Magnesium Magic: New Drug Delivers Weight Loss Even on Sugary, Fatty Diet – SciTechDaily

Magnesium Magic: New Drug Delivers Weight Loss Even on Sugary, Fatty Diet – SciTechDaily

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Researchers at UT Health San Antonio, along with collaborators from the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, have developed a small-molecule drug called CPACC that limits magnesium transport in cellular power plants called mitochondria. The drug has been shown to prevent weight gain and adverse liver changes in mice on a high-sugar, high-fat diet. By reducing magnesium transport in the mitochondria, the drug enhances metabolism of sugar and fat, resulting in slimmer and healthier mice with no evidence of fatty liver disease. The researchers have filed a patent application for the drug, which has potential implications in reducing the risk of cardiometabolic diseases and liver cancer.

Compound limits magnesium transport in cellular power plants called mitochondria.

A small-molecule drug, CPACC, developed by researchers, has been shown to prevent weight gain and liver issues in mice by limiting magnesium transport in cellular power plants, thus improving metabolism and overall health.

Researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) have developed a small-molecule drug that prevents weight gain and adverse liver changes in mice fed a high-sugar, high-fat Western diet throughout life.

“When we give this drug to the mice for a short time, they start losing weight. They all become slim,” said Madesh Muniswamy, PhD, professor of medicine in the health science center’s Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.

“A drug that can reduce the risk of cardiometabolic diseases such as heart attack and stroke, and also reduce the incidence of liver cancer, which can follow fatty liver disease, will make a huge impact.” — Madesh Muniswamy, PhD

Findings by the collaborators, also from the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, were published recently in the high-impact journal

Fourth most common element

The research team discovered the drug by first exploring how magnesium impacts metabolism, which is the production and consumption of energy in cells. This energy, called ATP, fuels the body’s processes.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant cation, or positively charged ion, in the body after calcium, potassium, and sodium, and plays many key roles in good health, including regulating blood sugar and blood pressure and building bones. But the researchers found that too much magnesium slows energy production in mitochondria, which are cells’ power plants.

“It puts the brake on, it just slows down,” said co-lead author Travis R. Madaris, doctoral student in the Muniswamy laboratory at UT Health San Antonio.

Deleting MRS2, a gene that promotes magnesium transport into the mitochondria, resulted in more efficient metabolism of sugar and fat in the power plants. The result: skinny, healthy mice.

Liver and adipose (fat) tissues in the rodents showed no evidence of fatty liver disease, a complication related to poor diet, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Mitochondria Heart Cell

Microscopic image of mitochondria within a single heart cell. Mitochondria highlighted in red were exposed to ultraviolet light. Credit: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health

Small-molecule agent

The drug, which the researchers call CPACC, accomplishes the same thing. It restricts the amount of magnesium transfer into the power plants. In experiments, the result was again: skinny, healthy mice. UT Health San Antonio has filed a patent application on the drug.

The mice served as a model system of long-term dietary stress precipitated by the calorie-rich, sugary, and fatty Western diet. The familiar results of this stress are obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular complications.

“Lowering the mitochondrial magnesium mitigated the adverse effects of prolonged dietary stress,” said co-lead author Manigandan Venkatesan, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Muniswamy lab.

Joseph A. Baur, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania and Justin J. Wilson, PhD, of Cornell are among the collaborators. “We came up with the small molecule and Justin synthesized it,” Madaris said.

Stepping on Brake Pedal

Magnesium acts like a brake on energy production, researchers found.

Significant implications

“These findings are the result of several years of work,” Muniswamy said. “A drug that can reduce the risk of cardiometabolic diseases such as heart attack and stroke, and also reduce the incidence of liver cancer, which can follow fatty liver disease, will make a huge impact. We will continue its development.”

Reference: “Limiting Mrs2-dependent mitochondrial Mg2+ uptake induces metabolic programming in prolonged dietary stress” by Travis R. Madaris, Manigandan Venkatesan, Soumya Maity, Miriam C. Stein, Neelanjan Vishnu, Mridula K. Venkateswaran, James G. Davis, Karthik Ramachandran, Sukanthathulse Uthayabalan, Cristel Allen, Ayodeji Osidele, Kristen Stanley, Nicholas P. Bigham, Terry M. Bakewell, Melanie Narkunan, Amy Le, Varsha Karanam, Kang Li, Aum Mhapankar, Luke Norton, Jean Ross, M. Imran Aslam, W. Brian Reeves, Brij B. Singh, Jeffrey Caplan, Justin J. Wilson, Peter B. Stathopulos, Joseph A. Baur and Muniswamy Madesh, 27 February 2023, Cell Reports.
DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112155

Funders of this project include the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense and the San Antonio Partnership for Precision Therapeutics.

Source: scitechdaily.com

Kerri Waldron

My name is Kerri Waldron and I am an avid healthy lifestyle participant who lives by proper nutrition and keeping active. One of the things I love best is to get to where I am going by walking every chance I get. If you want to feel great with renewed energy, you have to practice good nutrition and stay active.

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