Research News

Obesity Research: Researchers Nail Down Leptin Receptor

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Science  16 Feb 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5251, pp. 913
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5251.913


During the past 18 months, researchers have learned a great deal about what causes obesity, identifying first a hormone, called leptin, needed for normal weight maintenance, as well as a possible candidate for the hormone's receptor. Now three groups, one of which reports its findings on page 994, have confirmed that they have indeed found the right receptor by showing that it's the product of the db gene, which has long been thought to encode the receptor for the weight-controlling hormone. What's more, they have shown how db mutations might lead to an inactive product—and grossly overweight mice as a result.