Skip to main content

Possible overeating antidote

Aug. 1, 2016, 8:00 AM

The 2C-subtype of the serotonin receptor (5HT2C), which binds the neurotransmitter serotonin, plays an important role in regulating food intake and metabolism.

Now researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine have found another potential way to reduce food intake through a technique called alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Precursor mRNA is immature messenger RNA transcribed directly from the DNA template. Alternative splicing is a natural process in which different mRNAs transcribed from the same gene are translated into different proteins.

Kentucky’s Stefan Stamm, Ph.D., VUMC’s Ronald Emeson, Ph.D., and colleagues developed an oligonucleotide, a synthetic piece of RNA, which changed the way the 5HT2C gene was “spliced” and expressed.

Earlier this month in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, they reported that mice injected with the oligonucleotide consumed less food, suggesting that modulation of 5HT2C alternative splicing may represent a promising therapeutic strategy for treating obesity.

Send suggestions for articles to highlight in Aliquots and any other feedback about the column to aliquots@vanderbilt.edu

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

Vanderbilt Medicine

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

One hundred years ago, multiple “waves” of a deadly flu swept across the world.

Vanderbilt Medicine

One hundred years ago, multiple “waves” of a deadly flu swept across the world.

A diagnosis of cancer at any age is tragic, but during the adolescent and young adult years, it’s especially complicated.

Hope

A diagnosis of cancer at any age is tragic, but during the adolescent and young adult years, it’s especially complicated.

Karen Dyer Young cares for patients and members of the Dayani Center who have or are recovering from cancer or a stem cell transplant.

Momentum

Karen Dyer Young cares for patients and members of the Dayani Center who have or are recovering from cancer or a stem cell transplant.

more