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Évry, France

Treatments of obesity and type II diabetes target often gene functions involved in appetite-satiety, fat and carbohydrate metabolism or thermogenesis. None of these, have provided efficient drug therapy due to a large number of genes involved in weight and energy management, the redundancy of biochemical pathways and the environmental factors. Here I discuss a new approach based on studies of genes/proteins that are associated with human "lean or starvation" phenotype that became very rare in the course of evolution. This approach has led to the identification of the congenital enteropeptidase deficiency gene and the Anderson's Disease gene as a potential targets for obesity and type II diabetes treatment. The advantages of these targets are: 1) they are expressed exclusively in the intestine; 2) they are peripheral targets as opposed to systemic targets; 3) they are not redundant targets. These targets open new hopes for the development of novel drugs for the treatment of common metabolic syndrome. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers. Source

Braud S.,ObeTherapy Biotechnology | Ciufolini M.,University of British Columbia | Harosh I.,ObeTherapy Biotechnology
Future Medicinal Chemistry

Several hundred genes associated or linked to obesity have been described in the scientific literature. Whereas many of these genes are potential targets for the treatment of obesity and associated conditions, none of them have permitted the developement of an efficient drug therapy. As proposed by the 'thrifty genotype theory, obesity genes may have conferred an evolutionary advantage in times of food shortage through efficient energy exploitation, while 'lean or 'energy expenditure genes may have become very rare during the same periods. It is therefore a challenge to identify 'energy expenditure genes or 'energy absorption genes, whose mutations or single nucleotide polymorphisms do result in reduced energy intake. We submit that such 'energy absorption or 'energy expenditure genes (crucial genes) are potential new targets for the treatment of obesity. These genes can be identified in rare genetic diseases that produce a lean, failure-to-thrive, energy malabsorption or starvation phenotype. © 2010 Future Science Ltd. Source

Jolivet G.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Braud S.,ObeTherapy Biotechnology | DaSilva B.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Passet B.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 7 more authors.
PloS one

In the search of new strategies to fight against obesity, we targeted a gene pathway involved in energy uptake. We have thus investigated the APOB mRNA editing protein (APOBEC1) gene pathway that is involved in fat absorption in the intestine. The APOB gene encodes two proteins, APOB100 and APOB48, via the editing of a single nucleotide in the APOB mRNA by the APOBEC1 enzyme. The APOB48 protein is mandatory for the synthesis of chylomicrons by intestinal cells to transport dietary lipids and cholesterol. We produced transgenic rabbits expressing permanently and ubiquitously a small hairpin RNA targeting the rabbit APOBEC1 mRNA. These rabbits exhibited a moderately but significantly reduced level of APOBEC1 gene expression in the intestine, a reduced level of editing of the APOB mRNA, a reduced level of synthesis of chylomicrons after a food challenge, a reduced total mass of body lipids and finally presented a sustained lean phenotype without any obvious physiological disorder. Interestingly, no compensatory mechanism opposed to the phenotype. These lean transgenic rabbits were crossed with transgenic rabbits expressing in the intestine the human APOBEC1 gene. Double transgenic animals did not present any lean phenotype, thus proving that the intestinal expression of the human APOBEC1 transgene was able to counterbalance the reduction of the rabbit APOBEC1 gene expression. Thus, a moderate reduction of the APOBEC1 dependent editing induces a lean phenotype at least in the rabbit species. This suggests that the APOBEC1 gene might be a novel target for obesity treatment. Source

Braud S.,ObeTherapy Biotechnology | Ciufolini M.A.,University of British Columbia | Harosh I.,ObeTherapy Biotechnology

Background: Obesity research focuses essentially on gene targets associated with the obese phenotype. None of these targets have yet provided a viable drug therapy. Focusing instead on genes that are involved in energy absorption and that are associated with a "human starvation phenotype", we have identified enteropeptidase (EP), a gene associated with congenital enteropeptidase deficiency, as a novel target for obesity treatment. The advantages of this target are that the gene is expressed exclusively in the brush border of the intestine; it is peripheral and not redundant. Methodology/Principal Findings: Potent and selective EP inhibitors were designed around a boroarginine or borolysine motif. Oral administration of these compounds to mice restricted the bioavailability of dietary energy, and in a long-term treatment it significantly diminished the rate of increase in body weight, despite ad libitum food intake. No adverse reactions of the type seen with lipase inhibitors, such as diarrhea or steatorrhea, were observed. This validates EP as a novel, druggable target for obesity treatment. Conclusions: In vivo testing of novel boroarginine or borolysine-based EP inhibitors validates a novel approach to the treatment of obesity. © 2012 Braud et al. Source

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