News of the WeekCell Biology

Fresh Molecule Whets Appetite

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Science  13 Jul 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5528, pp. 190
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5528.190

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The 20 to 25 molecular players identified so far that control eating behavior are either neuropeptides that transmit messages or cell surface receptors that register incoming information. By contrast, a newly discovered molecule called syndecan-3, reported in the 13 July issue of Cell, apparently helps one of these neuropeptides activate a receptor. Fiddling with the newfound regulator, researchers suggest, could open therapeutic avenues for controlling appetite.