Friday, August 28th, 2009

Researchers have developed a drug that makes mice lose weight, reverses their diabetes, and lowers their cholesterol — and they’ve dubbed it fatostatin. Seriously:

Fatostatin is a small molecule, meaning it has the potential to be absorbed in pill form.

It works on so-called sterol regulatory element binding proteins or SREBPs, which are transcription factors that activate genes involved in making cholesterol and fatty acids.

“Fatostatin blocked increases in body weight, blood glucose, and hepatic (liver) fat accumulation in (genetically) obese mice, even under uncontrolled food intake,” the researchers wrote.

Genetic tests showed the drug affected 63 different genes.

The idea of interfering with SREBP is not new. GlaxSmithKline has been working on a new-generation cholesterol drug that uses this pathway.

After four weeks, mice injected with fatostatin weighed 12 percent less and had 70 percent lower blood sugar levels, the researchers wrote.

Now they plan to test rats and rabbits, Wakil said.

Leave a Reply