Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sea creatures' sex protein provides new insight into diabetes

Date:
March 22, 2010
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
A genetic accident in the sea more than 500 million years ago has provided new insight into diabetes. New research findings could help to explain a rare form of the disease that causes sufferers to urinate more than three liters every day.

Sea urchin.
Credit: iStockphoto/Steven Maltby

A genetic accident in the sea more than 500 million years ago has provided new insight into diabetes, according to research from Queen Mary, University of London.

Professor Maurice Elphick, from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, says his findings could help to explain a rare form of the disease that causes sufferers to urinate more than three litres every day.

As reported in the journal Gene, Professor Elphick has discovered that some marine animals produce 'NG peptides' -- proteins that help the creatures release their eggs and sperm at the same time. Critically, it emerges that NG peptides are made by a gene very similar to the mutant gene that causes diabetes insipidus.

He says: "Genetic tests on patients with diabetes insipidus show their symptoms are caused by an inability to produce the hormone vasopressin, which tells the body how much urine to make.

"I have discovered that marine animals, like sea urchins and acorn worms, produce NG peptides in much the same way to how our brain cells produce vasopressin. This similarity can be traced back to a one-off genetic accident in one of our ancient sea-dwelling ancestors, when a gene for vasopressin-like molecules mutated and became associated with a gene for NG peptides."

Asked about the medical relevance of his discovery, Professor Elphick said: "By researching further into how animals like sea urchins produce NG peptides, we will understand better why the faulty human vasopressin gene can cause this form of diabetes in around 10,000 people in the UK."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Maurice R. Elphick. NG peptides: A novel family of neurophysin-associated neuropeptides. Gene, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.gene.2010.03.004

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Sea creatures' sex protein provides new insight into diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322101659.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2010, March 22). Sea creatures' sex protein provides new insight into diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322101659.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Sea creatures' sex protein provides new insight into diabetes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322101659.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
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