Breaking News
October 21, 2017 - New Genes Linked to Restless Legs Syndrome
October 21, 2017 - No relief in sight for those suffering from sciatica
October 21, 2017 - 'This Is About Saving Lives': What We Heard This Week
October 21, 2017 - 3 Million Americans Say They Carry Handguns Every Day
October 21, 2017 - Night shift work linked to an increased risk of obesity
October 21, 2017 - Avoiding Alcohol Helps the Heart Beat Better
October 21, 2017 - Exposure to heavy metals may increase risk of autism
October 21, 2017 - Derms: Oral Contraceptives as Acne Tx Warrant Caution
October 21, 2017 - How Foods Labeled 'Healthy' Can Still Make You Fat
October 21, 2017 - ALS patient behind ice bucket challenge: I will bounce back
October 21, 2017 - FDA Advisory Committee Unanimously Recommends Approval of Investigational Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec) for Patients with Biallelic RPE65-mediated Inherited Retinal Disease
October 21, 2017 - Household bleach may raise chronic lung disease risk
October 21, 2017 - Patient Care vs Primary Care: Is There a Problem Here?
October 21, 2017 - State Laws Help Reduce Concussions in Youth Sports
October 21, 2017 - Study indicates proof of concept for using a surrogate liquid biopsy to provide genetic profile of retinoblastoma tumors
October 21, 2017 - Story-based videos hold promise for encouraging Latinas to seek help for anxiety and depression
October 21, 2017 - Study identifies predictors of poor outcomes in Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients
October 21, 2017 - New study explores how herpes simplex virus may change during familial transmission
October 21, 2017 - Researchers analyze frequency of mislabeling in herbal and dietary supplements
October 21, 2017 - Direct‐acting antiviral therapy linked to 71% reduction in liver cancer risk
October 21, 2017 - NAFLD linked to higher cardiovascular risk in women, but not in men
October 21, 2017 - Study finds increasing health care costs for patients with alcoholic cirrhosis
October 21, 2017 - Liver cirrhosis mortality found to be greater than that of five major cancers
October 21, 2017 - VUMC reaches new milestone after performing 2,000th liver transplant
October 21, 2017 - Study examines risk of using liver organs from hepatitis C positive donors
October 21, 2017 - Daily aspirin therapy linked to reduced risk of HBV‐related liver cancer
October 21, 2017 - Increased use of split liver transplantation could decrease pediatric waitlist deaths
October 21, 2017 - HCV screening or diagnosis could lower non‐prescribed opioid use
October 21, 2017 - Schizophrenia Affects Brain's Communication Network
October 21, 2017 - Serum metabolites linked to NAFLD may be heritable, research shows
October 21, 2017 - Pneumoconiosis: Symptoms, risk factors, and management
October 21, 2017 - Study finds rise in pregnancy rates among women with chronic liver disease
October 21, 2017 - 1 in 5 Young Women Who Tan Indoors Get Addicted
October 21, 2017 - Stent Outcomes Not So Different Across Sexes, Races
October 21, 2017 - Eyebank corneal tissue prep may increase infection risk
October 21, 2017 - Researchers use nanopore technique to detect biomarkers of disease
October 21, 2017 - UC San Diego researchers develop 3D visualization tool for mapping omics data onto organs
October 21, 2017 - Umass Amherst scientist receives grant to study pollutant effects on embryos in animal models
October 21, 2017 - Study finds rising incidence of IBD in newly industrialized countries
October 21, 2017 - Researchers use novel imaging technique for precise assessment of spinal degeneration
October 21, 2017 - Penn State receives federal grant to improve services for children with complex communication needs
October 21, 2017 - New synthetic genetic tool measures and manipulates protein aggregation in live cells
October 21, 2017 - Introduction of childbirth guide results in fewer stillbirths at East African hospital
October 21, 2017 - New vaccine for pneumonia holds promise to save thousands of lives
October 21, 2017 - Study provides deeper understanding on mechanisms of lipid-based autoimmune disease
October 21, 2017 - Pharmacological stimulation of nicotinic receptor could be strategy to treat lung inflammation
October 20, 2017 - Parents with alcohol use disorder increase risk for teen dating violence
October 20, 2017 - Inventiva’s Phase IIb FASST Trial in Systemic Sclerosis with Lanifibranor Completes Enrollment
October 20, 2017 - Torn meniscus: Causes, symptoms, and recovery
October 20, 2017 - Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction Gains Ground
October 20, 2017 - Self-Harm on the Rise Among Teen Girls
October 20, 2017 - Mice delivered by C-section gain more weight than those delivered naturally
October 20, 2017 - Novo Nordisk Receives Positive 16-0 vote from FDA Advisory Committee in Favor of Approval for Semaglutide
October 20, 2017 - Shy bladder: Causes and treatments
October 20, 2017 - Obese Kids with Asthma at Higher Risk for Hospital Readmission
October 20, 2017 - Could Too Much Exercise Be Bad for Men's Hearts?
October 20, 2017 - Oxidative stress produces damage linked with increased risk of preterm birth
October 20, 2017 - Gene circuit can be used to switch on inside cancer cells and stimulate immune attack, study suggests
October 20, 2017 - Health Tip: Best Grains And Starchy Veggies for Diabetics
October 20, 2017 - Alzheimer's could be diagnosed early with sniff tests
October 20, 2017 - CardioBrief: Imaging Offers Insight Into Inflammation in CV Disease
October 20, 2017 - More Young Kids Spending Lots of Time on Phones, Tablets
October 20, 2017 - Study provides insights into how amygdala regulates emotions and social behavior
October 20, 2017 - Chromosomes may be entangled, research finds
October 20, 2017 - Experts create quality improvement blueprint to reduce repetitive lab tests for hospitalized patients
October 20, 2017 - Researchers discover new function in gene-regulatory protein
October 20, 2017 - Findings suggest e-cigarettes may be just as bad as traditional cigarettes
October 20, 2017 - Adipose-derived stem cell clinical trial focuses on non-healing leg wounds
October 20, 2017 - Incysus Announces FDA Approval of IND Application for a Phase I Study of a Gamma-Delta (γδ) T Cell Leukemia and Lymphoma Immunotherapy
October 20, 2017 - Dust mite allergy: Symptoms, treatment, and prevention
October 20, 2017 - FDA's Patient Engagement Committee Launches
October 20, 2017 - Arthritis Can Strike Children
October 20, 2017 - Study shows people find well-being more so from special places than from mementoes
October 20, 2017 - Suspected plague cases from Seychelles tested negative at WHO partner laboratory
October 20, 2017 - UGA researchers pinpoint factors that drive sharp rise in breast cancer genetic testing
October 20, 2017 - New study reveals extensive healthcare costs that result from acute kidney injury
October 20, 2017 - Amid for-profit surge, rural hospice has offered free care for 40 years
October 20, 2017 - Teens' increased use of electronic devices linked to rise in insufficient sleep
October 20, 2017 - Delayed word processing could indicate MCI patients’ likelihood of developing Alzheimer's
October 20, 2017 - Researchers reveal how certain nerves sustain prostate cancer growth
A specific protein regulates the burning of body fat to generate heat

A specific protein regulates the burning of body fat to generate heat

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
A specific protein regulates the burning of body fat to generate heat
Thermal image of a mouse, with white indicating the location of brown fat (maximum heat generation). Credit: Nuria Matesanz, CNIC.

Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) have identified a protein that holds promise as a target for therapies to reduce obesity. Drs. Guadalupe Sabio and Nuria Matesanz have demonstrated that MKK6 controls the conversion of fat stores, known as white fat, into brown fat, in which lipids are burned to maintain body temperature and reduce obesity. The study is published today in Nature Communications.

Obesity is a global epidemic, with overweight or obesity affecting an estimated 2200 million people worldwide. The research team led by Guadalupe Sabio analyzed fat tissue samples from obese patients at the University Hospital in Salamanca, and found that these samples contained above-normal levels of the protein MKK6. Detailed analysis of MKK6 function showed that this protein impedes the conversion of fat stores, known as white fat, into brown fat, in which lipids are burned to maintain body temperature.

Brown fat has attracted a lot of interest in recent years among obesity researchers. Body fat is essential for maintaining an appropriate energy balance and regulating body temperature. But not all fat is the same. The body contains two types of fat tissue: White adipose tissue is a store of excess calories, whereas brown adipose tissue burns lipids to maintain body temperature. Brown fat can be activated by cold to generate heat instead of storing fat. But the most interesting observation is that white adipose tissue can be converted into brown adipose tissue, thus increasing body temperature. According to Dr. Sabio, this has led to a burgeoning interest in the clinical potential of brown fat. “Activation of this tissue could reduce excess weight,” he says. According to Nuria Matesanz, the results of the study indicate that obese individuals lose the ability to activate brown fat or to convert white fat in to brown, and therefore are unable to lose weight via this route.

In addition to the participation of partners at the the University Hospital in Salamanca, the Nature Communications study was conducted in collaboration with the research group led by Dr. José Antonio Enríquez at the CNIC and research teams from the Universidad de Extremadura and the Centro de Investigación en Medicina Molecular y Enfermedades Crónicas (CiMUS) in Santiago de Compostela.

The researchers found that the inability to convert white fat to brown in obese patients is caused by increased amounts of the protein kinase MKK6. Through the use of animal models, the research team was able to demonstrate that MKK6 prevents the conversion of white fat into brown. Mice lacking MKK6 have more brown fat; consequently, these mice are protected against obesity and eliminate excess energy as heat.

The research also demonstrated that eliminating MKK6 after mice had become obese stopped the further development of obesity and led to a drop in body weight. These findings all point to the potential of MKK6 as a therapeutic target in the fight against obesity.


Explore further:
New findings on mechanisms for body temperature regulation by fat tissue

More information:
Nuria Matesanz et al, MKK6 controls T3-mediated browning of white adipose tissue, Nature Communications (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00948-z

Journal reference:
Nature Communications

Provided by:
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles