A Georgetown University-led study found that enforced expression of a protein in a laboratory strain of obese mice presented a remarkable reduction of their fat mass, despite a genetic bias to eat all the time.
The study proposes that the protein FGFBP3 (BP3 for short) might offer a fresh remedy to reverse disorders associated with metabolic syndrome. Since BP3 is a natural protein and not an artificial drug, clinical trials of recombinant human BP3 could begin after a final round of preclinical studies.
The researchers found that eight BP3 treatments over 18 days was enough to reduce the fat in obese mice by over a third. The treatments also reduced a number of obesity-related disorders in the mice.
Obesity, which affects more than 650 million people globally, is the chief driver for metabolic syndromes, which comprises of ailments such as insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, hypertension and elevated lipids in the blood.
BP3 belongs to the family of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) binding proteins (BP), which are involved in a wide range of biological processes, such as regulating cell growth, wound healing and response to injury.