New Exercise Molecule Could Treat Obesity

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How Those Few Extra Pounds Are Really Affecting Your HealthUK researchers have developed a molecule that can mimic exercise—a creation that could lead to treatments for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The molecule—called compound 14—blocks the function of a cellular enzyme called ATIC, which plays an essential role in metabolism.

Researchers tested compound 14 on two different groups of mice. The first group was fed a normal diet and the other group was fed a high-fat diet—which made them obese and glucose intolerant (an early sign of prediabetes.)

Mice that were treated with compound 14 and who were fed a normal diet had normal weight and blood glucose levels. The mice that were fed a high-fat diet and who were fed a single dose of compound 14 for seven days demonstrated a reduction in blood glucose levels, bringing their levels down to a normal range—they also lost about five percent of their body weight.

Obesity affects more than a third of all adults in the U.S., and type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes cases in the U.S. Researchers are hopeful that compound 14 could lead to more effective treatments for obesity.

Their findings were published in a recent issue of the journal Chemistry & Biology.

Sources for Today’s Article:
Ali Tavassoli et al., “AMPK activation via modulation of de novo purine biosynthesis with an inhibitor of ATIC homodimerization,” Chemistry & Biology, doi:, published online 2 July 2015.
Whiteman, H., “Exercise-mimicking molecule may offer new treatments for obesity and type 2 diabetes,” July 28, 2015;