Scientists belonging to the Georgetown University School of Medicine have made an interesting discovery. They found that increasing the production of a certain production caused mice to lessen their body fat.
This was true even for the mice genetically engineered to overeat.
The scientists achieved this by increasing the expression of the gene associated with the protein.
The relevant paper appears in the journal named Scientific Reports. The authors of the study described how the fibroblast growth factor binding protein (FGFBP3) modulated the metabolism of glucose and fat. The effects were evident in mouse models suffering from metabolic syndromes.
The scientists explained some of their findings saying that the BP3 protein treatment reduced the fat in obese mice. The effect occurs in 18 days only and the reduction in fat was about one-third.
In addition to this, the scientists also observed a reduction in other related conditions. The sugar levels of animals, a hallmark of diabetes, also fell. The liver of these mice, which was fatty, also lost its fat.
BP3 tends to normally occur in the body. This made scientists realize that its relevant investigations did not need to go for lengthy testing. Clinical trials that use human models can start right after the results and conclusions from the preclinical studies.
Therapies involving BP3 also had the advantage of minimal side effects. In the current study, the scientists were not able to find any adversities occurring in mice. The result remained the same even when they examined mice tissue under the microscope.
Obesity and related conditions
As per the WHO, there has been a three-fold increase in the rate of obesity since 1975. Estimates for 2016 revealed that one-third of the adults are overweight. Out of these, over 650 million suffer from obesity.
Scientists noted a similar pattern of increasing obesity in children. In 1975, 4 percent of the children between the ages of 5 to 19 were obese or overweight. In 2016, the ratio increased to a whopping 18 percent.
Obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, is a great risk factor that leads to metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of diseases that enhance the risk of acquiring health problems. It also raises the risk of other diseases such as stroke, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver, and certain types of cancer.
Abdominal obesity, o a large waistline, indicates having too much fat around your stomach. This increases the heart risk for having too much fat in the rest of the body, such as hips.
BP3 Serves as a Chaperone Protein
BP3 is a member of the chaperone protein family. These proteins tend to increase the activity of fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) by attaching to them. FGFs are present in different species and they help regulate different biological processes. These include processes like tissue repair and cell growth.
The lead scientists of this study have been investigating the role of BP3 for a long time. The increase in production of this protein occurs in certain cancer types. So, the team decided to go deep in order to clarify its role.
The scientists discovered that BP3 attaches itself to the FGFs who play an important role in cell metabolism. Two of these FGFs also help regulate the storage and use of fats and sugars. The third one oversees the use of phosphates.
The scientists concluded that increasing the levels of BP3 increases the signaling of FGFs. This makes this protein a potential driver of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism.
With an increase in metabolism, the body uses blood sugar and the fat present in the liver for energy instead of using them. This is what leads to a reduction in fat and blood glucose.