Breast cancer gene could play critical role in obesity, diabetes

The gene known to be associated with breast cancer susceptibility, BRCA 1, plays a critical role in the normal metabolic function of skeletal muscle, according to a new study led by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers. Dr. Espen Spangenburg, associate professor of kinesiology, and his laboratory team are the first to identify that the BRCA1 protein is expressed in the skeletal muscle of both mice and humans, and that it plays a key role in fat storage, insulin response and mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle cells. The research is published in the Journal of Lipid Research.

“Our findings suggest that certain mutations in the BRCA1 gene may put people at increased risk for metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Spangenburg. “Without BRCA1, muscle cells store excess fat and start to look diabetic. We believe that the significance of the BRCA1 gene goes well beyond breast cancer risk.”

Dr. Spangenburg and colleagues, including researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Brigham Young University, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and East Carolina University, found that the BRCA1 protein exists in both mouse and in human skeletal muscle. This is the first evidence since the discovery of BRCA1 in 1994 that the gene is expressed in human muscle cells.

They further established that the protein produced by the BRCA 1 gene binds with a protein known to play an important role in the metabolism of fat in muscle cells known as Acetyl-CoA carboxylase or ACC. After a period of exercise, the BRCA 1 protein binds to ACC, which helps “turns it off.” This deactivation of ACC encourages the utilization of fatty acids by the muscle.

Once they established that the two proteins complex together, they sought to answer if BRCA1 plays a critical role in regulating muscle metabolic function. To do so, they “knocked out” the gene so that it was no longer being expressed in the muscle cells cultured from healthy, active and lean female subjects. This was done using shRNA technology specific for BRCA1 in human myotubes (skeletal muscle fiber cells).

The result was that the muscle cells started to look diseased. The removal of BRCA1 from the cells, which simulated what could happen in the cells of a person with a BRCA1 mutation, resulted in increased lipid storage, decreased insulin signaling, reduced mitochondrial function and increased oxidative stress. These are all key risk factors for the development of metabolic diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“Our findings make it clear that BRCA1 plays a protective role against the development of metabolic disease,” Dr. Spangenburg explains. “This gene needs to be there, and should be considered a target to consider in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and/or obesity.”

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Fitness News — Sciencedaily
— Courtesy “Science News Daily” (ScienceNewsDaily.com) <p>

Get started walking at home with this complete workout by Leslie Sansone. Warm up followed by workout then cool down recovery ending with stretching.


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    • ISO Walking - Get a total body workout while walking, jogging or running!
    • March 12, 2014

    Walking is really the best form of physical activity! Like ISO Walking

    • PeachesCourage
    • March 12, 2014

    I remember by the way all I did way back when was walk and lost weight for
    Ate the same lost weight

    • StevenTocher
    • March 12, 2014

    Walking is how I lost my weight! This is some interesting stuff!

    • Pearlene Hudson
    • March 12, 2014

    Leslie, I have been using your simple walking programs for the last 3 weeks
    5 days a week. I started with the 1 mile walks. This has been a very
    important part of my training because of the simple movements you provide.
    I am sticking to it. This week I started your 2 mile walk. It is
    challenging but I think I can master this level so I can move on to the
    next. Thanks for all you have done for us less fortunate. I will be
    supporting your program as you have indirectly and directly supported me.

    • Christa Sunderland
    • March 12, 2014

    I am glad to see this on here, because I love Leslie Sansone walking at
    home workouts 🙂 

    • Nenasos
    • March 12, 2014

    thankx :)

    • Marina Mori
    • March 12, 2014

    Leslie, thank you sooooo much for making the walk “feel” short. You are
    so good at motivating me. I had been looking for a walk just like this…
    hope, hope to lose 3 kilos in three months, walking with you 4 days a week
    and doing weights three days a week. All the best!!

    • sahana shrestha
    • March 12, 2014

    To regular folks who want to burn fat eventually, Go and Google Fat Blast
    Formula and get started.

    • mandi solk
    • March 12, 2014

    Thanks so much Leslie- I am so grateful to you. Your workout is incredible
    and it has s completely changed me inside out! I have so much stamina; am
    so much more agile; my singing has improved 100% because the breathing has
    hugely enhanced my ability to increase volume and sustain a note. I sleep
    well; I don’t have to diet & I’ve lost a lot of weight; my shape is getting
    really improving and I’m able to where the kind of clothes I like rather
    than having to like the kind of clothes I have to wear! Also every time a
    friend comes to visit me I invite them to do the 30 min 2-mile workout with
    me and they all do it and they love it. They’re all thrilled that they did
    it and continue doing it at home and telling all their friends – so it has
    a chain reaction. The main reason we all love doing it is that we all
    really like you! You are really great at what you do and exude warmth,joy,
    motivation and encouragement, and your presence keeps us returning for more
    .You spread huge benefit & light out into the world. I could not afford to
    go to a class so I’m hugely grateful that you offer this for free. Bless
    you and well done dear Leslie and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Love Mandi in the UK

    • Lunatica Cris
    • March 12, 2014

    Is it right for loosing weight and toning my big legs?

    • Asma Omair
    • March 12, 2014

    thank you , iam greatful for you :)

    • Venitta4J
    • March 12, 2014


    • trudiamond30
    • March 12, 2014

    Great workout! If you give it your all, you WILL break a sweat! 

    • nada nedo
    • March 12, 2014

    i love this exercise so much but how much calories it can burn ???

    • Vida Reader
    • March 12, 2014

    Awesome first workout walking 2 miles with Leslie Sansome!! I feel great!

    • Maria Viliamu
    • March 13, 2014

    I got the shock of my life when I weighed myself today so I wrote up
    a plan not only 2 lose weight but to prevent diabetes which I have a very
    strong family history of. This was my 1st workout in YEARS & I thoroughly
    enjoyed it (I don’t usually enjoy exercise:) Love listening to u 2 Leslie
    your words are a constant inspiration from start to finish. Thank you so

    • LaToya Lansdowne
    • March 13, 2014

    My daughter and I just did this work out for the first time. It was easy
    and I broke a slight sweat. I normally like to sweat alot; however, I feel
    like I just had a great workout. I love Leslie’s videos.

    • Rina Blecher
    • March 13, 2014

    such a great workout. easy to do and very effective. Leslie, you are an
    excellent instructor.

    • Penny Schroder
    • March 13, 2014

    Thanks to Leslie- I am on my way to losing 40kgs and just love all her
    walking 2 mile videos. I recommend to anyone that is over weight and is
    trying to lose. I will be doing all her videos from now on. LOVE IT cant
    wait for a new ME!!!!!!!

    • Patrick trick
    • March 13, 2014


    • Carrie Wells
    • March 13, 2014

    Great exercise to lower cholesterol levels! 30 minutes 5x per week

    • Lily Soto
    • March 13, 2014

    first time doing this 2 miles, like it. Im going to keep it up!

    • PeachesCourage
    • March 13, 2014

    Gets the heart going and I feel like a kid again not a lot of stress great!

    • HeartFeltMusic
    • March 13, 2014

    Today is Dec. 10; I started this walking workout in early October and am
    seeing results already. My back is much stronger- my job requires frequent
    bending and squatting, so having a strong back is essential. This workout
    also helps keep my heart strong- I have mitral valve prolapse so a healthy
    heart means a healthy body overall. Five times wk for 30 min is perfect.
    It’s great to work up a sweat and get those endorphins activated; a natural
    high/boost is an added bonus.

    • Eunhyo Kim
    • March 13, 2014

    Today is my first day I do this. From now on I will do this every day at
    home even it rains or snows outside! No more excuses!

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