7 December 2012
Scientists have uncovered a mechanism that could cut levels of obesity, according to a new paper.
A team led by the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center managed to successfully reverse obesity in mice by manipulating production of an enzyme known as tyrosine-protein kinase-2 (Tyk2).
It was found that Tyk2 helps to regulate obesity in mice and humans through differentiation of a type of fat tissue known as brown adipose tissue (BAT), according to the study, which was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Researchers were able to reverse obesity in mice that do not express Tyk2 by instead expressing a protein that activates transcription-3 (Stat3).
Stat3 was seen to form a complex with a protein known as PR domain containing 16 (PRDM16), restoring the development of BAT and decreasing obesity.
Study leader Andrew Larner commented: “We plan to further investigate the actions of Tyk2 and Stat3 in order to better understand the mechanisms involved in the development of brown adipose tissue.
"We’re hopeful this research will help lead to new targets to treat a variety of obesity-related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”
Posted by Edward Bartel
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