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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2012, Article ID 535624, 8 pages
Review Article

Recent Advances in Potential Clinical Application of Ghrelin in Obesity

Laboratory of Biological Chemistry and Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Université libre de Bruxelles, 1070 Brussels, Belgium

Received 17 June 2011; Accepted 4 December 2011

Academic Editor: R. Prager

Copyright © 2012 Christine Delporte. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ghrelin is the natural ligand of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R1a). Ghrelin is a 28 amino acid peptide possessing a unique acylation on the serine in position 3 catalyzed by ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT). Ghrelin stimulates growth hormone secretion, but also appetite, food intake, weight gain, and gastric emptying. Ghrelin is involved in weight regulation, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, a better understanding of ghrelin biology led to the identification of molecular targets modulating ghrelin levels and/or its biological effects: GOAT, ghrelin, and GHS-R1a. Furthermore, a recent discovery, showing the involvement of bitter taste receptor T2R in ghrelin secretion and/or synthesis and food intake, suggested that T2R could represent an additional interesting molecular target. Several classes of ghrelin-related pharmacological tools for the treatment of obesity have been or could be developed to modulate the identified molecular targets.