It sounds like a magic bullet: Administer a protein, watch the subject lose weight. But that’s exactly what University of Florida scientists found when they discovered a new way to deliver a protein that helps develop cells that convert fat into energy.
The study builds upon on a discovery by Bruce Spiegelman, a cell biologist at the Boston-based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who found that human muscles release a hormone he called irisin during exercise. Spiegelman also found that mice lost a small amount of weight when given the irisin gene using a virus to ferry it into cells.
Now the UF team—including researcher Dr. Li-Jun Yang, Shi-Wu Li, and postdoctoral researcher William Donelan—has for the first time created a stable protein form of irisin, opening the door to human studies that weren’t previously possible because the virus has not been approved for use in people.
“We found that if you…
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