Researchers discover protein that may represent new target for treating type 1 diabetes
Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Institute for Regenerative Medicine and colleagues have discovered a new protein that may play a critical role in how the human body regulates blood sugar levels. Reporting in the current issue of Pancreas, the research team says the protein may represent a new target for treating type 1 diabetes.
"This data may change the current thinking about what causes type 1 diabetes," said Bryon E. Petersen, Ph.D., professor of regenerative medicine and senior author. "Much more research is needed to understand exactly how the protein functions, but its discovery opens a new door to better understand and hopefully develop new treatments for this currently incurable disease."
The protein, which the scientists have named Islet Homeostasis Protein (IHoP), has so far been isolated in the pancreas of both humans and rodents. It is located in the pancreatic islets, clusters of cells that secrete the hormones insulin and glucagon that work together to regulate blood sugar. In healthy individuals, glucagon raises blood sugar levels and insulin helps lower gluocose levels by moving sugar from the blood into the body's cells. In people with type 1 diabetes, which affects about 5 percent of people with diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin and blood sugar levels are too high.
The researchers determined that IHoP is found within the glucagon-producing cells of the islets. In both humans and mice that haven't yet developed diabetes, the researchers found high levels of IHoP. But after the onset of diabetes, there was no expression of IHoP, suggesting that the protein may work to regulate blood sugar levels by regulating the balance between insulin and glucagon.
When the researchers inhibited production of the protein in rodents, there was loss of glucagon expression, which caused a chain of events that led to decreased insulin, increased levels of glucagon and death of insulin-producing cells.
"In a nutshell," said lead author Seh-Hoon Oh, Ph.D., "IHoP appears to keep blood sugar regulation in check. When IHoP isn't present, it throws the pancreas into a critical state and starts the process that results in type 1 diabetes." Oh is an instructor of regenerative medicine at Wake Forest Baptist.
It is currently believed that type 1 diabetes is caused by a viral or environmental trigger in genetically susceptible people that results in the body's white cells mistakenly attacking the insulin producing cells. Within 10 to 15 years of diagnosis, the insulin-producing cells are completely destroyed.
The current research supports the idea that cell death plays a role in type 1 diabetes, but the results suggest that IHoP may influence the process. Next steps in the research will be to explore how IHoP controls the interaction of insulin and glucagon.
Provided by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
- Discovery of new signal pathway important to diabetes research Jun 04, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers uncover potential 'cure' for type 1 diabetes Jan 26, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Connexins: Providing protection to cells destroyed in Type 1 diabetes Nov 07, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Leptin therapy in animal models shows promise for type 1 diabetes Mar 24, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study pinpoints role of insulin on glucagon levels Apr 07, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Every 20 seconds, a limb is lost as a consequence of diabetic foot ulcer that does not heal. To date, medical solutions that can change this situation are very limited. In his doctoral thesis Yue Shen from the Industrial ...
Medical research 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
When tumours metastasise, they can block lymphatic vessels, as researchers from ETH Zurich have discovered using a new method. The lymphatic fluid subsequently has to find a new path through the tissue. Such ...
Medical research 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In their quest to learn more about the variability of cells between and within tissues, biomedical scientists have devised tools capable of simultaneously measuring dozens of characteristics of individual ...
Medical research 19 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as ...
Medical research May 17, 2013 | 4 / 5 (4) | 0 |
Scientists investigating the interaction of a group of proteins in the brain responsible for protecting nerve cells from damage have identified a new target that could increase cell survival.
Medical research May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at King's College London have discovered that Vitamin D has the potential to significantly reduce the symptoms of asthma. The study, led by Professor Catherine Hawrylowicz from ...
56 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Patients with the most severe and dangerous form of chronic anorexia are more likely to make a significant improvement towards recovery and stay in therapy if traditional psychological treatments are re-focused ...
55 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The number of young people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has seen the sharpest rise over the last twenty years compared to a background of a general increase across the board, new University research has ...
26 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Pre-proceedings process fails to reduce length of care proceedings, but can help divert cases from court
A major new report on a procedure that aims to reduce the duration of care proceedings for children has found it made no significant difference to what happened in court, and cases lasted just as long regardless of whether ...
46 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
New research undertaken on the streets of Richmond and Abbotsford has revealed increasing health risks for people who inject drugs and significant community concern over the impact of injecting in public ...
46 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0