Daily News: Nutrition

Scientists zero in on finding new obesity drug

Asian News International

06-13-14

London, June 13 (ANI): A Danish/British team are closing in on finding drug for obesity with help of a smart tool that will speed up the scientific hunting process.

The scientists are working with a special protein called FFA4, which is found in the cell membranes in intestines, immune cells and fat, and can stimulate different physiological activities such as the production of appetite controlling hormones and hormones that control the intestinal uptake of food.

The protein is activated by long-chain free fatty acids released from the food such as omega-3 fatty acids. When this happens, it releases hormones that inhibit our appetite and increase sugar uptake from the blood.

Bharat Shimpukade from the University of Southern Denmark explained that in some people this protein is not activated and they have a much higher risk of becoming obese, as the protein is involved in hormone secretion and regulation of inflammation and insulin sensitivity.

Shimpukade said that they want to find a way to activate this protein, as that may help them to develop a drug against obesity or diabetes, but there is almost an infinite number of possible molecules that we can synthesize, and it is extremely time consuming to test molecules randomly for their possible ability to activate this particular protein.

He had been looking for a couple of months now, and hopes to be able to continue till he finds the perfect molecule that can lead to a new cure, added Shimpukade, who had been working with Professor Trond Ulven from the same University and colleagues from University of Glasgow on the study.

The research paper is published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. (ANI)

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