Gene RCAN1 controls obesity and can be therapeutic target

Regulator of Calcineurin 1 (RCAN1) gene deactivation has been found to contribute to the epidemic of obesity.

RCAN1 is located on chromosome 21 and plays a role in glucose metabolism and thermogenesis from fat molecules.

In an evolutionary timescale, RCAN1 has often lowered activity to benefit animals with low availability of food. However, in high calories intake situation – characteristic for modern human societies – RCAN1 deactivation leads to an escalation of obesity, which was repeatedly demonstrated to cause various disorders and shorten life length for even 6-20 years.

The findings were preliminary tested on mice models and still wait for verification in human genomes.

More: “Regulator of Calcineurin 1 helps coordinate whole‐body metabolism and thermogenesis”, D. Rotter et al., 2018, doi:10.15252/embr.201744706.