Medical News Today: Can blocking a single protein tackle depression, obesity, and pain?

Depression, obesity, and chronic pain are some of the most pressing global health concerns. New research may have found a drug that could one day tackle all of these three conditions.
close up of a scientist's hands
Scientists may have identified a protein inhibitor that could tackle three conditions at once.

Almost 40 percent of adults in the United States were living with obesity in 2015–2016. Worldwide, nearly 40 percent of adults are overweight, and 13 percent of them have obesity.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability across the globe. In the U.S., over 17 million adults have experienced at least one episode of major depression in their lives.

Finally, alarming reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have placed the number of U.S. adults living with chronic pain at 50 million. Studies have linked chronic pain with depression, anxiety, and opioid addiction.

All of these severe conditions are taking their toll on U.S. adults. But could there be a silver bullet that could tackle all of them at once?

New research suggests that there might be. Felix Hausch, Ph.D., from the Technical University of Darmstadt, in Germany, led a new investigation into the effects of blocking a single protein that has links with all three conditions.

The protein is called FK506-binding protein 51, or FKBP51. Hausch and colleagues developed a compound that can block the activity of this protein in mice. The drug relieved chronic pain, improved mood, and reduced diet-induced obesity in the rodents.

The researchers presented their findings at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Spring 2019 National Meeting & Exposition in Orlando, FL.

Why study the FKBP51 protein?

Hausch explains, “The FKBP51 protein plays an important role in depression, obesity, diabetes, and chronic pain states.”

He goes on to share the motivation for the research, saying that some previous studies had piqued his interest.

“I was intrigued by the peculiar regulatory role [FKBP51] seemed to play in cells […] [a]nd there was a known natural product that could serve as a starting point. Collectively, this looked like an interesting protein to work on.”

Indeed, previous studies have suggested that FKBP51 may regulate stress and metabolism, mediating the relationship between diet-induced obesity, chronic stress, and stress-related psychiatric conditions.

Several parts of the human body, such as the brain, muscles, and fat tissue, contain FKBP51. The protein serves many functions, including limiting the uptake of sugar and restricting how much fat is turning into brown fat — the good type of fat that helps transform nutrients into energy.

Therefore, the protein FKBP51 can make us store fat instead of burning it, which may lead to obesity. The protein is also involved in how our body responds to stress.

FKBP51 inhibitor affects stress, mood, weight

However, targeting the FKBP51 protein has proven difficult in the past, mainly because it looks very similar to another protein it is close to, called FKBP52.

“These two proteins are very similar in structure, but they are doing opposing things in cells,” explains Hausch.

“We have this yin-yang situation. Selectivity between these two proteins is thought to be crucial, but this is hard to achieve since the two proteins are so similar.”

“We discovered that FKBP51 can change its shape in a way that FKBP52 can’t, and this allowed the development of highly selective inhibitors,” continues the researcher. The scientists used nuclear magnetic resonance techniques to discover a new binding site in FKBP51.

As a result, they developed a “highly selective inhibitor,” which they called SAFit2. Tests in mice revealed its benefits. “It indeed helps mice cope better in stressful situations,” says Hausch.

In fact, SAFit2 lowered stress hormone levels and promoted stress-coping mechanisms in the rodents. “Furthermore, SAFit2 ameliorated inflammatory pain-induced disabilities and diet-induced obesity,” report the scientists.

Inhibition of FKBP51 could thus be a new therapeutic option to treat [depression, obesity, diabetes, and chronic pain states.]”

Felix Hausch

Finally, however, the researchers caution that they need to do much more work before they can test the drug in humans.

Mima Xari Single Raincover

Protect your little ones from the elements in your Xari Stroller with this raincover. The transparent material allows your little one to see the outside world while inside the stroller.

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Protect your little ones from the elements in your Xari Stroller with this raincover. The transparent material allows your little one to see the outside world while inside the stroller.

