Dec. 6, 2006 – They termed it Ghrelin (ghre from a Proto-Indo-European root meaning to grow). Ghrelin, a 28-amino-acid peptide hormone produced by the stomach in mammals, is a peptide with an n-octanoyl modification at Ser3 (n-octanoylation is essential for its activity). It stimulates appetite and food intake and decreases fat utilization. The secretion of ghrelin is augmented under conditions of both gastric emptying and filling, and its release stimulated by intestinal hormones (1-5).
In 2005, Hsueh’s group (6) found a peptide fragment from the same ghrelin gene that has opposite effects from those of Ghrelin. This they named Obestatin (obedere from Latin, meaning to devour, and statin denoting suppression). Obestatin binds to the orphan G protein-coupled receptor GPR39 and suppresses food intake, inhibits jejunal contraction and decreases body weight gain (6).
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1. Kojima, M. et al. Nature 402, 656 (1999).
2. Kleinz, MJ. et al. Cardiovasc Res. 69, 227 (2006).
3. Murakami, N. et al. J. Endocrinol. 174, 283 (2002).
4. Nishi, Y. et al. Endocrinol. 146, 2709 (2005).
5. Cowley, MA. et al. Neuron 37, 649 (2003).
6. Zhang, JV. et al. Science 310, 996 (2005).
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