In Brief: New drug slims down mice

Nov 21, 2010

A treatment that blocks the action of ghrelin—a peptide that has been called a "hunger hormone" -- leads to weight loss and other beneficial metabolic effects in mice, according to new research.

Brad Barnett and colleagues have designed a drug that interferes with this particular peptide hormone, known to promote weight gain in mammals through a variety of mechanisms, including the stimulation of appetite.

They knew that ghrelin is not active unless it carries a specific octanoyl side chain, which is added by an enzyme called ghrelin O-acyltransferase, or GOAT.

So, Barnett and his team designed a peptide-based drug called GO-CoA-Tat, which inhibits GOAT, and they injected it into that were being fed high-fat diets.

They observed that the drug improved glucose tolerance and slowed gain in the mice, but interestingly, it did not appear to reduce food intake, a finding that suggests the drug affects metabolism rather than appetite.

GO-CoA-Tat requires repeated injections and is therefore unlikely to be developed into a drug for human obesity, but this study does establish GOAT as a potentially valuable target for future drug development efforts.

Explore further: Scientists shine bright new light on how living things capture energy from the sun

More information: "Glucose and Weight Control in Mice with a Designed Ghrelin O-Acyltransferase Inhibitor," by B.P. Barnett et al. Science: DOI:10.1126/science.1196154

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plasticpower
not rated yet Nov 21, 2010
Raising the base metabolic rate can be done through healthy exercise as well, if people just worked out 30-60 minutes a day for a month straight their BMR would skyrocket and they'd feel more energetic, they could eat more without getting as fat, and they'd burn fat in their sleep.