MONDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Deleting the receptor of a
protein known to promote obesity allowed mice to burn more fat,
The role of the ghrelin protein in appetite and energy balance
was discovered in 1999. This new finding suggests that ghrelin may
not be as critical to energy expenditure as its cellular receptor,
called growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R), explained Dr.
Yuxiang Sun, of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
That means that GHS-R might make a better target for treating
obesity in humans.
In this study, Sun and colleagues found that deleting GHS-R from
the body cells of mice prevented obesity by diminishing so-called
"white fat" tissue and activating "brown fat" tissue, thereby
increasing the production of fat-burning body heat.
The study was to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of
the American Society of Cell Biology in Philadelphia.
The finding "shows the complexity of ghrelin and its signaling
pathway, and suggests the existence of additional unidentified
regulators mediating the effect of ghrelin and/or GHS-R," Sun
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute explains how
to achieve and maintain a