Breakthrough research of essential molecule reveals important targets in diabetes and obesity

June 19, 2013

Insulin is the most potent physiological anabolic agent for tissue-building and energy storage, promoting the storage and synthesis of lipids, protein and carbohydrates, and inhibiting their breakdown and release into the circulatory system. It also plays a major role in stimulating glucose entry into muscle tissue, where the glucose is metabolized and removed from the blood following meals. But gaps exist in understanding the precise molecular mechanisms by which insulin regulates glucose uptake in fat and muscle cells.

A research team led by Assia Shisheva, Ph.D., professor of physiology in Wayne State University's School of Medicine, has made breakthrough advancements on a molecule that may provide more answers to this mystery.

The conserved phospholipid enzyme, PIKfyve, was discovered in Shisheva's lab in 1999. Based on studies in cultured cells, the lab has implicated PIKfyve in the insulin-regulated glucose transport activation, which led to the development of a unique mouse model with PIKfyve ablation, or removal, in muscle (MPlfKO), the tissue responsible for the majority of postprandial glucose disposal.

In Shisheva's recent paper, "Muscle-specific PIKfyve gene distribution causes glucose intolerance, , adiposity and hyperinsulinemia but not muscle fiber-type switching," published online in the American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shisheva and her research team characterize whether this new model exhibits metabolic defects.

"Our team found a striking metabolic phenotype in the MPIfKO mice consisting of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance at an early age and on a normal diet," said Shisheva, a resident of Royal Oak. "We also revealed that PIKfyve is essential for normal insulin signaling to GLUT4/ in muscle and provided the first in vivo evidence for the central role of PIKfyve in the mechanisms regulating healthy , or ."

In addition, the research team found that these metabolic disturbances were followed by increased animal fat (adiposity) and elevated levels of insulin (hyperinsulinemia), but not abnormal amounts of lipids or cholesterol in the blood (dyslipidemia).

"The combined phenotype manifested by the MPlfKO mouse closely recapitulates the cluster of typical features in human prediabetes including systemic and insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia and increased visceral obesity without dyslipidemia," said Shisheva.

"Therefore, our mouse model, in addition to providing novel mechanisms of insulin resistance, represents a valuable tool for exploring new preclinical strategies to improve treatments in individuals with prediabetes."

Explore further: Telmisartan reverses insulin resistance in mice

Related Stories

Telmisartan reverses insulin resistance in mice

January 3, 2013

(HealthDay)—Treating mice fed a high-fat diet with telmisartan reverses insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, but only when the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-δ (PPAR-δ) gene is present, according to ...

Skipping breakfast may make obese women insulin resistant

June 17, 2013

Overweight women who skip breakfast experience acute, or rapid-onset, insulin resistance, a condition that, when chronic, is a risk factor for diabetes, a new study finds. The results, which were presented Sunday at The Endocrine ...

Pot smoking linked to some metabolic changes

April 19, 2013

(HealthDay)—Regularly smoking pot is associated with visceral adiposity and adipose tissue insulin resistance, but not other metabolic changes such as impaired β-cell function or hepatic steatosis, according to a study ...

Recommended for you

Natural compound reduces signs of aging in healthy mice

October 27, 2016

Much of human health hinges on how well the body manufactures and uses energy. For reasons that remain unclear, cells' ability to produce energy declines with age, prompting scientists to suspect that the steady loss of efficiency ...

A metabolic switch to turn off obesity

October 27, 2016

You've tried all the diets. No matter: you've still regained the weight you lost, even though you ate well and you exercised regularly! This may be due to a particular enzyme in the brain: the alpha/beta hydrolase domain-6 ...

Scientists develop 'world-first' 3-D mammary gland model

October 27, 2016

A team of researchers from Cardiff University and Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute has succeeded in creating a three-dimensional mammary gland model that will pave the way for a better understanding of the mechanisms ...

Mitochondria control stem cell fate

October 27, 2016

What happens in intestinal epithelial cells during a chronic illness? Basic research conducted at the Chair of Nutrition and Immunology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) addressed this question by generating a new ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.