Protein maybe key to halting obesity related disease

Protein maybe key to halting obesity related disease
Australians are developing a form of liver disease seen in alcoholics – but which is being caused by obesity rather than an addiction to drink.

(Medical Xpress)—Australians are getting more obese and developing a disease called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – a disease similar to that that results in cirrhosis in alcoholics and can be a precursor to diabetes.

Melbourne researchers have discovered a protein that may be key to the development of these diseases, providing a potential drug target that could act as a hand brake to the cascade of deadly diseases that can result from obesity.

Australians are developing a form of seen in alcoholics – but which is being caused by obesity rather than an addiction to drink. Non-alcoholic liver disease affects about 5.5 million Australians and one of the common risk factors for this condition is obesity. Nearly two thirds of obese adults and half of obese children are found to have fatty liver – which is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers at the Monash University School of Biomedical Sciences have discovered a novel protein that is released as a consequence of fatty liver and causes diabetes. The isolation of this new protein opens the way to developing drugs that can block the production of this protein potentially preventing the disease.

Professor Matthew Watt found more than three dozen proteins that are secreted by the liver when it becomes fatty. They found a further group of proteins that were secreted by the liver – one month after starting a – which led to insulin resistance in skeletal muscle, a characteristic of early stage diabetes.

In data presented to a national scientific meeting recently – and currently being prepared for publication in an international journal – Professor Watt revealed that one of these proteins was particularly interesting in the cascade of physiological consequences of a .

"This proteins' role in the development of non-alcoholic is completely new," Professor Watt said. The research group found that this protein is increased in livers that are developing fatty liver disease, and that it may have a role in developing the condition.

Working with researchers in the Netherlands, Professor Watt tested the blood of patients with fatty liver disease and they found that they had raised levels of the proteins and that the level of protein was related to the level of insulin resistance (as an indicator of pre-diabetes).

Professor Watt believes blocking the could be a key to preventing the deadly consequences of obesity.

"We may be able to block the development of fatty liver disease and apply a hand brake to the development of diabetes," Professor Watt said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Reducing liver protein SIRT1 levels

Jan 22, 2014

A new study led by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) demonstrates that the abnormal metabolism linked to obesity could be regulated in part by the interaction of two metabolic regulators, called the NAD-dependent ...

Weight loss surgery alters fatty liver disease genes

Aug 06, 2013

Research has shown that weight loss surgery can benefit obese individuals in ways that go beyond shedding pounds, for example by causing early remission of type 2 diabetes. Now scientists have found that the surgery can also ...

Recommended for you

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

alexey_romanov_98892
not rated yet Feb 03, 2014
I want to be a living donor and I search for organ transplant recipient who is ready to pay well. I am ready to give one of my kidneys or part of my liver, but I want to receive a big compensation for that. I am 34 years old man. My blood is O+ and I have a good health. I don't smoke cigarettes and don't drink alcohol.
Contact me if you need kidney or liver transplant. If you don't need it, but you know somebody who need it, could you please send my message to this person or keep it. I understand it is not normal to ask money for organ donation, so it will be confidential between us. I am ready to make any tests to prove my health and send copies by e-mail. I will listen the offer and conditions of recipient. This is not a joke and I am not an organ broker or kind of that. I do it myself and I will do it.
alexukrainian@yandex.ua