Researchers identify a metabolite as a biomarker of diabetes risk
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the most common form of diabetes and is associated with many complications. T2D is preventable through weight control and exercise; however, many individuals are unaware that they are at risk and do not change their lifestyle in time to avoid disease.
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Robert Gerszten and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital identify the metabolite 2-aminoadipic acid (2-AAA) as a biomarker for T2D diabetes risk. Individuals with increased levels of 2-AAA had a much greater risk of developing diabetes than individuals with lower 2-AAA levels.
The authors found that this metabolite was present in at-risk individuals up to 12 years before to T2D onset. Additionally, addition of 2-AAA to isolated pancreatic cells from both mice and humans enhanced insulin secretion.
This study provides a biomarker of T2D risk that is a potential therapeutic target for the regulation of glucose homeostasis.