A research studying the behavior of a protein, found that the protein that is closely linked with various types of cancer, in regulation of body weight
A group of scientists at Yale University found that a protein plays an important role in regulation of body weight by studying the behavior of this protein that is tightly linked to different types of cancers. According to the scientists, this study provides deep understanding of the way human bodies respond to lack of food or food consumption. With these understandings, new possibilities are opened for treatment of metabolic diseases.
In this study, the scientists were studying the role of a protein known as augmentor-alpha in human cancers. This protein binds to a molecule called anaplastic lymphoma kinase receptor (ALK) that further performs mutation causing various cancers. So, the team tried to find where this protein could be present abundantly. The team conducted experiments on mice, where they found that this protein, augmentor-alpha was strongly expressed in hypothalamus, a brain region that is responsible for different important functions including temperature regulation, metabolism and stress response. The team also found that augmentor-alpha was expressing high levels in agouti-related peptides (AgRP) neurons that promote hunger.
Furthermore, the team again explored the link between aumentor-alpha and metabolism, where they discovered that when rodents are placed on a fasting diet the expression of protein in the AgRP was increased. When the team studied mice that were engineered with missing the protein, the mice seemed to be thinner and physically active compared to normal mice. These finding suggested that augmentor-alpha protein plays a key rose in some of the important signaling in metabolic function. With these findings very interesting possibilities are opened regarding metabolic health. It could help in development of treatments that manipulate role of augmentor-alpha to get different effects.