Positive News for Obesity and Diabetes Patients! CMU Dr. Chih-Hao Wang’s Research Findings Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine
Date：September 18, 2020
Dr. Chih-Hao Wang of China Medical University (CMU) Graduate Institute of Biomedical Science, and Harvard Medical School Postdoctoral Fellow, published research findings in the international journal Science Translational Medicine. Dr. Wang’s research team successfully use CRISPR-Cas9 technology to engineer human white adipocytes to display brown fat-like phenotypes, which may open up cell-based therapeutic opportunities to combat obesity and diabetes.
It is amazing that a young researcher from Taiwan has such an outstanding achievement. This research “CRISPR-engineered human brown-like adipocytes prevent diet-induced obesity and ameliorate metabolic syndrome in mice” was published in Science Translational Medicine. Moreover, it was selected as research highlights by Nature Reviews.
Currently, approximately 23% of the world adult population have metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes. The prevalence is increasing. Therefore, the medical community is paying more attention to finding treatments for reducing obesity and diabetes.
Dr. Wang’s research team engineered human white preadipocytes using CRISPR-Cas9–SAM–gRNA to activate endogenous uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression, and created human brown-like (HUMBLE) cells. HUMBLE cells possess the function of human brown cells. In addition, studies of the HUMBLE cells transplantation in immunocompromised mice have shown effective energy expenditure and weight loss, and improvement in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.
White fat is for energy storage, while brown fat can consume extra energy. Clinical Studies have shown that human adults have brown fat with high metabolic activity that has potential to fight obesity. Dr. Wang explained, “Among obese patients, the amount of brown fat is very small, but the amount of white fat is large. Thus, our research created brown fats from white fats to treat obesity, and increase energy consumption and blood glucose regulation. This can be a potential technology to treat metabolic disorders.”
Nowadays, precision medical treatment has great importance in the research field. With the specificity and pertinence, cell and gene therapies undoubtedly provide a more effective and accurate treatment strategy.