Washington: A new research by Harvard University scientists has paved way for a new obesity and diabetes drug.
The researchers have found that reducing the function of a transmembrane protein, called Klotho, in obese mice with high blood sugar levels produced lean mice with reduced blood sugar levels.
This protein also exists in humans, suggesting that selectively targeting Klotho could lead to a new class of drugs to reduce obesity and possibly Type 2 diabetes for people.
"Our study is a small step toward reducing the sufferings of obese and diabetic individuals to bring back the joy of healthy life," said M. Shawkat Razzaque, of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Boston.
"In the dark horizon of obesity and diabetes, Klotho brings a ray of hope, added Razzaque.
For the discovery, Razzaque and colleagues fed increased amounts of food to leptin-deficient mice with the Klotho protein which caused obesity with high blood sugar levels. A second set of mice was bred that was both leptin- and Klotho-deficient, and was fed the same diet as the first set.
The second set of mice was lean and had low blood sugar levels, suggesting that reduced Klotho function may not only diminish obesity, but also decrease blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, mice without Klotho function gained no body weight after eating a high-fat diet, while mice with functioning Klotho proteins gained body weight following a high-fat diet.
The findings have been published in the FASEB Journal.