medications," Wang said. "We generally know they have a dysregulation of the immune function, but we didn't know the specific site." She believes she found at least two sites in the UBASH3A and TRIM3 gene. Her initial search was broad: a genome-wide screen of seven obese and seven lean teens that enabled her to identify genes most different between the two. She ranked the differences and, in a much larger study of 46 obese and 46 lean controls, looked at the same sites in the top six genes and found again the distinctive methylation pattern in UBASH3A and TRIM3.

Wang now wants to clarify whether fat causes the DNA changes or vice versa and confirm that the changes contribute to the immune dysfunction associated with obesity.

She notes that because obesity does not always lead to related diseases, it's important to have a way to not just intervene, but to identify those most at risk. Factors such as fitness, body shape and environment probably are also predictors for related disease.

" (T)he public health message of 'eat less and exercise more' appears to have fallen on deaf ears," Drs. Paul W. Franks and Charlotte Ling of Sweden's Skne University Hospital, Lund University write in an accompanying editorial. "Thus, despite the apparently simple explanation and remedy for obesity, this knowledge is not enough. We are saddled with a challenge, which is to unravel the mechanisms by which obesity emerges and to understand how its presence causes disease and death, with the hope that somewhere within the details hides the solution to the problem." They note that Wang's study provides "tentative evidence" that DNA methylation at the two gene sites may be implicated in obesity-related disease.


Contact: Toni Baker
Medical College of Georgia

Related medicine news :

1. Discovery of a gene associated with a leukemia mostly affecting children
2. Blood Type O Associated With Less Risk for Heart Attack
3. Abstinence, heavy drinking, binge drinking associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment
4. Malfunctioning gene associated with Lou Gehrigs disease leads to nerve-cell death in mice
5. Extreme obesity associated with higher risk of death for 2009 H1N1 patients
6. Consistent exercise associated with lower risk of colon cancer death
7. Poor breast cancer prognosis associated with presence of circulating tumor, cancer stem cells
8. Lower levels of education are associated with increased risks of heart failure
9. Low and high vitamin D levels in older women associated with increased likelihood of frailty
10. Early physical therapy for low back pain associated with less subsequent health care utilization
11. Genetic mutations associated with increased PSA and prostate cancer
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Fat associated with chemical changes in DNA that may help explain obesity-related disease
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... lecturer at a University of Delaware Accounting and Management of Information Systems course. ... solutions for mid-market businesses. Sommer will speak at before student in the Enterprise ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Doylestown, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... the 15th annual Regional Biotech Conference, organized by the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. , ... than 100 of the area’s life science and biotechnology leaders for the conference, which ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... teams looking to maximize recovery through quality sleep. Tim DiFrancesco, training coach for ... a better night’s sleep. ChiliPad precisely regulates the surface temperature of each side ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... Dr. ... With three office locations, patients can visit Dr. Margulies to experience the best available ... to hold the title of "NJ Top Dentist"! , Orthodontics is the branch of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The recently published 32nd ... System (NPDS) reveals that in 2014, someone called a poison center about every ... of which were human exposure cases. , The American Association of Poison Control ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... REDWOOD CITY, Calif. , Nov. 30, 2015 ... company that is providing innovative evidence-based solutions for the treatment ... Appeals Board (PTAB) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ... (IPR) of U.S. Patent No. 8,359,102 (the ,102 patent).  ... 14, 2015, a unit of Boston Scientific Corporation filed two ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... AMSTERDAM , Nov. 30, 2015   ... today announced the launch of Radiology Solutions, a ... management. Radiology Solutions comprises customized, data-driven practice management ... analytics to help radiology practices improve care delivery ... 2015 Radiological Society of North America Annual ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... AMSTERDAM , Nov. 30, 2015   Royal ... introduced ScanWise Implant, the industry,s first MRI guided user ... the scanning of patients with MR Conditional implants, such ... at the 2015 Radiological Society of North America ... streamline exams and supports diagnostic confidence of this growing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: