Fat is important for providing energy to the body – but it is well known that too much is bad for us. Triglycerides are fats circulating through the blood, and high triglycerides can lead to obesity and related diseases. Now, researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found a way to produce proteins that remove fat from the blood.
If the fat consumed exceeds the body’s immediate energy needs, it is converted into triglycerides. It is stored in adipose tissue until it is needed, but usually eventually it eventually roams the blood. High levels of triglycerides can lead to diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The human body has mechanisms to control this. The liver produces a protein called lipoprotein A5 (APOA5), which is known for removing triglycerides. And that’s the focus of the new study.
“APOA5 is closely involved in how triglycerides can be quickly removed from the cycle,” said Sean Davidson, author of the study. The more APOA5 you have, the faster triglycerides will be removed. Everyone agrees that it is an important protein, but scientists don’t know what its structure or how to do it. If we can figure out how it works, we can propose a drug that uses the same mechanism or triggers it to work better. “
To investigate, the team inserted human genes encoded aPOA5 into bacteria. This allows scientists to produce more proteins faster than by isolating more proteins from human blood. Previous studies have yielded only a fairly low yield in this way, but by making some adjustments to the process, the team managed to achieve a yield of about 25 milligrams per litre.
They then tested how triglycerides were removed from the blood of mice on a high-fat diet. After purifying APOA5, they applied it to the mice and obtained promising results.
Mark Castleberry, lead author of the study, said: ‘We were able to analyze their blood after feeding them and look at the levels of fat they digested. We were able to provide protein to mice with fat meals and quickly remove triglycerides that accumulate in the blood. “
Although these results are encouraging, the study is still in its early stages. There is no guarantee that the study will be successfully used in humans, but it could spark new research pathways related to mimicking human proteins.
The study was published in the journal Lipid Research.