Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Progress Reported In Developing Compounds That Mimic Insulin For The Treatment Of Type II Diabetes

Date:
November 23, 1999
Source:
Weizmann Institute
Summary:
Weizmann Institute scientists are testing new vanadium compounds that may alleviate the suffering of type II diabetic patients.

REHOVOT, Israel -- November 16, 1999 -- Weizmann Institute scientists are testing new vanadium compounds that may alleviate the suffering of type II diabetic patients.

Diabetic patients suffer from a metabolic disorder in which the insulin hormone responsible for allowing the passage of energy rich nutrients from the bloodstream into the body¹s cells does not function properly or at all. Diabetes afflicts 15 million Americans, and 90 percent of these cases are classified as type II diabetes, commonly refered to as Adult Onset diabetes. Type I diabetes is caused by a shortage of insulin production from cells in the pancreas.

Since type II diabetes is the result mainly of resistance or insensitivity of cells to insulin activity, one approach to treating this type of diabetes is to find a new chemical that will serve as a viable alternative to insulin and that will not be affected by problems of insulin resistance or insensitivity. Weizmann Institute scientists have recently made significant progress in this area, which may lead to the development of a treatment that will considerably improve the quality of life of those suffering from this disorder.

Some two decades ago, Prof. Yoram Shechter of the Weizmann Institute's Biological Chemistry Department was one of the first scientists to discover that vanadium, a metallic trace element, mimics most of the metabolic effects of insulin in tissue studies. When given to diabetic rodents, vanadium corrects many metabolic defects associated with diabetes, in which insulin is lacking or is not functioning properly.

Since that discovery, scientists at the Institute and elsewhere have conducted intensive studies aimed at utilizing vanadium in the treatment of diabetes, as an artificial substitute for insulin. Unlike insulin, vanadium need not be injected directly into the bloodstream, but can be taken in the form of pills. Moreover, because vanadium's mechanism of action is different from that of insulin, it is particularly valuable in the treatment of cases in which insulin is ineffective.

The use of vanadium as a substitute for insulin, however, has been stymied until now, by the fact that vanadium, like many other metal ions, is toxic in the high concentrations that must be used to make it effective. The goal of vanadium-related research in diabetes has been to develop vanadium-based compounds that are less toxic and, if possible, have greater antidiabetic potency than vanadium itself.

Now, a team of Weizmann Institute scientists including Prof. Yoram Shechter, Prof. Mati Fridkin of the Organic Chemistry Department and graduate student Itzhak Goldwaser have managed to achieve just that. After checking hundreds of chemicals, they have found one family of amino acid analogues that, when forming a complex with vanadium, are three to four times more effective than vanadium alone in mimicking the effects of insulin.

In a study reported in the current issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Institute scientists showed that the new compounds ­ patented through Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd., which deals with the commercialization of the Institute's research ­ are effective in regulating glucose levels in diabetic laboratory animals while given in small amounts. These substances are being developed for clinical use by a start- up company, LAPID Pharmaceuticals Ltd., created recently by Pamot Venture Capital Fund and Yeda. Further animal studies must be conducted to show whether the compounds are appropriate for application in humans.

Prof. Shechter holds the Charles H. Hollenberg Chair of Diabetes and Metabolic Research, and Prof. Fridkin, the Lester B. Pearson Chair of Protein Research.

###

The Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world¹s foremost centers of scientific research and graduate study. Its 2,500 scientists, students, technicians and engineers pursue basic research in the quest for knowledge and the enhancement of the human condition. New ways of fighting disease and hunger, protecting the environment, and harnessing alternative sources of energy are high priorities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Weizmann Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Weizmann Institute. "Progress Reported In Developing Compounds That Mimic Insulin For The Treatment Of Type II Diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 November 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991123075909.htm>.
Weizmann Institute. (1999, November 23). Progress Reported In Developing Compounds That Mimic Insulin For The Treatment Of Type II Diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991123075909.htm
Weizmann Institute. "Progress Reported In Developing Compounds That Mimic Insulin For The Treatment Of Type II Diabetes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991123075909.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) — America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins