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Cancer Drug To Treat Obesity?
A cancer treatment drug may be used in the future to treat obesity and obesity. In addition to its anti-cancer properties, the drug also supports weight loss.
A recent study by the University of New Mexico Health Science found that a cancer drug could also be used to shed excess weight. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Science Translational Medicine".
Cancer drug for fat loss?
A cancer drug called G-1, which was discovered a few years ago, is able to reduce fat in obese mice. G-1 is currently still in phase 1 clinical trials for cancer, but researchers are already planning to test the drug in preclinical studies to reduce fat in obese people.
Obesity favors serious illnesses
Obesity leads to various health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Current obesity drugs cannot effectively reduce them or have undesirable side effects, the researchers report.
What is GPER?
The team examined GPER, the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor that is activated by G-1 because GPER affects certain breast cancer cells. When breast cancer drugs such as tamoxifen and fulvestrant estrogen receptors block in the nucleus of a cell, they also activate GPER, which can be found in the cell membranes. Previous studies have shown that GPER may play a role in resistance to tamoxifen and similar drugs. This is why the research group was interested in how G-1 acts on non-cancer cells when there is a lack of estrogen.
Men also produce estrogen
Estrogen is often considered a female hormone, although it is also produced in small quantities by men. Low estrogen levels in women are a hallmark of menopause, and postmenopausal women also have a higher rate of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
What role does low estrogen play?
In order to understand whether G-1 could influence the metabolism of women in postmenopause, the research group examined mice with low estrogen levels. In their studies, low-estrogen female mice gained weight quickly, even with a normal diet, and became obese and diabetic more quickly.
How did G-1 treatment work?
When these obese female mice were treated with G-1, the animals lost weight and their diabetes disappeared. It was found that the weight loss was not due to reduced food intake or increased exercise. It made a difference what the animal's body did with the calories consumed. Instead of storing calories as fat, the mice burned the calories. The metabolism of the animals changed. The mice showed an increased energy expenditure.
Effects of G-1 on male mice
The team also examined male mice that are naturally low in estrogen. The male mice were fed a high-fat diet, which made them obese and diabetic. Then some of the animals were treated with G-1. Although the treated mice did not lose weight, they did not continue to gain weight, as was the case with the untreated mice. It was important that her diabetes improved.
Does G-1 have separate effects on obesity and diabetes?
This result suggests that G-1 has separate effects on obesity and diabetes. The male mice treated with G-1 were metabolically healthier, although they were still obese.
Mice with a high-fat diet also lost weight
Finally, the team also fed female mice with a high-fat diet that contained little estrogen. These mice became obese very quickly, but just like the mice with a normal diet, they lost weight and their diabetes improved when they were treated with G-1.
Gender difference in the effect of the drug?
These results could indicate a gender difference in the effects of the drug or in the way the GPER signals are perceived in the cells of men and women.
How did G-1 affect brown fat cells?
Finally, to find out how G-1 increases energy consumption, the team examined brown fat cells that generate heat instead of storing excess calories as fat. It was found that the cells used more energy when treated with G-1. This suggests that G-1 can reduce obesity by targeting brown fat cells that burn extra calories.
More research is needed
A future series of experiments will investigate how signals from GPER trigger the cellular changes that lead to higher energy consumption. The researchers hope that G-1 may one day revolutionize the treatment of metabolic disorders. In the meantime, the team is starting clinical trials to test G-1's ability to fight obesity and diabetes in humans. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Geetanjali Sharma, Chelin Hu, Daniela I. Staquicini, Jonathan L. Brigman, Meilian Liu et al .: Preclinical efficacy of the GPER-selective agonist G-1 in mouse models of obesity and diabetes, in Science Translational Medicine (published Vol 12, Issue 528, January 29, 2020), Science Translational Medicine