Mice harboring mutations in the obese (ob) and diabetes (db) genes display similar phenotypes, and it has been proposed that these genes encode the ligand and receptor, respectively, for a physiologic pathway that regulates body weight. The cloning of ob, and the demonstration that it encodes a secreted protein (leptin) that binds specifically to a receptor (OB-R) in the brain, have validated critical aspects of this hypothesis. Here it is shown by genetic mapping and genomic analysis that mouse db, rat fatty (a homolog of db), and the gene encoding the OB-R are the same gene.
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