, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 169-180
Date: 18 Oct 2007

The role of the vgf gene and VGF-derived peptides in nutrition and metabolism

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Energy homeostasis is a complex physiological function coordinated at multiple levels. The issue of genetic regulation of nutrition and metabolism is attracting increasing interest and new energy homeostasis-regulatory genes are continuously identified. Among these genes, vgf is gaining increasing interest following two observations: (1) VGF-/- mice have a lean and hypermetabolic phenotype; (2) the first VGF-derived peptide involved in energy homeostasis, named TLQP-21, has been identified. The aim of this review will be to discuss the role of the vgf gene and VGF derived peptides in metabolic and nutritional functions. In particular we will: (1) provide a brief overview on the central systems regulating energy homeostasis and nutrition particularly focusing on the melanocortin system; (2) introduce the structure and molecular characteristic of vgf; (3) describe the phenotype of VGF deficient mice; (4) present recent data on the metabolic role of VGF-derived peptides, particularly focusing on one peptide named TLQP-21.