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Template:Infobox protein Obestatin is a putative hormone that is potentially produced in the cells lining the stomach and small intestine of several mammals including humans.[1] Obestatin was originally identified as an anorectic peptide, but its effect on food intake remains controversial.[2]


Research carried out at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2005 identified obestatin as a new hormone with a bioinformatics approach by computer search of the sequenced genomes of several organisms.[3] As yet no biochemical studies of circulating obestatin have been carried out, and no secretory convertase is capable of cleaving the recombinant proghrelin precursor by cleavage at the single basic residue required for generation of the obestatin sequence.[4] Thus the physiological generation of this particular peptide sequence remains unproven.

Function and mechanism

Obestatin is a putative peptide hormone - a relatively small protein. It is encoded by the same gene that also encodes ghrelin, a peptide hormone that increases appetite. The protein produced by that gene breaks into two smaller peptides, ghrelin and obestatin. The purpose of this mechanism that produces two hormones with opposing effects remains unclear, however may explain earlier findings, namely that removing the ghrelin gene from mice did not significantly reduce their appetite.

Obestatin has been shown to antagonise growth hormone secretion and food intake induced by ghrelin.[2] It was originally proposed that GPR39 functioned as an obestatin receptor, however more recent findings suggest that this is unlikely.[5]

Clinical significance

Studies on the obestatin/ghrelin ratio in the gastrointestinal tract and plasma are associated with some diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),[6] obesity,[7] Prader–Willi syndrome,[8] and type II diabetes mellitus.[9][10]


The obestatin structure to the right was determined by NMR. The length of the polypeptide was found to be 24 residues with a secondary structure 29% helical. Specifically 2 helices and 7 residues are formed.[11]

See also



Featured disease

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of the most dangerous heart attack risk factors: diabetes and prediabetes, abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Affects one in three adults

Affecting about 35 percent of all adults in the United States according to the CDC, metabolic syndrome contributes to weight gain, by causing a state of internal starvation called metabolic starvation. This in turn leads to increases hunger, sugar cravings and increased portions leading to overeating and weight gain.

Cause and effect misunderstood

Since we traditionally thought that the portion control (which in turn was attributed wrongly to poor will power)is the cause of weight gain, rather than the effect of this metabolic starvation, all our traditional ideas about cause and effect of obesity were not only wrong but lead to the “blame the victim” attitude when it comes to obesity.

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Further reading


External links

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