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Nutraceuticals molecular targets (III) – Targeting protein receptors with polyphenols as new anti-obesity therapies


Universidad Miguel Hernández (UMH), Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular (IBMC),Elche (Alicante), Spain

In the previous column, we proposed the use of a global scientific approach to elucidate the beneficial effects of plant polyphenols and other dietary compounds on human health (1). This approach included: i) the identification of the metabolites derived from food components that are responsible for the health effects and the associated metabolic markers; ii) the elucidation of their protein targets and concomitant metabolic pathways; iii) in silico techniques to screen for millions of compounds against the known molecular targets and finding for new candidates; iv) appropriate cellular and animal models to verify the mechanism of action and toxicity; v) human trials to demonstrate the beneficial effects associated to specific compounds. Although this strategy may be appropriate, its transition from the scientific field to the industry, and therefore the consumer, will take a few years. In the meantime, as an alternative approach we will review some proteins or metabolic processes that have been recently proposed as putative targets in the alleviation of metabolic syndrome and obesity-related pathologies such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

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