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Perilipin Obesity Gene
Use of Perilipin to Protect Fat Cells and Boost Energy Metabolism
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Perilipin Obesity Gene

How would you like to eat whatever you want and not gain weight? Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston may have discovered a way to make that possible. The scientists have found a gene that produces a protein that protects fat cells. When they removed the gene from mice, the rodents stayed lean, even when they ate more and exercised less.

The protein, called perilipin, coats fat cells with a protective layer that keeps them from being metabolized by enzymes. Without perilipin present, fat is immediately metabolized rather than stored. The researchers bred mice with obesity genes from both parents, but made sure the new mice didn't have the gene for perilipin production. These mice consistently burned more calories than normal mice did.

But, researchers say, there are no magic pills for obesity yet. And many studies that have looked promising in mice haven't worked as well in humans.

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