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2018-02-02 00:02:28.327
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iCandy Peach Single Stroller and Carrycot in Beluga Black

The Modern Nursery family is the first US retailer of this established and well-respected luxury stroller brand from London, and we’re sure you’ll love it as much as the rest of the world has so far! (Fans include British celebrities like Victoria and Dav

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The Modern Nursery family is the first US retailer of this established and well-respected luxury stroller brand from London, and we’re sure you’ll love it as much as the rest of the world has so far! (Fans include British celebrities like Victoria and David Beckham, Sir Richard Branson, and Bradley Cooper.) The iCandy Peach Single Stroller and Carrycot has been deliberately designed with you and your baby in mind. Thoughtful features and ease of use make this more than a gorgeous pram but a functional, modern stroller, too. An iconic sleek, modern, and refined design sets the iCandy Peach Stroller apart from the rest, but this stroller has all the features we’ve come to expect. Unparalleled style is paired with a super-smooth ride, effortless maneuvering, and an included carrycot/bassinet to create a stylish, convenient travel solution for you and your baby. Right out of the box, you have the pieces you need to use your iCandy Peach Stroller with the included standard seat, carrycot, or car seat adapters (with a compatible car seat, sold separately). With expansion sets sold separately and available soon, your Peach Stroller will be able to do even more: Watch as it effortlessly transforms into a double or twin stroller to accommodate your growing family. Keep your eyes peeled for these expansion sets, coming in 2019! iCandy says it best themselves: “Peach sets an entirely new benchmark in the luxury pushchair market. An all-encompassing pushchair for supreme functionality, a beacon of beautifully British style, the new iCandy Peach represents the pinnacle of design excellence and style prowess.” What’s Included: Chassis (frame) Seat unit Carrycot/bassinet fabric Seat fabric Extendable sun canopy Bumper bar Car seat adapters (see compatibility below) Rain cover Seat unit elevators Features: Use right out of the box with the carrycot or seat For use from birth to about 6 months (or until your child can pull themselves up) with the carrycot parent-facing For use from 6 months with the seat Grows with your family into a double or twin stroller Seat unit elevators are used to let your child sit higher and are also used in double/twin configurations; can be used with the carrycot/bassinet (parent-facing only) or the seat (either direction) Note that elevators cannot be used with car seat adapters Easy, one-hand fold with automatic lock 2 storage pockets on the seat’s back to keep essentials close at hand Canopy features peek-a-boo ventilation window and an extendable panel Car Seat Compatibility: Included adapters have been tested with the following infant car seats Maxi Cosi Mico Nuna Pipa Series Cybex Cloud Q Available in: Beluga Black

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2018-12-13 00:11:12.407
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Mountain Buggy Single Duet Stroller in Cyber

Mountain Buggy is always revamping their strollers to offer you the best in the baby gear! The duet as a single, is the ultimate value solution for parents looking for a smart and cost effective buggy for a growing family. It delivers in unique single to

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Mountain Buggy is always revamping their strollers to offer you the best in the baby gear! The duet as a single, is the ultimate value solution for parents looking for a smart and cost effective buggy for a growing family. It delivers in unique single to double opportunities, all built on a proven innovative and award winning platform.This adaptable 4-wheel drive delivers the flexibility and freedom to live life without limit with one or more children, in the city or off the beaten track. Purchased as a single, duet offers maximum storage with the stylish joey clip-on tote bag, that sits alongside your child so you can keep both child and shopping all within arms reach. When the second child arrives, duet as a single cleverly converts to a side-by-side buggy with the additional family pack accessory which includes a lie flat carrycot (perfect for your newborn), the second duet fabric seat set and grab bar. In addition to using the carrycot or fully reclined seat for newborns, duet is also compatible with one or two infant car seats including Mountain Buggy protect, phil&teds alpha, Graco Click, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio, Maxi Cosi Mico, Chicco KeyFit and Cybex Aton (car seat adaptors sold separately). All this transformation is tidily done without the stress of changing the chassis width, as duet remains a single size width of 24.5″. Features one hand fast fold stand fold with fabrics off the floor outstanding kerb pop! Navigate city terrain with ease automatic frame lock – an instant click when folding quick release wheels for a more compact pack down takes 1 or 2 car seats takes 1 or 2 NEW duet carrycot plus suitable for use as a single buggy, with the joey tote bag quick twist and slide seat harness adjustment 2-mode front wheels – fixed straight or swivel comfortable strolling for any height and stride with adjustable handle What’s Included Duet Stroller Joey Tote Bag + Clips Reversible Liner Bottle Holder

Mountain Buggy
2018-11-30 00:02:22.630
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Mountain Buggy Duet 3.0 as a Single Stroller in Marine

The Duet 3.0 as a single is a buggy that grows with your family! Have confidence that your little one will stay comfortable on all outdoor adventures. Featuring a hand operated brake for full control and superior handling. The one-hand fast fold is compac

