Australian researchers discovered a novel anti-obesity drug PO53 unexpectedly when they are working on a drug to prevent Insulin resistance. The new drug is touted to be the major step in the fight against obesity and other associated metabolic diseases. The drug is an outcome of a long-term association between the scientists from Centenary Institute and UNSW Sydney. The team initially planned to develop a drug that targets enzyme associated with Insulin Resistance which is thought to be the precursor for Type-2 Diabetes.
Research Study carried out:
The enzyme Ceramide Synthase I(CerS1) belongs to the Ceramide synthase family and is believed to believed to produce lipid molecules that produce Insulin resistance on Skeletal muscle, liver as well as fat tissue. When the drug was injected into mice it did not prevent the onset of Insulin resistance, but in turn, it increased the ability of the mouse to burn fat in the skeletal muscles. The mice were initially fed with a high-fat diet that is specially designed to cause some metabolic diseases.
The researchers hoped the enzyme to prevent Insulin resistance, but the results are rather surprising! Also, it is also the first time that the scientists were able to develop a drug that targets enzymes of Ceramide Synthase family. The research is in the nascent stage, and it is hard to predict the same results to happen when it comes to human subjects. Nevertheless, it is a major step in our fight against obesity and other complications associated with obesity such as Cancer and other Cardiovascular diseases.
Further research would involve developing drugs that target Ceramide synthase enzymes from Class I to Class 6 and check whether it produces a strong anti-obesity and Insulin sensitising response. The Research study is published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.