A new target for treating obesity - the MP-2 enzyme that is related to two proteins - is now undergoing clarification.It blocks the signalling of leptin which, under normal conditions, prevents people from consuming excessive amounts of food.The discovery has a great potential for successful commercialisation at a later time.
The human body has complex methods that regulate one's fat storage and provide weight control.Occasionally, these mechanism do not work properly, and particularly so in the context of a diet that is high in fat. Due to this, they hinder attempts targeted at losing weight, eventually leading to morbid obesity. Two research teams have identified two proteins, each playing a different part in the problem of obesity.Both may turn out to be promising targets for drugs of the latest generation.
The hormone called leptin helps control one's sense of hunger.After it has been released from the white fat tissue, it takes action with regard to neural receptors located in the brain's part called hypothalamus in order to stimulate the feeling of having one's stomach full.While leptin is still present in obese people, and so in large volumes, it does not signal the feeling of satiety. An international research team has determined what lies behind the reduced sensitivity to leptin.Mice fed a diet being high in fat produced an enzyme called MMP-2 , appearing to damage the receptors of leptin on the surface of the nerve cells of hypothalamus.Due to this, leptin failed to bind to those cells, thus preventing satiety from being sensed.Over time, two proteins playing crucial parts in the energy homeostasis of the organism have been distinguished in the process as a whole - MC3R and MC4R, being related to the former protein.The latter one is already being targeted by anti-obesity drugs.Rhythm Pharma has been developing an antagonist in order to treat inherited obesity.