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Bioinformatics Analysis Homes in on Two Dozen Genes That Could Be Targets for Drugs in Obesity

In a bioinformatic analysis, researchers have identified nearly two dozen genes implicated in obesity that could be targeted by 78 approved and marketed drugs, in a new Journal of Human Genetics study. A team from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo compiled a list of nearly 29,000 SNPs that have been linked to obesity through a genome-wide association study and used bioinformatic databases and tools to prioritize 1,372 genes associated with these SNPs with supporting eQTL data, tissue or cell data, or transcriptomic data. After a subsequent protein network analysis, they further focused in on 74 key obesity genes, and, of these, 23 are targets for 78 US Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs, suggesting that some of these drugs could be repurposed to treat obesity. "Supplementing our findings with empirical experiments would improve our comprehension of regulatory gene interactions and their role in obesity, bringing us closer to effective obesity treatment," the researchers write.