Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Discovery Is Potential Key To Obesity Treatment

Date:
December 4, 1998
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists say they have demonstrated, for the first time, how a newly discovered and purified protein regulates control of feeding behavior. The research, done at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, Calif., could lead to new strategies for treating obesity.

Scientists say they have demonstrated, for the first time, how a newly discovered and purified protein regulates control of feeding behavior. The research, done at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, Calif., could lead to new strategies for treating obesity.

Related Articles


Details of this development are in the November 17 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Biochemistry, which is published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Obesity researchers have been increasingly interested in a brain system called the melanocortin pathway. "The evidence is really piling up that this pathway is likely to be important in the regulation of food intake by the brain," says Amgen scientist Kevin Stark, Ph.D. When the alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) binds to melanocortin-3 or melanocortin-4 receptors in the brain, the pathway is activated and signals are sent to reduce food intake.

Scientists at Amgen had previously found a gene, called Agrp, that they suspected to be an important regulator of the melanocortin pathway. Now they have shown that the product of that gene, a protein they call AGRP, blocks the binding of alpha-MSH. The researchers believe the likely result is increased food consumption. While this might be desirable sometimes, too much AGRP may be a problem.

Previous work by the Amgen scientists also has shown that levels of AGRP are about ten-fold higher in mice which are genetically obese, or have fasted. While no studies have been reported yet on the levels of AGRP in humans, previous research by other groups shows two genes that interact with AGRP in this pathway (those for alpha-MSH and the melanocortin-4 receptor) are mutated in some obese humans.

A number of other genes such as leptin appear to be related to obesity. However, now that the mechanism of action of purified AGRP is known, Amgen researchers think it reveals another potential point of attack for an anti-obesity drug. The challenge will be designing a drug that prevents AGRP from binding to receptors within the melanocortin system.

###

A nonprofit organization with a membership of more than 155,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New Discovery Is Potential Key To Obesity Treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981204074451.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (1998, December 4). New Discovery Is Potential Key To Obesity Treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981204074451.htm
American Chemical Society. "New Discovery Is Potential Key To Obesity Treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981204074451.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins