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Researchers discover molecular 'switch' that tells body to store or burn fat

this metabolic pathway. Of course this and several alternative possibilities need to be further evaluated."

This possibility is supported by other results from researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University, showing that the inhibition of other components of this metabolic pathway yield similar results. Salih Wakil, Ph.D., and colleagues at Baylor showed that mice lacking ACC2 have higher than normal metabolic levels and weigh 10 to 15 percent less than control mice. At Johns Hopkins, M. Daniel Lane, Francis P. Kuhajda, M.D., and co-workers designed a molecule called C75 that activates CPT-1 (by repressing the ability of malonyl CoA to inhibit it) and blocks fatty acid synthase, an enzyme important for converting carbohydrates into the building blocks of fat. This drug also reduces weight and increases energy expenditure.

"In aggregate, these findings suggest that modulating the activity of key metabolic pathways could provide a new therapeutic approach to increase energy expenditure and promote the burning of fat," Friedman says.


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Contact: Joseph Bonner
bonnerj@mail.rockefeller.edu
212-327-8998
Rockefeller University
11-Jul-2002


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