New Scientific Achievement of the University of Ljubljana — Discovering Gene of Slenderness

The group of scientists of the University of Ljubljana, the Faculty of Biotechnology and the Institute of Chemistry headed by a leading expert Professor Simon Horvat and his colleagues from the University of Edinburgh discovered a new gene called TST (thiosulfate-sulphur-transferase), which prevents obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The discovery is based on the genetic and molecular analyses of “slender” and “obese” mice populations that within a sample of more than 60 generations were selected to the group with low or high percentage of body fat. Thus, the “natural” variations of “slender” and “obese” genes accumulated in the first or the second line, which allowed detecting more effectively the new genes for resistance or risk of obesity.

Obesity and slenderness are two complex properties, which depend on the total contribution of a large number of genes, environmental factors and interactions between them.

In the view of potential usefulness of this discovery in human medicine, it is important to achieve the result proving that the adipose tissue TST level is high in slim and healthy people and low in obese and diabetic people.

Scientists expect that the new and effective TST stimulating drugs or therapy on the basis of new approaches in synthetic biology will lead to the development of further modern methods for treating diabetes associated with obesity.

Since these drugs affect the gene in adipose tissue without affecting the complex system of body weight control in the brain, the authors of this discovery believe that such treatment methods can be developed quickly and safely.

The research largely funded through the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) and the British Fund “Welcome Trust” was published in the Nature Medicine journal on 6 June 2016.


To read more about the discovery, follow this link: