.
.
.
.

Researchers find protein that could control weight loss

The team found that a certain protein, Thy1, plays an important role in determining whether a young cell still in formation ends up being a fat cell

Published: Updated:

Researchers in the UK believe a protein may control how the human body produces fat cells, which may lead to a treatment for obesity, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday.

“We believe that weight gain is not necessarily just a result of eating more and exercising less” lead author of a study published in an online journal this month, Richard Phipps of the University of Rochester said.

The team found that a certain protein, Thy1, plays an important role in determining whether a young cell still in formation ends up being a fat cell.

“Our focus is on the intricate network involved in fat cell development,” Phipps said.

Phipps’ research, published in the FASEB journal, found that Thy1 is absent during the development of fat cells, suggesting that obesity could be treated by reintroducing the protein.

Consequently, the team is developing an anti-obesity drug, Thy1-peptide, for which they have applied for an international patent.

“Our goal is to prevent or reduce obesity and in this paper we've shown how to do this in principle,” Phipps explained.

The research included tests on mice and human cell to confirm the absence of Thy1 was linked to an increased production of fat cells.

Mice without the Thy1 protein that were fed a high-fat diet gained more weight and faster, compared to mice in a controlled group that ate the same high-fat diet.

Experiments on human fat tissue from the abdomen area and eyes yielded similar results.