Molecular mechanism turns obesity ON or OFF

According to a study, identical twins may differ in their weight due to a molecular mechanism that would be one thin and one is overweight.

Given hereditary influences a person could suffer obesity, but genes do not explain much the weight difference between members of the same family people, even identical twins are often the best example. According to German researchers, the molecular mechanism for obesity could explain the weight in identical siblings. This was published in the journal Science.

Specialists believe that weight variation is explained by changes in bowel microbiome and epigenetic modifications. These alterations are based on the activity of genes that do not alter the DNA sequence.

Epigenetic changes occur when molecules are attached to the DNA or proteins, changing gene expression. They are brought about by factors in the environment and can be passed from one generation to the next.

Dr. Pospisilik and his team noticed a strange pattern of weight gain in some mutant mice, which had only one copy of a gene called trim28, most obese rodents and other very thin, with little in between.

The functions of the genes remain uncertain, but Pospisilik and his colleagues estimate that trim28 helps form an epigenetic switch that can throw obesity by suppressing these genes. Researchers sugest that a similar mechanism would promote obesity in humans, after all mice have a single copy of trim28, while people have two.