Discovery of Protein to Fight Obesity

Researchers in Sweden have discovered a protein that stimulates the formation of fat cells, a finding that could potentially be used to treat obesity, the Karolinska Institute said on Wednesday.

The protein, called TRAP (tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase), “stimulates the formation of new fat cells and can thus precipitate the development of obesity”, the institute said in a statement.

The research was based on cell cultures and mice studies, and showed that patients with obesity have excessive levels of the protein.

“This protein is potentially useful in the treatment of conditions involving morbid cachexia (weight loss), such as cancers,” professor Goeran Andersson, who led the research, said.

“The discovery can also lead to new ways of treating obesity based on the inhibition of this protein’s effect,” he said. The study lasted four years and followed 14 obese women, Andersson said.

The news of the research comes just two days after experts in UK raised hope for new obesity treatment.

They said new treatments could be in the pipeline to give obese people a full feeling after eating just a small meal.

Experts at University College London identified two cell proteins that relax the stomach and help it expand to accommodate large meals.

By targeting the protein receptors, they hope to be able to develop drugs which make people feel “full up” quicker. They identified two protein receptors — P2Y1 and P2Y11 — involved in fast and slow relaxation of the gut.


Via Times of India