Sarcolipin is a novel regulator of muscle metabolism and obesity

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Graphical abstract

Sarcolipin increases energy cost.

Obesity is increasing at an alarming rate, both in adults and adolescents, across the globe due to increased consumption of caloric rich diet. Obesity and its associated complications appear to be major contributing factors not only to diabetes/heart disease but also to cancer, and neurological diseases causing a huge burden on the health care system. To date, there are no effective treatments to reduce weight gain, other than caloric restriction and exercise which are often difficult to enforce. There are very few drugs available for treating obesity and those that are available only reduce obesity by ˜10%. Identifying mechanisms to increase energy expenditure, on top of the increase elicited by exercise, would be more beneficial to control weight gain. The purpose of this review is to highlight the role of sarcolipin (SLN), a regulator of SERCA pump, in muscle thermogenesis and metabolism. We will further discuss if enhancing SLN activity could be an effective mechanism to increase energy expenditure and control weight gain. We will also discuss the merits of adaptive thermogenesis in muscle and brown fat as potential mechanisms to increase energy expenditure during caloric overload. That said, there is still a great need for further research into the mechanism of diet induced thermogenesis and its relevance to overall metabolism and obesity.

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