Scientists at Scripps Research have come up with an unexpected finding of a protein that is highly expressed in fat tissue. The study has opened the door to critical new understandings about obesity, metabolism and potentially other diseases.
The results of the study were published in the Journal Nature.
The signaling protein, known as PGRMC2, had not been extensively studied in the past. Short for progesterone receptor membrane component 2, it had been detected in the uterus, liver and several areas of the body.
But the lab of Enrique Saez, PhD, saw that it was most abundant in fat tissue, particularly in brown fat, which turns food into heat to maintain body temperature and became interested in its function there.
The team built on their recent discovery that PGRMC2 binds to and releases an essential molecule called heme. Recently in the spotlight for its role in providing flavour to the plant-based Impossible Burger, heme holds a much more significant role in the body.
The iron-containing molecule travels within cells to enable crucial life processes such as cellular respiration, cell proliferation, cell death, and circadian rhythms.
Using biochemical techniques and advanced assays in cells, Saez and his team found that PGRMC2 is a chaperone of heme, encapsulating the molecule and transporting it from the cells mitochondria, where heme is created, to the nucleus, where it helps carry out important functions. Without a protective chaperone, heme would react with and destroy everything in its path.
Through studies involving mice, the scientists established PGRMC2 as the first intracellular heme chaperone to be described in mammals. However, they didnt stop there, they sought to find out what happens in the body if this protein doesnt exist to transport heme.
And that is how they made their next big discovery: Without PGRMC2 present in their fat tissues, mice that were fed a high-fat diet became intolerant to glucose and insensitive to insulin, hallmark symptoms of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
By contrast, obese-diabetic mice that were treated with a drug to activate the PGRMC2 function showed a substantial improvement of symptoms associated with diabetes.
Brown fat, which is normally the highest in heme content, is often considered the good fat. One of its key roles is to generate heat to maintain body temperature. Among mice that were unable to produce PGRMC2 in their fat tissues, temperatures dropped quickly when placed in a cold environment.
Even though their brain was sending the right signals to turn on the heat, the mice were unable to defend their body temperature, Galmozzi says. Without heme, you get mitochondrial dysfunction and the cell has no means to burn energy to generate heat.
Were curious to know whether this protein performs the same role in other tissues where we see defects in heme that result in disease, Saez says.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter
- No link between caesarean delivery and obesity, research finds - The Guardian - December 6th, 2019
- Limited Eating Times Could Be a New Way to Fight Obesity and Diabetes - EcoWatch - December 6th, 2019
- Harvard Scientists Develop Method to Limit Fat Absorption as Treatment for Obesity | News - Harvard Crimson - December 6th, 2019
- Water retention can make you look fat: Know how to get rid of obesity caused by oedema - TheHealthSite - December 6th, 2019
- Obesity Can Reduce Effectiveness of Heart Drugs - Newsmax - December 5th, 2019
- Director of public health highlights north-east's obesity problem - Press and Journal - December 5th, 2019
- Study explores relationship between obesity and gum disease - Yahoo India News - December 5th, 2019
- Promote Healthy Growth and Prevent Obesity in Children - UAPB News - December 5th, 2019
- The true costs of obesity - Medical Economics - December 4th, 2019
- MRI Reveals Brain Damage Linked With Obesity in Teens - MedPage Today - December 4th, 2019
- New study explores the effect of obesity on non-surgical periodontal care - News-Medical.net - December 4th, 2019
- Study shows obese, overweight have tougher time fighting the flu - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland - December 4th, 2019
- Why scientists are studying hibernation to tackle obesity - Medical News Today - December 4th, 2019
- Project CommUNITY: Childhood obesity and its impact on Oklahoma children - KOCO Oklahoma City - December 4th, 2019
- Teen obesity may damage parts of the brain that regulates appetite, emotion - Radiology Business - December 4th, 2019
- Obesity: In The Absence Of Healthy Foods, This New Therapy Found By Scientists Could Help Manage Obesity - NDTV Food - December 4th, 2019
- Healthy Living: Great Ways to Fight Childhood Obesity - 9&10 News - December 4th, 2019
- New review assesses patients' perspectives of clinical consultations related to weight - News-Medical.net - December 4th, 2019
- Australia's favourite giraffe, Harold, will help to tackle preschool obesity on the Gold Coast - The Sector - December 4th, 2019
- The Heavy Truth About Fat Shaming And Obesity - GirlTalkHQ - December 4th, 2019
- Decline in early childhood obesity in WIC families - StMaryNow.com - December 4th, 2019
- Telling parents of young children they're overweight, obese bad for their health - Stuff.co.nz - December 4th, 2019
- Is obesity an addiction? Ross Walker investigates - Starts at 60 - December 4th, 2019
- Better late than never? New Zealand government finally responds to industry's anti-obesity plan - FoodNavigator-Asia.com - December 4th, 2019
- Obesity is an epidemic Why haven't we responded accordingly? | TheHill - The Hill - December 1st, 2019
- Antiarrhythmic Drug Response My Be Affected by Obesity: Study - DocWire News - December 1st, 2019
- Inflammation triggered by obesity may cause brain damage - SlashGear - December 1st, 2019
