Rutgers scientists studying enzyme that could 'hold the key' to obesity, diabetes

Researchers at Rutgers University-New Brunswick have been studying a fat-regulating enzyme they claim could “hold the key” to the science behind obesity, cancer and diabetes.

The enzyme is known as phosphatidic acid phosphatase, and Rutgers scientists George M. Carman and Gil-Soo Han have been tweaking and controlling it for years in an effort to “fine-tune” its function of producing fat.

Han used baker’s yeast—an organism that contains phosphatidic acid phosphatase—to analyze the effects of deleting the gene containing the enzyme, but that just led to an overproduction of membrane lipids and phosphatidic acid. The overproduction of lipid membranes mimicked traditional signs of cancer.

The gene that encodes phosphatidic acid was discovered in 2006 by Han, and since then, he and Carman have been working to understand how the enzyme works and is built. Next, they're going to work on controlling it.

Read the full story from Rutgers here: