Thursday, February 13, 2014
University of California, San
Francisco team has uncovered a pathway for regulating
absorption of fatty acids that could yield new targets for treating obesity. MFGE8, an integrin ligand, controls the
uptake of fat in the gut and other tissues by co-opting a phosphoinositide 3-kinase signaling module
better known for its involvement in insulin action.1
The team is working on inhibitors of the ligand or its receptors for use in
team identified MFGE8 in 2005. It is an integrin ligand that binds the integrin αVb5
and integrin αVb3
(CD51/CD61) receptor complexes.2 Subsequent gene association and expression studies pointed to
a connection between MFGE8 and obesity.3,4
Van der Ploeg, CSO of Rhythm
Pharmaceuticals Inc., sees the MFGE8
findings as a promising step forward for obesity therapeutics.
Boettner, B. SciBX 7(6);
doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.159 Published online Feb. 13, 2014
A. et al. Nat. Med.; published online Jan. 19, 2014; doi:10.1038/nm.3450
Contact: Kamran Atabai, University of California, San Francisco, Calif. e-mail:
2. Atabai, K. et al.
Mol. Biol. Cell 16, 5528-5537 (2005)
3. Henegar, C. et al.
Genome Biol. 9, R14; published online Jan. 21, 2008;
4. Rankinen, T. et al.
Obesity (Silver Spring) 14, 529-644 (2006)
AND INSTITUTIONS MENTIONED
Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical Corp. (KSE:001630), Seoul, South Korea
Ipsen Group (Euronext:IPN; Pink:IPSEY),
Rhythm Pharmaceuticals Inc., Boston, Mass.
OTCQX:RHHBY), Basel, Switzerland
California, San Francisco,
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
Zafgen Inc., Cambridge, Mass.