Newly discovered on/off switch in enzymes may help battle fat-related disease, scientists suggest.
Enzymes involved in breaking down fat can now be manipulated to work three times harder by turning on a molecular switch recently observed by chemists at the University of Copenhagen.
Being able to control this chemical on/off button could have massive implications for curing diseases related to obesity including diabetes, cardio vascular disease, stroke and even skin problems like acne. But the implications may be wider.
The results suggest that the switch may be a common characteristic of many more enzymes. Since enzymes are miniscule worker-molecules that control a vast variety of functions in cells, if the switches are standard, it may well be one of the most important discoveries in enzymology.
"If many enzymes turn out to be switched on in the same way as the ones we've studied, this opens a door to understanding- and maybe curing, a wide range of diseases", says professor Dimitrios Stamou.
The research was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
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