Growth Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF15), also known as NSAID activated gene-1 (NAG-1), is associated with a large number of biological processes and diseases, including cancer and obesity. GDF15 is synthesized as pro-GDF15, is dimerized, and is cleaved and secreted into the circulation as a mature dimer GDF15. Both the intracellular GDF15 and the circulating mature GDF15 are implicated in biological processes, such as energy homeostasis and body weight regulation. Although there have been many studies on GDF15, GFRAL, a member of the glial-derived neurotropic factor receptor α family, has only been recently identified as a receptor for mature GDF15. In this review, we focused on cancer and energy homeostasis along with obesity and body weight, and the effect of the identification of the GDF15 receptor in these investigations. In addition, the therapeutic potential of GDF15 as a pharmacological agent in obesity and other metabolic diseases was discussed.
Keywords : Growth differentiation factor 15; Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug activated gene-1; Obesity; Cancer prevention; GFRAL receptor complex; Appetite suppression; Energy metabolism; Aging; Survival