Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Humanin Peptide May Be New Drug Target For Diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease

Date:
April 23, 2009
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Recent studies have shown that the mitochondrial peptide Humanin (HN) protects against neuronal cell death such as happens in Alzheimer's disease. Researchers report that a small infusion of HN is a potent regulator of insulin metabolism, significantly improving overall insulin sensitivity and sharply decreasing the glucose levels of diabetic rats.

Recent studies have shown that the mitochondrial peptide Humanin (HN) protects against neuronal cell death such as happens in Alzheimer's disease. Now, in a study presented April 22 at Experimental Biology 2009 in New Orleans, Dr. Nir Barzilai reports that a small infusion of HN is the most potent regulator of insulin metabolism that his research team has ever seen, significantly improving overall insulin sensitivity and sharply decreasing the glucose levels of diabetic rats.

The finding is the first evidence of a role for HN in glucose metabolism and provides new insight into how this metabolism may be involved in the development of seemingly diverse age-related diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Alzheimer's. The finding also provides support for the growing understanding that the brain (not just the pancreas, liver and other peripheral organs) is heavily involved in glucose metabolism.

Furthermore, says Dr. Barzilai, the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research and Director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the power of HN on insulin action suggests a new therapeutic approach to diabetes. Further understanding of how HN interactions with the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor system may also lead to strategies to protect against age-related diseases including Alzheimer's.

Dr. Barzilai's presentation at Experimental Biology 2009 is part of the scientific program of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Dr. Barzilai is internationally known as a leading discoverer of longevity genes, especially those he has identified in a well-established group of almost 500 Ashkenazi Jews, aged 95 to 112, and their families. Last year, he reported that some of the oldest in this group have mutations in the gene for insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) receptor, genetic alterations that have been shown to prolong life span in worms and some mammals. In this Experimental Biology presentation, he reports that, while the production of HN generally decreases as people age, it decreases less in the centenarians and is the highest in their offspring. Studies are now underway at the Institute for Aging Research to determine if the centenarians have a mutation in the HN gene in the mitochondria.

How do these genes fit together? Although there is still much to learn, says Dr. Barzilai, his team increasingly understands how HN interacts with the GH/IGF system. In earlier studies, the team found that insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) binds Humanin and tempers its effects on promotion of cell survival.

In this new study, the effects of HN on insulin action also were found to be tempered by IGFBP-3. Inhibiting IGFBP-3 allowed the peptide to exert a more potent effect. That suggests a drug target, says Dr. Barzilai.

He says that in this preclinical testing period, it is still too soon to know how HN would perform in humans, but he believes the naturally occurring peptide's ability to preserve cells is promising. One concern of anti-diabetic drugs is increased risk for cardiovascular disease. When Dr. Barzilai's team administered Humanin to rats before or after they were induced to have heart attacks, however, the area of infarction (area of dead cells caused by lack of blood) actually decreased by almost 50 percent, compared to that in rats not given the peptide.

Funding for the study came from the National Institute on Aging and the Paul Glenn Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Humanin Peptide May Be New Drug Target For Diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422103546.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2009, April 23). Humanin Peptide May Be New Drug Target For Diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422103546.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Humanin Peptide May Be New Drug Target For Diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422103546.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. 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