A team of researchers claims to have developed a promising drug that can help treat several bone-related conditions, including osteoporosis. The researchers also found that the protein also helped curb diabetes and obesity.
During the study, researchers analyzed the effect of the nuclear receptor called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG) on bone marrow stem cells. PPARG is responsible for regulating adipocytes, or fat cells, but it is known to hamper the formation of bones in the human body.
The researchers designed a compound called SR2595 that can suppress the PPARG protein. They found that the action of SR2595 on PPARG facilitated bone growth in mice, suggesting that the technique could be used to treat osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and brittle.
Moreover, the researchers found that the new compound helped treat other conditions in the mice as well. When the team treated bone marrow stem cells in humans with the new compound, they discovered that osteoblast formation increased significantly. Osteoblast cells form bones in the human body.
"We have already demonstrated SR2595 has suitable properties for testing in mice. The next step is to perform an in-depth analysis of the drug's efficacy in animal models of bone loss, aging, obesity and diabetes," said lead researcher Patrick Griffin of the Scripps Research Institute in a statement.
David P. Marciano, the study's first author, further stated that since PPARG is structurally similar to a number of other proteins with well-established roles in the disease, the knowledge can be used to design compounds for several other therapeutic uses.
The study was published in the journal Nature.