Genetic Markers in Mice and Humans Linked with Obesity

By analyzing epigenetic markers, or chemical tags, at more than 7 million sites in the DNA of the fat cells in mice, researchers found clear differences between normal and obese mice—and they found a similar pattern in human cells. Some of the epigenetic changes associated with obesity affect genes already known to raise diabetes risk. Others affect genes that had not been conclusively linked to the disease, but that have roles in metabolism. Some of the genes regulate insulin action on sugar uptake, making them potential targets for treating type 2 diabetes. The findings are published in Cell Metabolism.

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By analyzing epigenetic markers, or chemical tags, at more than 7 million sites in the DNA of the fat cells in mice, researchers found clear differences between normal and obese mice—and they found a similar pattern in human cells. Some of the epigenetic changes associated with obesity affect genes already known to raise diabetes risk. Others affect genes that had not been conclusively linked to the disease, but that have roles in metabolism. Some of the genes regulate insulin action on sugar uptake, making them potential targets for treating type 2 diabetes. The findings are published in Cell Metabolism.

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