Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Ah, Feel Full Now

Researchers have uncovered genetic variants that lead people to feel full all the time, People reports, adding that the finding could spur to new drugs to prevent obesity.

Researchers led by University of Cambridge's Sadaf Farooqi conducted genetic association studies of more than 61 nonsynonymous variants in the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) gene using UK Biobank data. Previous work has linked MC4R to feeling satiated after a meal and found that disruptions to the gene affect obesity risk.

As they report in Cell, the researchers found that gain-of-function variants in MC4R were more likely to be associated with lower BMI, obesity risk, and risk of type 2 diabetes, while loss-of-function variants were linked to increased obesity risk. The gain-of-function variants appear to influence β-arrestin recruitment and the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, they add.

"This study drives home the fact that genetics plays a major role in why some people are obese — and that some people are fortunate enough to have genes that protect them from obesity," Farooqi says in a statement.

Co-lead author Luca Lotta from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit adds that their findings could inform searches for new weight loss therapies.

The Scan

Foxtail Millet Pangenome, Graph-Based Reference Genome

Researchers in Nature Genetics described their generation of a foxtail millet pangenome, which they say can help in crop trait improvement.

Protein Length Distribution Consistent Across Species

An analysis in Genome Biology compares the lengths of proteins across more than 2,300 species, finding similar length distributions.

Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

A team reports in Nature Genetics that it used glucose challenge test data to home in on candidate genes involved in GLUT4 expression or trafficking.

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.