The following article, Newly-identified Molecule Could Hold Key To Targeting Obesity, was first published on Flag And Cross.
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A newly-identified molecule could hold the key to developing drugs targeting obesity and bone disease.
Scientists in Australia made the breakthrough that could be key in providing ground-breaking new treatments.
They say the molecule plays a “key” role in how cells detect when they are being pushed or pulled.
The molecule regulates the sensors, which are key to many of the processes in the human body including how nerve cells in the skin sense when we are touched.
The researchers believe it may now be possible to design new drugs which can ramp up or down the activity of the sensors, which could help fight against obesity, bone diseases such as osteoporosis and even inflammatory diseases.
Scientists at the Victor Chang Cardiac Institute, based in Sydney, used cutting-edge Cryo-electron Microscopy to investigate how their focused protein molecule binds to sensors known as PIEZO ion channels.
Now that the protein has been identified, it’s believed it could now be modified and developed into peptide-based therapeutics.
Study lead author Dr. Charles Cox described the interacting molecule as a “switch.”
He said: “These are really key molecules that constantly provide information to the brain such as where our bodies are in space, sensing touch and even pain.
“This interacting molecule we have identified represents a switch enabling us to regulate these channels, widely expressed throughout the body, which is why it could be useful for a whole range of diseases in the future.”
Dr. Cox says the switch could be triggered to combat obesity by boosting the activity of molecules and convincing the stomach it’s full far earlier than it actually is.
He added: “We believe we will be able to boost the activity in the channels that are involved in the strength of our bones – which could not only help prevent osteoporosis it could help those already suffering.
“This novel mechanism could also help combat obesity an important risk factor for all cardiovascular diseases.
“As we eat food, our stomachs get stretched and molecules are triggered, telling the brain when the stomach is full.
“By boosting the activity of these molecules, we may be able to trigger the brain into thinking it was full far earlier mimicking satiety.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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