Fat, which is made up of cells that have been distended with greasy or oily materials, or triglycerides, is required for the body to function, but it may also be hazardous if consumed in excess. Fat cells are distinct from other cells such that they lack surface receptors and constitute only a small percentage of the cells in fat tissue. While restricting diets can assist those who are obese lose weight, the results are typically solely temporary. If only there were a way to target fat cells specifically… Well, there just might be!

Breast tissue showing fat necrosis 4X

A group of doctors discuss a potential prospective breakthrough utilizing CRISPR-Cas9, a technology that has proven particularly elusive in the study of adipose tissue, in a recent publication published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Their study was tested on mice, in order to see how it worked and what it targeted. The gene-editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 changes genes by precisely cutting DNA and then allowing natural DNA repair mechanisms to take charge. This technology has changed the ability of deleting or inserting certain genes of interest into an organism. Cas9, an enzyme that can break DNA strands as well as a piece of RNA that directs the Cas9 enzyme to a specific location in the genome for modification, is encased in a non-harmful virus and supplied to the cells being studied. The equipment has also been used to study the heart, liver, neurons, and skin cells, to name a few. However, brown fat adipose cells have never been studied.

Brown fat cell

Using CRISPR-Cas9 components, the physicians were eventually able to target brown fat adipose cells. In mature mice, they were able to knock off the UCP1 gene, which specifies brown adipose tissue and allows it to generate heat. They discovered that knockout mice were able to adjust to the absence of the gene and maintain their body temperature under freezing settings, indicating the existence of additional mechanisms involved in temperature regulation. Overall, the CRISPR interference system assisted mice in losing about twenty percent of their body weight, proving that CRISPR can accurately target fat cells.

3LFM FAT Mass and Obesity Associated (Fto) Protein

Genetics can have a significant impact on the quantity of fat cells you are born with. However, the proportion of tendency to becoming overweight differs by individual. For example, in some people, genes account for just 25 percent of the tendency, but in others, the genetic effect might be as high as 70 percent to 80 percent. Obesity is most commonly associated with the FTO gene. This FTO gene is not found in everyone. For example, around 20 percent of white people have a variation of the gene that increases their risk of obesity. The FTO gene is located on chromosome 16, which is one of the 23 pairs of chromosomes in humans. While this chromosome pair represents under 3 percent of the total DNA in cells, if FTO is present, it can affect whether if one is obese or not, depending on the alleles of the gene. CRISPR has the potential to target this gene as well as other genes that affect body weight, such as brown fat adipose cells.

Diagram of Chromosome 16

Your health is essential for the rest of your life! A healthy lifestyle can aid in the prevention of chronic diseases and long-term ailments. The alleles on the FTO gene can have an impact on your health and are linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other health concerns.

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