Scientists Discover Way To Regulate The Body's Energy Expenditure

Published: Jun 04, 2004

Scientists have discovered a protein that controls the amount of fat stored in the body, offering new clues for obesity treatments. The research, published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how the protein regulates the activity of a key gene responsible for maintaining the body's temperature, called uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). The new protein, called RIP140, blocks the expression of UCP1, and causes the body to use up more energy and store less fat. The team of scientists from Imperial College London, Kings College London, University of Cambridge, and Hammersmith Hospital, UK, conducted studies in transgenic mice born without RIP140, and in normal mice with RIP140. They found that mice without RIP140 were lean and showed resistance to high fat diet induced obesity.

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