A newly discovered protein termed as 'sprouty' protein could be the answer to obesity and/or osteoporosis, as well as diabetes, osteoarthritis and heart disease.
Scientists from Maine report findings on the protein that could regulate body fat and bone mass.
They found that the more of this protein that the transgenic mice expressed, the leaner and stronger they became, and when mice with low levels of the Sprouty protein were made to express more of it, they lost weight and increased bone density.
Results showed that the mice with the deleted Sprouty gene had increased body fat and loss of bone mass similar to osteoporosis as compared to normal mice. Adding more Sprouty protein then reversed bone loss. The group with excess Sprouty expression produced lean mice with increased bone mass.
Lucy Liaw from the Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Scarborough, ME, concluded that future application of this insight might help treat common conditions such as bone loss and obesity.
The research is published in the September 2010 print issue of The FASEB Journal.