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Gene Review

FTO  -  fat mass and obesity associated

Homo sapiens

Synonyms: ALKBH9, Alpha-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase FTO, Fat mass and obesity-associated protein, KIAA1752, MGC5149
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Function of FTO


  • FTO can demethylate N6-methyladenosine (m6A) in vitro and in vivo. FTO knockdown with siRNA led to increased amounts of m6A in polyA-RNA , whereas overexpression of FTO resulted in decreased amounts of m6A in human cells. FTO partially co-localizes with nuclear speckles , which supports the notion that m6A in nuclear RNA is a major physiological substrate of FTO. Function of FTO likely affects the processing of pre-mRNA , other nuclear RNAs, or both. The discovery of the FTO-mediated oxidative demethylation of m6A in nuclear RNA may initiate further investigations on biological regulation based on reversible chemical modification of RNA [1].

Disease relevance of FTO

  • CONCLUSIONS: A minimum of three intervals of FTO is necessary to determine whether an amblyopia patient will be unresponsive to occlusion therapy [2].
  • In contrast, HBV ccc DNA, HBV precore/core and X mRNAs, and replicative intermediates were not demonstrable in FTO 2B rat hepatoma cells infected in the same manner in parallel experiments [3].
  • Expression of adipose tissue FTO mRNA is fat depot-specific and negatively correlates with measures of obesity [4].

High impact information on FTO

  • Of the 44 occlusion trials consisting of two FTO intervals without improvement, visual acuity improved after the third FTO interval in 12 (27%) of the trials [2].
  • Several typical bone proteins, including collagen I, osteocalcin, alkaline phosphatase and FATSO, were also expressed at significantly higher levels in teeth than in bone, probably due to the extreme growth rate of rat incisors [5].
  • The role of the conducting glass substrate (fluorine-doped tin oxide, FTO) in the back reaction of electrons with tri-iodide ions in dye-sensitized nanocrystalline solar cells (DSCs) has been investigated using thin-layer electrochemical cells that are analogues of the DSCs [6].

Biological context of FTO



  1. N6-methyladenosine in nuclear RNA is a major substrate of the obesity-associated FTO. Jia, G., Fu, Y., Zhao, X., Dai, Q., Zheng, G., Yang, Y., Yi, C., Lindahl, T., Pan, T., Yang, Y.G., He, C. Nat. Chem. Biol. (2011) [Pubmed]
  2. The minimum occlusion trial for the treatment of amblyopia. Keech, R.V., Ottar, W., Zhang, L. Ophthalmology (2002) [Pubmed]
  3. Hepatitis B virus infection in microcarrier-attached immortalized human hepatocytes cultured in molecularporous membrane bags: a model for long-term episomal replication of HBV. Gong, Z.J., De Meyer, S., Roskams, T., van Pelt, J.F., Soumillion, A., Crabbé, T., Yap, S.H. J. Viral Hepat. (1998) [Pubmed]
  4. Inverse relationship between obesity and FTO gene expression in visceral adipose tissue in humans. Klöting, N., Schleinitz, D., Ruschke, K., Berndt, J., Fasshauer, M., Tönjes, A., Schön, M.R., Kovacs, P., Stumvoll, M., Blüher, M. Diabetologia (2008) [Pubmed]
  5. Expression of phosphoproteins and amelotin in teeth. Trueb, B., Taeschler, S., Schild, C., Lang, N.P. Int. J. Mol. Med. (2007) [Pubmed]
  6. How important is the back reaction of electrons via the substrate in dye-sensitized nanocrystalline solar cells? Cameron, P.J., Peter, L.M., Hore, S. The journal of physical chemistry. B, Condensed matter, materials, surfaces, interfaces & biophysical. (2005) [Pubmed]
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