- MRI Scans Reveal What Obesity Does to the Brains of Teens - Newsweek - December 1st, 2019
- Decline in obesity of some young children attributed to improvements in WIC food package - FoodNavigator-USA.com - December 1st, 2019
- Flu Shot Doesn't Work As Well For Obese And Overweight People : Shots - Health News - NPR - December 1st, 2019
- The other ED to worry about Diabetes+obesity=Erectile dysfunction - Yahoo India News - December 1st, 2019
- The Croydon doctor who raps about knife crime, obesity and violence on NHS staff - MyLondon - December 1st, 2019
- Obesity Associated With Worse Working Memory in Women But Not Men - Endocrinology Advisor - December 1st, 2019
- These 8 foods are the biggest cause of childhood obesity - Times of India - December 1st, 2019
- Greece has second highest rate of child obesity in EU | Kathimerini - www.ekathimerini.com - December 1st, 2019
- Anti-Obesity Day 2019: What Causes Childhood Obesity? Tips For Parents To Help Their Children Maintain A Healthy Weight - NDTV News - December 1st, 2019
- Marion County participating in program to fight child obesity - WBTW - December 1st, 2019
- Obesity and food standards top election priorities -... - Footprint - December 1st, 2019
- INMB: Potential Link Between Obesity and Neuroinflammation Shown in Mouse Model of Alzheimer's - Zacks Small Cap Research - December 1st, 2019
- News digest Heart health risks, immunotherapy trials, prostate cancer urine test and living with cancer - Cancer Research UK - Science Blog - December 1st, 2019
- Rising alarms of childhood obesity in W.Va. - Beckley Register-Herald - November 23rd, 2019
- RA Treatment: Influence of Sex, Drugs, and Obesity - MedPage Today - November 23rd, 2019
- Surprising protein discovery could revert some severe obesity issues - Siliconrepublic.com - November 23rd, 2019
- Emotional toll of obesity - Telegraph India - November 23rd, 2019
- Health bureaucrats hit the road with 'transformative' new plan to tackle obesity - Sydney Morning Herald - November 23rd, 2019
- Two-thirds of men in Ireland are overweight or obese, report finds - The Irish Times - November 23rd, 2019
- LETTER: Should we blame parents for overweight children? - TheChronicleHerald.ca - November 23rd, 2019
- Letters: Innovate to tackle obesity | Letters - The Grocer - November 23rd, 2019
- Lower Childhood Obesity Rates in NJ Linked to Nutrition Program - NJ Spotlight - November 22nd, 2019
- Obese teens' quality of life improves after weight loss surgery - Reuters - November 22nd, 2019
- Recently discovered protein may play key role in obesity and metabolic disease - News-Medical.net - November 22nd, 2019
- Novo Nordisk and UNICEF announce new partnership to help prevent childhood overweight and obesity - UNICEF - November 22nd, 2019
- The Influence of Sex and Pre-operative Obesity on Biomechanics Two Years After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Longitudinal Cohort Study - DocWire News - November 22nd, 2019
- Obesity Risk Linked to Mutations in MRAP2 Gene, Study Says - Genetic Obesity News - November 22nd, 2019
- Two-thirds of men in Ireland are overweight or obese, report finds - Irish Times - November 22nd, 2019
- Summit aims to reduce obesity in Mississippi - WJTV - November 22nd, 2019
- Study of 20-year-olds says obesity more likely among women - The Times - November 22nd, 2019
- New Book Offers Insight into the Lives of the Extremely Obese - Patch.com - November 22nd, 2019
- New studies point to benefits of weight-loss surgery for teens with severe obesity - News-Medical.net - November 20th, 2019
- 'Hyperpalatable' Defined as Foods Driving the Obesity Epidemic - Medscape - November 19th, 2019
- UC-Boulder 'encouraging' obesity with 'weight bias' workshop, conservative group says - Campus Reform - November 19th, 2019
- Free Decatur Event Will Address Being Overweight and Obesity Sat. - Decatur, GA Patch - November 19th, 2019
- Average US BMI on the rise despite increasing weight loss efforts - Medical News Today - November 19th, 2019
- Sleeve Gastrectomy Beneficial at Lower BMI; Call to Lower Threshold - Medscape - November 19th, 2019
- Obesity in Childhood Linked to Reduced Cortical Thickness, Executive Functioning - Psychiatry Advisor - November 19th, 2019
- Obesity-related cancers on the rise in younger Canadians: study - CBC.ca - November 19th, 2019
- Number of people with obesity doubles in 20 years - Open Access Government - November 19th, 2019
- Addressing the unmet needs of people living with obesity - Philippine Star - November 19th, 2019
- The way to tackle the child obesity epidemic? Teach cooking in schools - Telegraph.co.uk - November 19th, 2019
- Obesity And Obstetric Anesthesia: Current Insights | LRA - Dove Medical Press - November 18th, 2019
- 10 Things to Know About... Obesity - Entertainment.ie - November 18th, 2019
- How to Get Started Exercising When You're Living With Obesity - LIVESTRONG.COM - November 18th, 2019
- Here's Where New York Ranks Among Nation's Most Obese States - Daily Voice - November 18th, 2019
- UN spotlights 'explosive' obesity rates, hunger in Latin America and Caribbean - UN News - November 17th, 2019
- Obesity almost doubles in 20 years to affect 13 million people - The Guardian - November 17th, 2019
- Obesity and Bone Fractures in PWS Children Tied to High Blood Levels of Protein, Study Says - Prader-Willi News - November 17th, 2019
- UN calls for urgent action to curb rise in hunger and obesity in Latin America and Caribbean - YubaNet - November 17th, 2019
- Weight-Loss Surgery for Teens Who Cant Lose Weight Any Other Way - The New York Times - November 17th, 2019
- News digest cancer waiting times, complementary treatments, obesity and a NASA-style training for cancer patients? - Cancer Research UK - Science... - November 17th, 2019
- Holistic, Patient-Centred Approach Needed to Tackle Obesity - Medscape - November 17th, 2019