Biochemists called the main culprit of obesity

© Fotolia / KwanchaichaiudomМальчик overweightBiochemists called the main culprit of obesity© Fotolia / Kwanchaichaiudom

American biochemists have found that the tendency to overweight may be associated with a specific mutation of intracellular proteins. Press release published on the website of Duke University.

In experiments on laboratory mice, scientists have found that individuals are carriers of one of the variants of ankyrin-B much faster gained weight. This gene, according to experts, regulates the function of the protein Glut4, which, in turn, determines the intensity of glucose uptake of fat cells in rodents and in humans.

«We believe that this gene helped our ancestors store energy in times of famine. But now that we have no shortage of food, this mutation ankyrin can turn the obesity epidemic,» said Professor of biochemistry George Geller.

Scientists emphasize that their finding refutes the popular view that obesity is primarily associated with improper diet and excessive consumption of high-calorie food. In the near future, experts plan to go beyond laboratory work and to conduct a study amongst people suffering from overweight Americans.