Scientists Identify Genes Responsible for Fat Storage

clipped from www.aecom.yu.edu
Fundamental Discovery by Einstein Researchers Reveals How Fat is Stored in Cells

Photomicrograph, above, shows numerous lipid droplets in mouse fat cells (adipocytes).

Scientists had previously identified the genes responsible for synthesizing fat within cells. But the genes governing the next step--packaging the fat inside a layer of phospholipids and proteins to form lipid droplets—have long been sought, and for good reason.

“These lines of evidence supported our conclusion that FIT genes are necessary for the accumulation of lipid droplets in cells,” says Dr. Silver. “Now that we’ve identified the genes and the proteins they code for, it should be possible to develop drugs that can regulate their expression or activity. Such drugs could prove extremely valuable, not only for treating the main result of excess lipid droplet accumulation—obesity--but for alleviating the serious disorders that arise from obesity including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.”

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Jeffrey M. Friedman