By inserting a molecular shunt into the livers of mice, researchers have shown they can make the animals burn more fat. That so-called glycoxylate shunt consists of two metabolic enzymes normally found in bacteria and plants, but not in mammals, according to the report in the June issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. "It's an additional channel for burning fat to control obesity," said James Liao of the
University of California, Los Angeles. Remarkably, they found that human liver cells expressing the enzymes burn more fat. Likewise, mice with the shunt resist becoming obese despite eating a high-fat diet.
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