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Hunger-Stimulating Hormone Production Altered By An ‘Obesity-Risk’ Allele

Individuals carrying the “-risk” allele of the fat mass and associated gene, FTO, are prone to and related eating behaviors such as increased food consumption, preference for high fat foods and lack of satiation after eating. How this particular gene regulates prone behaviors is not fully understood.

In this issue of the , and colleagues at identify a link between FTO and the hunger-stimulating hormone, ghrelin. Subjects homozygous for the “obesity-risk” allele of FTO had higher concentrations of circulating ghrelin after eating, which correlated with an absence of satiation. They demonstrate that FTO directly demethylates ghrelin mRNA, altering its production. These studies offer new insight into why individuals that carry the “obesity-risk” allele of the are prone to obesity.

TITLE: A link between FTO, ghrelin and impaired brain food-cue responsivity



Journal of Clinical Investigation