Enzyme promotes fat formation

The enzyme, TPPII, has previously been linked to making people feel hungry, but Jonathan Graff and colleagues now show that it may be even more deeply involved in causing obesity.

The team found that TPPII actually stimulated the formation of fat cells in worms and mammalian cells and that by reducing it, fat stores decreased. Mice with lower levels of TPPII were thinner than their wild type littermates, although their food intake was comparable.

The authors hope that TPPII could be exploited as a drug target to help fight increasing levels of obesity; inhibiting the enzyme would both increase feelings of fullness after eating and decrease build up of fat cells.

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