Metabolic syndrome is an increasingly prevalent problem, so effective therapeutic approaches to combat it are currently of interest. Recently, orphan ligands with structural similarity to angiopoietins were identified in the systemic circulation, and have been designated angiopoietin-like proteins (Angptls). Angptl3 and Angptl4 have been shown to regulate fat, lipid or glucose metabolic homeostasis. More recently, AGF (also called Angptl6) has been shown to counteract obesity and related insulin resistance. Notably, these factors are secreted mainly from the liver and act as endocrine signals in the peripheral tissues, suggesting a new role for hepatocyte-derived factors in regulating metabolic homeostasis. As more is discovered about the functions of Angptls, so their potential as therapeutic targets for metabolic syndrome is explored.
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