HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Structure Of Fat-Depleting Protein Reveals Important Functional Clues

March 19, 1999—Following a mysterious crevice in a molecule that causes severe weight loss in some cancer patients may turn up a new generation of drugs to treat clinical obesity, say researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at the California Institute of Technology.

Zn-a 2-glycoprotein, otherwise known as ZAG, occurs naturally in most body fluids, including blood, sweat, saliva, and urine. Researchers first isolated ZAG from blood samples more than 30 years ago, "but it’s been a molecule in search of a function for a long time," said Pamela Bjorkman, an HHMI investigator at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Bjorkman, Luís Sánchez and HHMI associate Arthur Chirino published ZAG’s structure in the March 19, 1999, issue of the journal Science.

One of the mysteries surrounding ZAG is that it seems to be related to a large family of proteins known as class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. These molecules bind to small pieces of other proteins, known as antigenic peptides, and in so doing trigger an immune response to invading microorganisms and viruses. Yet despite ZAG's similarity to MHC proteins, it apparently does not have a role in the immune system, Bjorkman said.

Last year, however, researchers at Aston University in Birmingham, U.K., discovered that ZAG is involved in cachexia, a wasting syndrome that can affect people with cancer, AIDS and other terminal illnesses. Cachexia can result in rapid, life-threatening weight loss and lead to shedding of both fat and muscle.

ZAG appears to drive the fat-loss in cancer patients. When the British investigators added ZAG to fat cells, the cells rapidly metabolized lipids, a major component of fat. Further evidence of ZAG's role in fat breakdown came when researchers, who fed the protein
'"/>

Contact: Jim Keeley
keeleyj@hhmi.org
301-215-8858
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
19-Mar-1999


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Structure solved at Scripps shows how one human protein reduces potency of chemotherapy
2. Structure solved by Scripps scientists shows one way that body controls gene expression
3. Structure of a Nobel-prize winning molecule: Aquaporin
4. Structure of HIV-neutralizing antibody solved
5. Structure of key breast cancer receptor determined
6. Structure of cog at the hub of metabolism reveals anti-ageing function
7. Structure of pain-modulating enzyme described by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute
8. Structure reveals details of cells cargo-carriers
9. Structure of key receptor unlocked; Related proteins will fall like dominoes
10. New Science Press launches Proteins: From Sequence to Structure
11. Third piece completes deadly puzzle: Structure of anthrax toxin offers clues to treatment

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/28/2020)... ... , ... In an upcoming episode scheduled for the fall of 2020, Advancements ... (POCT). Check local listings for more info. , Today, the majority of testing is ... labs throughout the country. Results are then available several days later. Now, in an ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, ... ... provider of gene-to-protein and monoclonal antibody development services, today announced that the ... products and services to the pharmaceutical, diagnostics, and research industries. The decision ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... 2020 , ... The field of quantitation of large molecules or proteins has ... area. However, the use of mass spectrometry in this field has gained a lot ... do you choose which approach to use (LBA or MS)?” In many cases, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 12, 2020 , ... Inc. magazine today revealed that ... FDA compliance consulting has been named on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the ... unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... , ... August 03, 2020 , ... Introducing Ardent Animal ... transformative growth, , Known as MediVet Biologics since its formation ... The new Ardent Animal Health will build on its base of innovative ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... radar transmitter systems that can be configured to drive Klystrons, TWTs, IOTs, and ... can drive one or two switches in a push-pull configuration; yielding fast fall ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... eSource has long been touted ... will cover the history of eSource, the reasons it did not take off as ... to site source, the industry is moving towards capturing data electronically for clinical trials ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: