Researchers find proteins that could aid in osteoporosis treatment

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified an activator in a pair of proteins that belong to a protein family which plays key roles in human metabolism and immune function. The discovery could provide new and potentially more effective therapeutic approaches to diseases ranging from diabetes to osteoporosis.

The study was published in the November issue of the journal ACS Chemical Biology.

"This new compound is particularly important because it works in vivo, and it is selective for certain receptors," said Tom Burris, a professor in the Department of Molecular Therapeutics at Scripps Florida who led the study. "These two properties give it significant potential as a possible therapeutic compound."



He added that "loss of RORα in animal models renders them resistant to weight gain, while RORγ has been shown to be involved in development of cells that are implicated in autoimmune diseases - and loss of RORγ results in animals that are resistant to these types of disease."



RORα has also been shown to be required for normal bone development. Animal models that are lacking this receptor develop osteoporosis, strongly suggesting that RORα agonists may have potential as a treatment of this disease. 
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