This anti-ageing protein may combat obesity, cancers!


For the very first time, scientists have examined an anti-ageing protein in detail. This protein family is believed to solely increase human lifespan. Additionally, it may also help develop therapies for age-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

In the past decades, scientists have been working on the ageing process. Since then, a family of molecules called klotho protein has attracted their attention. It is a naturally occurring, a human protein discovered in 1997. Klotho got its name from the Greek Goddess who spins the thread of life. According to scientists, klotho protein plays an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. They have now revealed the three-dimensional construction of this protein.

In late 1990’s, experiments performed on mice subjects brainstormed the researchers. The mice subjects with mutated klotho genes suffered from a condition similar to premature ageing. Their life spans decreased. They became infertile and even developed arteriosclerosis, osteoporosis, and emphysema.


Anti ageing protein
This anti-ageing protein may combat obesity, cancers

But, a later study confirmed the therapeutic importance of klotho proteins. The results of this study stated that the overexpression of klotho genes extended the lifespan of mice subjects. This happened due to alterations of insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 signalling, in mice’s body.

A Closer Look At Klotho.

As this new perspective uncovered, researchers were all set to study the structure of klotho in detail. In further studies, they developed a better understanding of its behaviour in the body. Consequently, the scientists from Yale University claimed that their findings have implications for the future treatment of age-related diseases.

Klotho family consists of two proteins, alpha, and beta. They both work in coalition with another molecule called endocrine FGFs. FGFs regulate the metabolic processes in tissues and organs.

Within the research, the team discovered that beta- klotho is the first receptor that binds with FGF21. It is noteworthy that FGF21 is a major hormone produced by hunger. Also, it has a range of effects – for instance, it increases insulin sensitivity and enhances glucose metabolism to induce weight loss.



“In animals and some medical trials of FGF21, it shows that you may promote the burning of energy without altering meal consumption. Furthermore, we also know how to enhance the biological activity of FGF21.” Said Joseph Schlessinger, chair of pharmacology at Yale faculty of medication in New Haven, Connecticut.

FGF21 signalling

Using Klotho Protein Therapeutically.

Klotho might be useful in the treatment of age-related diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cancer. The only challenge is to stimulate the activity of this hormone. In the recent paper revealed in the journal Nature, the crew describes a variant of FGF21. This new variant is 10 times more potent. As a result, it can be used for a greater therapeutic advantage.

We have a global population that is steadily gaining weight. Also, cancer patients are increasing day by day. In that regard, there is a huge need for more effective treatments for obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Therefore, anything that can offer a promise will definitely gain a lot of attention.

In the words of Schlessinger, “the following step shall be to make better hormones, make new blockers, do animal studies and move forward.”

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