An international team of scientists, led by Damien Keating of Flinders University in Australia, has discovered that a single gene named RCAN1 acts as a feedback inhibitor for all kinds of metabolic processes in the body.
After disabling this gene from mice, they found out that they become resistant to weight gain, even after gorging on high-fat foods for prolonged periods. Additionally, their metabolic rate increased, allowing them to burn up more calories.
The team behind the research is now working to come up with RCAN1-targeting pills that might reduce fat storage and boost calorie-burning.
“We know a lot of people who struggle to lose weight or even control their weight for a number of different reasons,” Keating said in a statement.
The researcher mentioned that they are hopeful that their study could hold potential as new drug therapy for people with obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic conditions.
“The findings in this study could mean developing a pill which would target the function of RCAN1 and may result in weight loss,” Keating added.