As the hormone ghrelin is linked to appetite and weight gain, as well as impaired glucose-induced insulin secretion, there is considerable interest in this peptide as a potential drug target. Although the overall lack of success in this field has been disappointing, research inhibiting the ghrelin-modifying enzyme GOAT (MBOAT4) has produced promising results.
The neuropeptide and gut hormone Ghrelin is an endogenous ligand for the growth hormone (GH)-secretagogue receptor (GHSR) within the central nervous system. This pathway has received a great deal of attention and heavy study within the last decade because of its large role in numerous physiological processes including feeding and body weight homeostasis (1, 2). In particular, Ghrelin is a key regulator of reward-based eating behavior (2, 3).
Ghrelin is the only potent orexigenic peptide in circulation. It stimulates food intake and leads to metabolism regulation, positive energy balance, adipogenesis, and body weight gain. However, in studies using ghrelin antibodies, the physiological significance of ghrelin in the regulation of energy homeostasis is controversial, since loss of ghrelin function in rodents does not necessarily lead to anorexia and weight loss (1).