Molecular biology: Chewing the fat

    Article metrics

    Science 322, 957–960 (2008) 10.1126/science.1162011

    Certain stem cells may link ageing and obesity, according to Gary Ruvkun and his colleagues at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. When they halted the development of germline stem cells — those that make reproductive cells — from the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, the animals suddenly began storing less fat.

    The authors pinpointed a gene, K04A8.5, that encodes a fat-burning enzyme, and showed that this gene's expression is boosted in fat storage tissues in worms that lack germline stem cells. Elevating the expression of K04A8.5 decreased fat storage in worms carrying mutations that conferred increased longevity, whereas reducing it using a technique called RNA interference shortened their lifespans.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    Molecular biology: Chewing the fat. Nature 456, 145 (2008) doi:10.1038/456145c

    Download citation


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.