New anti-obesity target identified
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida have identified a protein that promotes fat accumulation in animal models. The protein works by slowing the breakdown of fat and promoting storage, the results have been published in the International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. The researchers found that by deleting a protein called IP6K1 resulted in a higher energy expenditure and protected animal models from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance.
A process called lipolysis precedes the expenditure of fat energy, and this is when fat is broken down to smaller products. The team found that by deleting IP6K1 the interfered with the protein interactions, causing lipolysis, and therefore this process, was enhanced. They then looked at introducing chemicals that would inhibit IP6K1, and found that an inhibitor known as TNP slowed the initiation of diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. The researchers are hoping to further this research to better understand the mechanisms behind both the protein and the inhibitor.