A unique technique for neutralizing the action of the leptin protein in humans and animals – thereby providing a means for controlling and better understanding of leptin function, including its role in unwanted cell growth -- has been developed by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Three-dimensional structure of leptin. The region identified in the picture by numbers as amino acids 39, 40, 41, 42 underwent mutation that converted the normal leptin into an “antagonistic” version.
Leptin was discovered ten years ago and has attracted attention first because of its involvement in control of appetite and later by its effect on growth, puberty, digestion and immunological processes. Leptin can also have negative consequences, such as, for example, enhancing the spread of tumorous growths.
In his laboratory at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agricultural Food and Environmental Quality Sciences in Rehovot, Arieh Gertler, the Karl Bach Professor of Agricultural Biochemistry, along with his students, has developed a technique for genetically engineering mutations of the leptin protein. Prof. Gertler has been assisted in this work by graduate students Dana Gonen-Berger and Leonora Niv-Spector.and research assistant Gili Benyehuda.
Jerry Barach | alfa
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