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J Endocrinol. 2017 Jan;232(1):R45-R65. Epub 2016 Oct 17.

Nesfatin-1: functions and physiology of a novel regulatory peptide.

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Department of Internal Medicine ICenter of Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM), University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany.
Department of Internal Medicine ICenter of Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM), University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany


Nesfatin-1 was identified in 2006 as a potent anorexigenic peptide involved in the regulation of homeostatic feeding. It is processed from the precursor-peptide NEFA/nucleobindin 2 (NUCB2), which is expressed both in the central nervous system as well as in the periphery, from where it can access the brain via non-saturable transmembrane diffusion. In hypothalamus and brainstem, nesfatin-1 recruits the oxytocin, the melancortin and other systems to relay its anorexigenic properties. NUCB2/nesfatin-1 peptide expression in reward-related areas suggests that nesfatin-1 might also be involved in hedonic feeding. Besides its initially discovered anorexigenic properties, over the last years, other important functions of nesfatin-1 have been discovered, many of them related to energy homeostasis, e.g. energy expenditure and glucose homeostasis. Nesfatin-1 is not only affecting these physiological processes but also the alterations of the metabolic state (e.g. fat mass, glycemic state) have an impact on the synthesis and release of NUCB2 and/or nesfatin-1. Furthermore, nesfatin-1 exerts pleiotropic actions at the level of cardiovascular and digestive systems, as well as plays a role in stress response, behavior, sleep and reproduction. Despite the recent advances in nesfatin-1 research, a putative receptor has not been identified and furthermore potentially distinct functions of nesfatin-1 and its precursor NUCB2 have not been dissected yet. To tackle these open questions will be the major objectives of future research to broaden our knowledge on NUCB2/nesfatin-1.


NUCB2; cardiovascular; energy homeostasis; glucose metabolism; nesfatin-1

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