Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New drug to tackle body fat problems

Date:
April 27, 2012
Source:
University of Sheffield
Summary:
Medical researchers have defined the structure of a key part of the human obesity receptor -- an essential factor in the regulation of body fat -- which could help provide new treatments for the complications of obesity and anorexia.

Medical researchers at the University of Sheffield have defined the structure of a key part of the human obesity receptor- an essential factor in the regulation of body fat- which could help provide new treatments for the complications of obesity and anorexia.

Related Articles


This major advance in research, published in the journal Structure, will greatly enhance the ability to generate drugs which can both block and stimulate the receptor for the obesity hormone leptin. This could have life-changing effects on people suffering from the complications of obesity and malnutrition.

Researchers have solved the challenging crystal structure of the leptin-binding domain of the obesity receptor using state of the art X-ray crystallography, helping them to work out how to block or stimulate the receptor. Leptin, the obesity hormone, is produced by fat and excess leptin predisposes overweight people to conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and heart disease whilst a deficiency in leptin, as occurs in malnutrition, results in infertility and immunodeficiency.

Blocking the receptor, and therefore the excessive actions of leptin, could prevent the complications of obesity and stimulating the receptor may improve fertility and the immune response.

Professor Richard Ross, Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Sheffield said: "This pioneering research gives us the potential to generate new drugs that could treat conditions and diseases associated with obesity such as Multiple Sclerosis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"Modulating the actions of the obesity receptor provides a novel approach to the treatment of conditions associated with both obesity and anorexia and has the potential to make a massive difference to millions of people whose quality of life and health is hindered by obesity or malnutrition."

Controlling appetite is a fundamental basic physiological drive which in turn is connected to many other aspects of physiology, in particular fertility and the immune response.

Professor Pete Artymiuk, from the University of Sheffield´s Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, said: "The human obesity receptor binds the hormone leptin and together they play a key role in regulating appetite, fertility, and immunity.

"Using X-ray crystallography we have solved the structure of the leptin‑binding domain of the receptor bound to a potential therapeutic antibody that blocks leptin binding. This is the first crystal structure for any part of this important receptor.

"Because we now know the precise atomic structure of the receptor we can begin to design drug molecules that can alter its activity. This can be useful in the treatment of a variety of diseases ranging from obesity to autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Byron Carpenter, Glyn R. Hemsworth, Zida Wu, Mabrouka Maamra, Christian J. Strasburger, Richard J. Ross, Peter J. Artymiuk. Structure of the Human Obesity Receptor Leptin-Binding Domain Reveals the Mechanism of Leptin Antagonism by a Monoclonal Antibody. Structure, 2012; 20 (3): 487 DOI: 10.1016/j.str.2012.01.019

Cite This Page:

University of Sheffield. "New drug to tackle body fat problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120427114600.htm>.
University of Sheffield. (2012, April 27). New drug to tackle body fat problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120427114600.htm
University of Sheffield. "New drug to tackle body fat problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120427114600.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) 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