Breaking News
June 19, 2018 - High blood pressure could be an early sign of dementia
June 19, 2018 - Innovative drugs and new European treatment guidelines refine, improve MS therapy
June 19, 2018 - BIDMC scientists develop new tool to benefit patients with HCV-associated liver failure
June 19, 2018 - Diabetes diagnosis may come with increased risk of pancreatic cancer for African-Americans, Latinos
June 19, 2018 - Personalized Goals, Cash Motivate Heart Patients to Exercise
June 19, 2018 - Nipah Virus (NiV) | CDC
June 19, 2018 - Genomics offers new treatment options for infants with range of soft tissue tumors
June 18, 2018 - Study shows how moderate consumption of alcohol can protect the heart
June 18, 2018 - Gene editing technology predicts heart disease risk
June 18, 2018 - Who Will and Who Won’t Get the Flu?
June 18, 2018 - Research shows effective responses to online feedback
June 18, 2018 - Scientists to focus on big data and genetics to identify risk factors for dementia
June 18, 2018 - Ultrasound-based technology for assessing overweight adolescents with liver disease
June 18, 2018 - Osteochondral knee defect treated using cell technology
June 18, 2018 - Study demonstrates increased levels of gum disease in people at risk of rheumatoid arthritis
June 18, 2018 - Ebola & Marburg | NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
June 18, 2018 - Brains, eyes, testes: off-limits for transplants?
June 18, 2018 - Drug used to treat myelofibrosis can awaken ‘dormant’ lymphomas in the bone marrow
June 18, 2018 - New study focuses on best, cost effective practices to bridge treatment gap for brain disorders
June 18, 2018 - New study highlights predictors that prevent from achieving remission in early RA
June 18, 2018 - Neuroscientists map feeling of cool touch to the brain’s insula in mouse model
June 18, 2018 - Study highlights potential use of blood biomarkers as diagnostic tool for sleep apnea
June 18, 2018 - Eating plant-based diet can reduce risk for heart problems in people with type 2 diabetes
June 18, 2018 - Lenabasum has acceptable safety and tolerability in diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis
June 18, 2018 - Study shows link between risky opioid prescriptions and increased odds of death
June 18, 2018 - Bone density scans could help determine likelihood of cardiovascular disease
June 18, 2018 - Mechanical thrombectomy appears to be important therapy for acute stroke in very old patients
June 18, 2018 - Novel compound as effective as FDA-approved antibiotics for treating deadly infections
June 18, 2018 - Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Announces FDA Orphan Drug Designation for Olinciguat for the Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease
June 18, 2018 - Surgical outcomes equivalent whether physician anesthesiologist assisted by nurse anesthetist or AA
June 18, 2018 - Studies provide insight into molecular changes prior to onset of arthritis
June 18, 2018 - Dyaco unveils specialist medical and rehabilitation equipment range in the UK
June 18, 2018 - Engineers develop algorithm to monitor joints of patients with arthritis
June 18, 2018 - Women with higher vitamin D blood levels have lower risk for breast cancer
June 18, 2018 - New studies help elucidate role of sleep in chronic pain
June 18, 2018 - Researchers link red meat sensitivity spread by ticks with heart disease
June 18, 2018 - Research explores role of autopsy in cardiovascular medicine
June 18, 2018 - Motif Bio Submits NDA for Iclaprim
June 18, 2018 - NIH-funded researchers identify target for chikungunya treatment
June 18, 2018 - Negative emotions are murkier, less distinct in adolescence
June 18, 2018 - Gut microbiome may be potential contributor to depression, anxiety in people with obesity
June 18, 2018 - Canakinumab reduces gout rate by more than half in atherosclerosis patients, study shows
June 18, 2018 - What Does the Future Hold?
June 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Treatment of Refractory or Relapsed Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma (PMBCL)
June 18, 2018 - School cliques don’t always click
June 18, 2018 - Three experts from The Tinnitus Clinic contribute to major review on pulsatile tinnitus
June 18, 2018 - Unwieldy health costs often stand between teachers and fatter paychecks
June 18, 2018 - Link between frailty and mortality remains unchanged despite lower death rates, study finds
June 18, 2018 - Sleep disorders appear to be first sign of serious neurological diseases
June 18, 2018 - Childhood, adult obesity raise risk of developing hip and knee osteoarthritis
June 18, 2018 - Study unravels ‘blood stem cell niche’ puzzle
June 18, 2018 - People with heart problems do not take enough exercise, shows study
June 18, 2018 - Strong Link Identified Between T2DM and Parkinson’s Disease
June 18, 2018 - Early childhood interventions show mixed results on child development
June 18, 2018 - Chronic use of opioids related to increased risk of fracture nonunion
June 18, 2018 - AHA: Family Perseveres After Losing Father to Heart Attack
June 18, 2018 - Oral propranolol seems safe for infantile hemangioma
June 18, 2018 - New study gives explanation for food’s prominence in memory
June 18, 2018 - First photoactive drug to fight Parkinson’s disease
June 18, 2018 - Patient’s self-evaluation of personality disorders not as far off as previously perceived
June 18, 2018 - Upadacitinib Monotherapy Meets All Primary and Ranked Secondary Endpoints Versus Methotrexate in a Phase 3 Study in Rheumatoid Arthritis
June 18, 2018 - Vitamin B3 has a positive effect on damaged nerve cells in Parkinson’s patients
June 17, 2018 - Sunovion Announces FDA Acceptance of New Drug Application for Apomorphine Sublingual Film (APL-130277)
June 17, 2018 - Bid to beat obesity focuses on fat that keeps us warm
June 17, 2018 - Work Stress May Increase Risk of Developing Atrial Fibrillation
June 17, 2018 - New Zealand’s secret recipe for active school travel: The neighborhood built environment
June 17, 2018 - New Medscape report reveals sexual harassment rate of physicians
June 17, 2018 - Surgical Blood Transfusions Tied to Clot Risk
June 17, 2018 - CDC chief makes $375K, far exceeding his predecessors’ pay
June 17, 2018 - Education linked to higher risk of short-sightedness
June 17, 2018 - Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Ulcerative Colitis Achieved Clinical and Endoscopic Remission with Mirikizumab in Phase 2 Trial
June 17, 2018 - UA registers a more customised multifocal lens to correct presbyopia
June 17, 2018 - U.S. FDA and European Medicines Agency Accept Regulatory Submissions for Review of Talazoparib for Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients with an Inherited BRCA Mutation
June 17, 2018 - Vaginal estrogen tablets, moisturizers and placebo gel all can improve vaginal discomfort
June 17, 2018 - Addition of Bezafibrate Beneficial in Primary Biliary Cholangitis
June 17, 2018 - Radiation Therapy for Cancer – National Cancer Institute
June 17, 2018 - Technology could help pregnant women detect health complications
June 17, 2018 - Study finds drop in frequent use of ED after Affordable Care Act
June 17, 2018 - Do Antipsychotic Meds for Kids Raise Diabetes Risk?
June 17, 2018 - New light shed on mechanisms of paediatric epilepsy
Genetic alteration can cause obesity among Greenlanders

Genetic alteration can cause obesity among Greenlanders

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Genetic alteration can cause obesity among Greenlanders
Credit: University of Copenhagen

Four per cent of the Greenlandic population are, due to a specific genetic alteration, in the risk of developing obesity and diabetes, a new study from the University of Copenhagen, the University of Southern Denmark, the University of Greenland and the Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen concludes. The gene represent a possible treatment target, the researchers argue.

Greenland is like many other countries struggling with overweight and obesity. Both environment and genetics play a role in development of obesity. However, it is not fully known which specific genes that are causing obesity. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, among others, now appear to have found one of these genes.

‘We have found a gene, ADCY3, which predisposes Greenlanders to obesity and diabetes when it is inactive. This appears to be unique to the Greenlandic population’, says Associate Professor Niels Grarup from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen.

In the study, which has just been published in the scientific journal Nature Genetics, the researchers have examined the genes of 5,000 Greenlanders, corresponding to around nine per cent of the entire population in Greenland. In 4.4 per cent of the test subjects this specific gene was inactive.

The activity of the gene is important because everyone has two copies of all their genes. This means that the gene may be expressed in full, in part or not at all. In around four per cent of the Greenlanders the gene is only expressed in part. On average this increases their weight by two kilos, their waist circumference by two centimetres and their BMI by 1 unit compared to the rest of the population.

And the risk of developing diabetes also increases when the gene is not fully active: 11 per cent of those where the gene is expressed in part suffer from diabetes; the figure is 43 per cent for those where the gene is not expressed at all. Around seven per cent of all Greenlanders in whom the gene is expressed in full have diabetes.

‘We are pretty convinced that it is this Greenlandic gene that impacts on obesity and the risk of developing diabetes. Because in seven individuals the gene is not expressed at all, and this really causes problems. On average it increases their weight by 15 kilos, their waist circumference by 17 centimetres and their BMI by seven units, of course with some statistical uncertainties, as we are talking about a very small number of people’, Professor Torben Hansen from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen explains.

The conclusions of the study are further supported by previous research results, as tests on mice have shown that increasing the activity of the gene causes the mice to become slender and develop a well-functioning metabolism. Thus, they do not develop overweight and diabetes, even if they are given a fat diet.

‘These findings pave the way for more studies of whether this knowledge can be used to develop new drugs, which may also be used elsewhere in the world. At any rate, we now have several clear indications that expression of this gene is closely connected with obesity and diabetes’, Torben Hansen says.

‘It may not sound significant that we have found seven Greenlanders in whom this gene is not expressed at all. But when we look at a group of 140,000 Europeans we are unable to find a single person in whom the gene is not expressed. This means that this is strongly over-represented in Greenland’, Niels Grarup explains.

The genetic variation may be over-represented in the Greenlandic population, because it genetically has been cut off and isolated from other populations for several thousands of years.

In the future the researchers will explore the possible positive effects of activating the gene.


Explore further:
Scientists break the genetic code for diabetes in Greenland

More information:
Niels Grarup et al, Loss-of-function variants in ADCY3 increase risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, Nature Genetics (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41588-017-0022-7

Journal reference:
Nature Genetics

Provided by:
University of Copenhagen

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles