Role of ProSAAS-derived peptides in human energy homeostasis


  • Dr Isabel Huang-Doran

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Project summary

Obesity is associated with a range of health complications, including reproductive problems. Children who are overweight start puberty earlier (on average), whilst adults are more likely to suffer from menstrual disorders, low hormone levels and difficulty conceiving. My goal is to understand how body weight and reproduction are linked. To do this, I will investigate the function of a tiny protein in the brain called ProSAAS, which interacts with other key molecules known to regulate appetite. We have observed that girls with gene changes causing excess levels of ProSAAS in their cells are overweight and experience early puberty. By investigating the detailed function of ProSAAS in the cell, I aim to understand how extra ProSAAS impacts on the function of other hormones that control body weight and reproduction, and the consequences for patients. This could lead to new treatments for people with weight and associated reproductive problems.