Genetic breakthrough offers new target for obesity, diabetes

A drug that targets a newly discovered genetic master switch which controls the formation of fat tissue would be able to prevent obesity as well as a host of ailments like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, says a team of researchers at the University of Central Florida.

Pappachan Kolattukudy, dean of the university's Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, says that the MCPIP gene is the key to controlling obesity, adding that until now researchers have been focused on a different protein. And Kolattukudy adds that MCPIP is an ideal target for any developer looking to thwart an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes.

"Our research has shown that MCPIP is a regulator of fat cell formation and blood vessel formation that feeds the growing fat tissue," said the dean. "Therefore, a drug that can shut down its function can prevent obesity and the major inflammatory diseases resulting from obesity, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases."

- see the press release
- check out the UPI report