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Endocrine/metabolic disease


Iroquois homeobox 3 (IRX3)

In vitro and mouse studies suggest decreasing IRX3 expression could help treat obesity. In mice, sequencing and circular chromosome conformation capture studies showed that obesity-associated regions of the fat mass and obesity associated (Fto) gene bound the Irx3 promoter and enhanced Irx3 expression. In mice, Irx3 knockout decreased weight and body fat content compared with no alteration. In human brain tissue samples, SNPs associated with increased body mass index were associated with increased IRX3 expression. Next steps could include identifying pharmacological compounds that downregulate IRX3.

SciBX 7(16); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.462
Published online April 24, 2014

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Smemo, S. et al. Nature; published online March 12, 2014;
Contact: Marcelo A. Nóbrega, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.