Pokkadots & ModernNursery

The Duet 3.0 as a single is a buggy that grows with your family! Have confidence that your little one will stay comfortable on all outdoor adventures. Featuring a hand operated brake for full control and superior handling. The one-hand fast fold is compact, perfect for busy parents who are on-the-go. The innovative carrycot plus is designed to keep baby comfortable and easily adjusts from lie-flat mode to incline mode. Transform to a parent facing seat with an easy fabric switch. Features: Outstanding ‘kerb-pop’ — perfect weight distribution allows for easy ‘pop’ of the front wheel for curbs and other obstacles. Hand-operated control break for total control of speed and maneuvering. Compact width 25”. Compact one-handed stand fold size. Tallest duet seats at 25.1 for comfort up to 4 years old. Reversible liners for extra comfort and easy cleaning. Extra storage with the joey clip-on tote bag offering 22 lbs of buggy storage. Full lie flat recline to upright offering versatility for baby’s needs. 10” air-filled tyres. Front wheel lock. Secure foot breaks for complete stop. Extra safety with 5-point harness. Adjustable leg rest for child’s comfort. Peek-a-boo windows with magnetic fastenings. SPF 50+ flick out mesh visors. Multi-adjustable handle car for a more comfortable push. product weight: 33.2 lbs. 44.8” L x 25.5” W

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2018-02-02 00:02:28.327
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The Duet 3.0 as a single is a buggy that grows with your family! Have confidence that your little one will stay comfortable on all outdoor adventures. Featuring a hand operated brake for full control and superior handling. The one-hand fast fold is compac

Pokkadots & ModernNursery

The Duet 3.0 as a single is a buggy that grows with your family! Have confidence that your little one will stay comfortable on all outdoor adventures. Featuring a hand operated brake for full control and superior handling. The one-hand fast fold is compact, perfect for busy parents who are on-the-go. The innovative carrycot plus is designed to keep baby comfortable and easily adjusts from lie-flat mode to incline mode. Transform to a parent facing seat with an easy fabric switch. Features: Outstanding ‘kerb-pop’ — perfect weight distribution allows for easy ‘pop’ of the front wheel for curbs and other obstacles. Hand-operated control break for total control of speed and maneuvering. Compact width 25”. Compact one-handed stand fold size. Tallest duet seats at 25.1 for comfort up to 4 years old. Reversible liners for extra comfort and easy cleaning. Extra storage with the joey clip-on tote bag offering 22 lbs of buggy storage. Full lie flat recline to upright offering versatility for baby’s needs. 10” air-filled tyres. Front wheel lock. Secure foot breaks for complete stop. Extra safety with 5-point harness. Adjustable leg rest for child’s comfort. Peek-a-boo windows with magnetic fastenings. SPF 50+ flick out mesh visors. Multi-adjustable handle car for a more comfortable push. product weight: 33.2 lbs. 44.8” L x 25.5” W

Mountain Buggy
2018-02-02 00:02:28.327
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ORDER: Mountain Buggy Duet 3.0 as a Single Stroller in Black

Mountain Buggy Duet 3.0 as a Single Stroller in Grid

The Duet 3.0 as a single is a buggy that grows with your family! Have confidence that your little one will stay comfortable on all outdoor adventures. Featuring a hand operated brake for full control and superior handling. The one-hand fast fold is compac

Pokkadots & ModernNursery

The Duet 3.0 as a single is a buggy that grows with your family! Have confidence that your little one will stay comfortable on all outdoor adventures. Featuring a hand operated brake for full control and superior handling. The one-hand fast fold is compact, perfect for busy parents who are on-the-go. The innovative carrycot plus is designed to keep baby comfortable and easily adjusts from lie-flat mode to incline mode. Transform to a parent facing seat with an easy fabric switch. Features: Outstanding ‘kerb-pop’ — perfect weight distribution allows for easy ‘pop’ of the front wheel for curbs and other obstacles. Hand-operated control break for total control of speed and maneuvering. Compact width 25”. Compact one-handed stand fold size. Tallest duet seats at 25.1 for comfort up to 4 years old. Reversible liners for extra comfort and easy cleaning. Extra storage with the joey clip-on tote bag offering 22 lbs of buggy storage. Full lie flat recline to upright offering versatility for baby’s needs. 10” air-filled tyres. Front wheel lock. Secure foot breaks for complete stop. Extra safety with 5-point harness. Adjustable leg rest for child’s comfort. Peek-a-boo windows with magnetic fastenings. SPF 50+ flick out mesh visors. Multi-adjustable handle car for a more comfortable push. product weight: 33.2 lbs. 44.8” L x 25.5” W

