Fat Burning Molecule Identified

Researchers have found that a protein that leads to breakdown of fat.

The study reports a new role for the protein, Perilipin 5, in the cell nucleus as a regulator of fat metabolism.

In experiments with cultured cells and mice, the research team found that when cells are stimulated to release fat stored in fat droplets, Perilipin 5 can leave the surface of those droplets and move to the cell’s nucleus, where it works with another protein to encourage the creation of additional — and more efficient — mitochondria.

In obese people, excess fat can accumulate in tissues not specialised for fat storage, such as skeletal muscle, the heart, and liver. This buildup can lead to dysfunction of those tissues.

Trying to break down large amounts of fat can overload the body’s metabolic system, swamping the tiny cellular mitochondria whose job is to turn fat into fuel for work or heat.

The findings could have significant implications for development of new ways to treat obesity and type-2 diabetes.

The cells are then left with a brew of partially processed fats that can be toxic to the mitochondria and lead to the insulin resistance seen in Type-2 diabetes.

Perilipin 5, helps match mitochondrial capacity to burn fat with the fat load in the cell.