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Web Date: December 9, 2011

Positive Charges Increase Protein’s Appetite Boost

Biochemistry: Small tweaks to the agouti-related protein could help cancer and AIDS patients gain weight
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: agouti-related protein, melanocortin receptors, appetite, cachexia, weight gain

Tinkering with the sequence of a protein that stimulates appetite, researchers have produced a super-potent version that greatly increases weight gain in rats (ACS Chem. Biol., DOI: 10.1021/cb2003412). The work may help scientists develop treatments for cachexia, a body wasting syndrome associated with diseases including cancer and AIDS.

When the body needs energy, a hunger hormone stimulates neurons in the hypothalamus to secrete the agouti-related protein. This protein . . .

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Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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