Mountain Buggy
2018-02-02 00:02:28.327
MB-DUETSGL-V359

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The Duet 3.0 as a single is a buggy that grows with your family! Have confidence that your little one will stay comfortable on all outdoor adventures. Featuring a hand operated brake for full control and superior handling. The one-hand fast fold is compac

Pokkadots & ModernNursery

The Duet 3.0 as a single is a buggy that grows with your family! Have confidence that your little one will stay comfortable on all outdoor adventures. Featuring a hand operated brake for full control and superior handling. The one-hand fast fold is compact, perfect for busy parents who are on-the-go. The innovative carrycot plus is designed to keep baby comfortable and easily adjusts from lie-flat mode to incline mode. Transform to a parent facing seat with an easy fabric switch. Features: Outstanding ‘kerb-pop’ — perfect weight distribution allows for easy ‘pop’ of the front wheel for curbs and other obstacles. Hand-operated control break for total control of speed and maneuvering. Compact width 25”. Compact one-handed stand fold size. Tallest duet seats at 25.1 for comfort up to 4 years old. Reversible liners for extra comfort and easy cleaning. Extra storage with the joey clip-on tote bag offering 22 lbs of buggy storage. Full lie flat recline to upright offering versatility for baby’s needs. 10” air-filled tyres. Front wheel lock. Secure foot breaks for complete stop. Extra safety with 5-point harness. Adjustable leg rest for child’s comfort. Peek-a-boo windows with magnetic fastenings. SPF 50+ flick out mesh visors. Multi-adjustable handle car for a more comfortable push. product weight: 33.2 lbs. 44.8” L x 25.5” W

Mountain Buggy
2018-02-02 00:02:28.327
MB-DUETSGL-V36

ORDER: Mountain Buggy Duet 3.0 as a Single Stroller in Silver

Gautier Studio Pom Pom Single Bed in Natural

This mini-house will become your little one’s mini-haven. The Gautier Studio Pom Pom Single Bed is a cozy space for your little one to call their own. Offering the perfect little hideout for drifting away to dreamland. Features: Fits standard-sized tw

Pokkadots & ModernNursery

This mini-house will become your little one’s mini-haven. The Gautier Studio Pom Pom Single Bed is a cozy space for your little one to call their own. Offering the perfect little hideout for drifting away to dreamland. Features: Fits standard-sized twin mattress Optional slats sold separately Made of Baltic birch. 40” x 76.5” x 69.5”

Gautier Studio
2018-05-04 01:02:45.027
GS-POM-1013

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Mountain Buggy Duet 3.0 as a Single Stroller

A buggy that truly grows with your family –The Duet 3.0 as a single stroller allows your little one to stay comfortable on outdoor adventures. Featuring a hand operated brake for full control and superior handling. The one-hand fast fold is compact, perf

Pokkadots & ModernNursery

A buggy that truly grows with your family –The Duet 3.0 as a single stroller allows your little one to stay comfortable on outdoor adventures. Featuring a hand operated brake for full control and superior handling. The one-hand fast fold is compact, perfect for busy parents who are on-the-go. The innovative carrycot plus is designed to keep baby comfortable and easily adjusts from lie-flat mode to incline mode. Transform to a parent facing seat with an easy fabric switch. Features: Outstanding ‘kerb-pop’ — perfect weight distribution allows for easy ‘pop’ of the front wheel for curbs and other obstacles. Hand-operated control break for total control of speed and maneuvering. Compact width 25”. Compact one-handed stand fold size. Tallest duet seats at 25.1 for comfort up to 4 years old. Reversible liners for extra comfort and easy cleaning. Extra storage with the joey clip-on tote bag offering 22 lbs of buggy storage. Full lie flat recline to upright offering versatility for baby’s needs. 10” air-filled tyres. Front wheel lock. Secure foot breaks for complete stop. Extra safety with 5-point harness. Adjustable leg rest for child’s comfort. Peek-a-boo windows with magnetic fastenings. SPF 50+ flick out mesh visors. Multi-adjustable handle car for a more comfortable push. product weight: 33.2 lbs. 44.8” L x 25.5” W

Mountain Buggy
2018-02-02 00:02:28.327
MB-DUETSGL

ORDER: Mountain Buggy Duet 3.0 as a Single Stroller