In the prestigious journal "Cell" an international team of researchers describes the discovery of a slimming gene, which prevents, that people are thick: in addition to factors such as exercise and diet, certain variants with increased fat burning, a good recovery of sugar and a very slim figure in context.
The "Slimming-Gen" called ALK (for Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase) belongs to the receptors of the family of the Insulin. Modified versions of which had been found in some types of cancer, but the function of the gene in the metabolism, you knew, so far, not much. When comparing the genome of a very slim and normal-weight people, the researchers met with the thin people in two gene variants of the ALK gene.
In experiments with fruit flies, they were able to demonstrate that inhibition of the gene resulted in the fly fat pads put on, in spite of sugar-rich food hardly be. Also, mice in which the Gene was turned off, increased in high fat diet less: after a few weeks they had fat 50% less body mass than normal mice, and they burned more fat. The effect is likely to be in the brain, because if it is only there that the ALK Gene was inactive, the animals also thin. The Gene in the liver tissue, the fat, the muscles or the immune system disabled, the animals, however, in the same way as their normal counterparts.
"With our work, we were able to demonstrate that ALK is a completely new and major interface in the brain, the food utilization and energy cycle controls. Inhibition of the gene ALK could be a new treatment option to Overweight vorzubeugen", Prof. Dr. Josef Penninger said, the founding Director of the Institute for Molecular biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. A next important step would be to explore now, as the nerves in the brain areas in which ALK is active, affect the metabolic control.