Researchers Discovered A Microprotein In Mice That Stimulates Appetite And May Help Cancer Patients Who Are Struggling With The Side Effects Of Chemotherapy

Africa Studio - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

In a recent study, scientists identified more than 3,800 tiny proteins that play a role in mouse metabolism. Most notably, one of these microproteins – known as Gm8773 – seems to boost appetite, prompting mice to consume more food.

This finding could lead to new methods for enhancing weight gain in people dealing with cancer, as well as various metabolic disorders.

While both obesity and metabolic conditions are very prevalent in the United States, there’s still a large lack of understanding regarding microproteins. These small proteins, which are present in both brown and white fat, are an important factor in metabolism.

“It is vital to better understand the processes that regulate obesity and metabolic health in order to provide improved therapies for the future,” said Alan Saghatelian, the study’s co-author.

“Having this list of microproteins will aid the field of metabolism in identifying new players in a variety of metabolic diseases. And we’ve demonstrated one biologically active microprotein that promotes feeding, as well as other microproteins that are involved in fat metabolism.”

Various proteins beneath layers of fat tissue play key roles in feeding, energy regulation, and heat generation. There are also two main types of fat, known as white and brown.

White fat, often referred to as “bad fat,” usually accumulates around the stomach. It acts as storage for excess energy when it’s not being utilized and leads to weight gain.

Brown fat is conversely considered “good fat” and is typically located around the shoulders and spine. It benefits the body and develops through proper nutrition, regular exercise, and overall good health.

For their research, the team examined genes associated with brown, white, and beige fat – which is a type of fat that shares characteristics of both white and brown fat – in mouse cells.

Africa Studio – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2