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Dr. Hsiao-Huei Chen discovers a new molecular pathway that controls appetite, metabolism and weight gain

August 23, 2013

Dr. Hsiao-Huei Chen and her team have discovered a new molecular pathway that controls appetite, metabolism and weight gain. The pathway involves leptin, which has also been called the “hungry gene” since mice that lack this gene eat voraciously and become morbidly obese. Dr. Chen has discovered that depending on the amount of fat recently eaten, the body may attach fat molecules to a protein called LMO4, and this modified protein promotes the response to leptin and decreases appetite. This research could lead to new treatments for obesity and diabetes.

See Journal of Neuroscience for details.

Funders: Canadian Diabetes Association, Ontario Research Fund, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario Centre for Stroke Recovery, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

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