Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Secreted Protein Sends Signal That Fat Is On The Way

Date:
December 11, 2008
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
After you eat a burger and fries or other fat-filled meal, a protein produced by the liver may send a signal that fat is on the way, suggests a new report.

After you eat a burger and fries or other fat-filled meal, a protein produced by the liver may send a signal that fat is on the way, suggests a report in the December issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication.

Related Articles


Researchers have found in mice that the liver produces a protein called adropin, which rises in response to high-fat foods and falls after fasting. The protein seems to play a role in governing the activity of other metabolic genes, particularly those involved in the production of lipids from carbohydrates. Studies of the protein in obese animals suggest that it also plays a role in insulin response and in preventing the buildup of fat in the liver (a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease), the researchers said.

"What is remarkable is that it appears that this factor is specifically regulated by the fat content of the diet," making it one of the first such factors ever discovered, said Andrew Butler of Pennington Biomedical Research Center, part of the Louisiana State University System. (The findings follow another report in the November 26th issue of the journal Cell of a phospholipid produced by the gut that rises after a fatty meal, signaling the brain to eat less.)

The new results suggest that treatments designed to deliver adropin or otherwise boost its levels may hold promise in the war against obesity and associated metabolic disorders, including fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes.

Indeed, Butler's team found that animals that become obese after eating a high-fat diet for a period of 3 months or due to a genetic mutation don't produce adropin normally. However, obese animals that are manipulated to produce excess adropin or that are given the protein show less fat in their livers and become more responsive to insulin. The mice also ultimately eat less and lose weight, but the other metabolic improvements do not depend on the animals' shrinking waistlines, Butler said.

"The good news is that when you provide a synthetic version of the peptide, it reverses some of the consequences of obesity," he said.

Butler noted, however, that there is still plenty left to learn. For instance, they would like to know whether mice that lack adropin become obese and show evidence of the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of diseases associated with obesity and insulin resistance. The protein is also produced in the brain, suggesting it may also affect behavior and metabolism in as-yet-undiscovered ways. The clinical promise of adropin will depend on whether the relationships between the protein, diet, and metabolism seen in mice will hold in human patients.

The researchers aren't yet certain exactly how adropin works its magic. Its benefits could involve effects within the liver and/or hormonal actions on other body tissues, they said. The answers to those questions will require further investigation.

"In summary," the researchers wrote, "adropin is a newly discovered secreted peptide that is involved in energy homeostasis and lipid metabolism … Adropin may form the basis for the development of new therapeutic targets for treating metabolic disorders associated with obesity."

The researchers include K. Ganesh Kumar, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA; James L. Trevaskis, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA; Daniel D. Lam, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK; Gregory M. Sutton, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA; Robert A. Koza, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA; Vladimir N. Chouljenko, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA; Konstantin G. Kousoulas, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA; Pamela M. Rogers, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA; Robert A. Kesterson, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; Marie Thearle, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA; Anthony W. Ferrante Jr., Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA; Randall L. Mynatt, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA; Thomas P. Burris, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA; Jesse Z. Dong, Biomeasure Incorporated, IPSEN, Milford, MA; Heather A. Halem, Biomeasure Incorporated, IPSEN, Milford, MA; Michael D. Culler, Biomeasure Incorporated, IPSEN, Milford, MA; Lora K. Heisler, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK; Jacqueline M. Stephens, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA; and Andrew A. Butler, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Secreted Protein Sends Signal That Fat Is On The Way." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081202133218.htm>.
Cell Press. (2008, December 11). Secreted Protein Sends Signal That Fat Is On The Way. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081202133218.htm
Cell Press. "Secreted Protein Sends Signal That Fat Is On The Way." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081202133218.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) At least 1 in 5,000 U.S. babies are born each year with intersex conditions _ ambiguous genitals because of genetic glitches or hormone problems. Secrecy and surgery are common. But some doctors and activists are trying to change things. (April 17) 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