Gastric bypass surgery can drastically reduce the body weight of obese individuals within a short time frame. For reasons that are not entirely clear, the surgery also brings about early remission of type 2 diabetes in vast majority of patients. This study was published online April 11 in the journal of Cell Press.
During this study researchers made a comparison of gene-expression alterations in those who underwent the surgery with obese those who wouldn’t.
“We provide evidence that in severely obese people, the levels of specific genes that control how fat is burned and stored in the body are changed to reflect poor metabolic health,” says senior author Professor Juleen Zierath, of the Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, Sweden. “After surgery, the levels of these genes are restored to a healthy state, which mirrors weight loss and coincides with overall improvement in metabolism.”
Once the investigators probed deeper, they found that weight-loss after surgery causes alterations in DNA modifications that control gene expression in response for the environment. Specifically, adjustments to methylation, or chemical markings, on two genes that control glucose and fat metabolism (called PGC-1alpha and PDK4) correlate with obesity but are reversed after surgery-induced weight-loss. The findings report that the environment—however food intake or weight-loss—make a difference to gene expression through this mechanism.
“The novelty of our work originates with the finding that DNA methylation is altered by weight loss.” says first author Romain Barrès, of the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark.
The findings can be a good choice for the structure of latest drugs that mimic this weight-loss-associated control over gene regulation.
Source: Barres et al.: “Weight loss after gastric bypass surgery in human obesity induces promoter methylation.” Cell.
Copyright 2012 Medimoon.com. All rights reserved. No part of this site can be reproduced without our written permission.