Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Completely Novel Action Of Insulin Unveiled

Date:
November 6, 2008
Source:
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Summary:
New research has uncovered an important piece in the puzzle of how insulin works, a problem that has plagued researchers for more than 50 years. The finding brings scientists one step closer to explaining exactly how insulin prompts fat and muscle cells to absorb glucose.

A fat cell with fluorescently labelled GLUT4 molecules (red colour) on the cell surface.
Credit: Image courtesy of Garvan Institute of Medical Research

A Ph.D. student at Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research has uncovered an important piece in the puzzle of how insulin works, a problem that has plagued researchers for more than 50 years. The research brings scientists one step closer to explaining exactly how insulin prompts fat and muscle cells to absorb glucose.

The novel finding by Freddy Yip was published online in the journal Cell Metabolism.

"Since the 1920s, when Banting and Best discovered insulin, scientists have been battling to discover how it actually works," said Professor David James, head of Garvan's Diabetes Program.

"Then along comes Freddy Yip, doing his PhD, who unveils a completely novel action of insulin, one which we believe plays a fundamental role in glucose uptake, a process that is defective in Type 2 diabetes."

There are two processes involved in Type 2 diabetes: insufficient production of insulin in the pancreas after a meal and faulty uptake and storage of glucose in fat and muscle cells, or 'insulin resistance'.

Freddy's finding focuses on the intersection between these two processes. "In the cell we have series of motor proteins that have the ability to move other molecules from one place to another along intracellular rail road tracks," he explained.

"I have discovered that insulin activates a specific kind of motor protein known as Myo1c, which in turn performs a critical role in glucose uptake."

Insulin controls glucose uptake into our fat cells by moving glucose transporter proteins from inside the cell to the surface membrane so that they can pump glucose into the cell. Myo1c aids in this process by helping the transporters slide into the surface membrane.

In healthy people, around 80% of the glucose transporters migrate to the cell membrane after a meal, allowing plenty of glucose into the cell. In people with Type 2 diabetes, however, that figure drops to around 10%.

Freddy Yip believes his study will create a strong foundation for future diabetes research. "We knew before that Myo1c was somehow involved in the regulation of glucose transport. My research indicates that Myo1c is a major target of insulin action and helps to accelerate the delivery of transporters to the membrane," he said.

"We think there may be blockages in the signal between insulin and myo1c in people who develop insulin resistance. If we're correct, it should be possible to target that pathway for development of new therapies."

Professor James sees the finding as a welcome milestone on a very long road of discovery. "While we're certainly not saying we've found a way to cure diabetes, we are saying we've found a pretty significant clue."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Garvan Institute of Medical Research. "Completely Novel Action Of Insulin Unveiled." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081105092537.htm>.
Garvan Institute of Medical Research. (2008, November 6). Completely Novel Action Of Insulin Unveiled. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081105092537.htm
Garvan Institute of Medical Research. "Completely Novel Action Of Insulin Unveiled." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081105092537.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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