Recent research has shown that babies born today are fatter than babies born twenty years ago, but scientists at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have identified a molecular switch that regulates fat and cholesterol production. They hope this will lead to a treatment for metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a condition where patients have high cholesterol, obesity, type-2 or pre-diabetes and high blood pressure. This usually affects adults. The study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ander Näär said “We have identified a key protein that acts together with a family of molecular switches to turn on cholesterol and fat (or lipid) production. The identification of this protein interaction and the nature of the molecular interface may one day allow us to pursue a more comprehensive approach to the treatment of metabolic syndrome.” Näär is assistant professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.