Gene causes body-fat disorder

5:53pm, February 24, 2003

From Toronto, at the 82nd annual meeting of the Endocrine Society

A gene linked to a form of muscular dystrophy also causes a disease that deposits fat unevenly after puberty. In people with Dunnigan-type familial partial lipodystrophy, fat melts from arms, legs, and buttocks while depositing in the head, neck, and abdomen. People with the disease are also inclined to diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Previous studies mapped mutations in a family prone to partial lipodystrophy to a region on chromosome 1 containing about 120 genes. Robert A. Hegele and his colleagues at the John P. Robarts Research Institute in London, Ontario, instead looked for any mutations in individual genes in this region that they suspected could have functions related to the disease.

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