Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People at risk of diabetes offer clues toward novel drugs

Date:
February 14, 2011
Source:
Joslin Diabetes Center
Summary:
Once people develop type 2 diabetes, high blood glucose levels alter their metabolism so much that it becomes difficult to sift through all the clues to find what might enable the disease. By examining people across the spectrum of diabetes -- from healthy to the full-blown disease -- scientists in her lab have found a molecular pathway that offers novel targets for drugs. By examining people across the spectrum of diabetes, scientists in her lab have found a molecular pathway that offers novel targets for drugs.

Once people develop type 2 diabetes, high blood glucose levels alter their metabolism so much that it becomes difficult to sift through all the clues to find what might enable the disease. "To identify factors that play a primary role in disease susceptibility, we want to investigate people before they get to that point," says Mary-Elizabeth Patti, M.D. of Joslin Diabetes Center. By examining people across the spectrum of diabetes -- from healthy to the full-blown disease -- scientists in her lab have found a molecular pathway that offers novel targets for drugs.

Related Articles


People develop type 2 diabetes over time as their bodies become more and more resistant to the hormone insulin, which is necessary to process the glucose in blood that provides energy for cells, explains Dr. Patti, who is also an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.

In research reported online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation on February 14, Joslin clinical researchers, led by Dr. Allison Goldfine, took tiny samples of muscles from three categories of people: some who were healthy, some with a family history of diabetes who showed signs of insulin resistance although their blood glucose levels were normal, and some with full-blown type 2 diabetes.

They found that among the latter two groups, a gene known as STARS was expressed more than twice as much as in healthy people. STARS activates another gene known as SRF, and a group of genes regulated by SRF along with a co-activator protein called MKL1 showed the most increase in expression in the cells of those with type 2 diabetes. When scientists cultivated those cells in vitro, the same results appeared.

Examining the muscles of insulin-resistant mice, the scientists found similar boost in the expression of those key genes.

But was this molecular pathway helping to trigger insulin resistance or just showing up at the scene of the crime?

To find out, the scientists next took muscle cells derived from rodents, reduced the expression of STARS and found that glucose uptake climbed in the cells. They then examined the effect of a chemical that inhibits SRF and found that glucose uptake rates increased in both mice and human cells -- and that the effects were greater in cells from patients who were insulin resistant or had type 2 diabetes. Finally, the investigators showed that giving the chemical inhibitor to mice with high glucose levels also boosted glucose uptake in muscles.

"This pathway holds promise as a target for novel diabetes therapies, and it also gives us tools to understand the pathways of progression to diabetes," concludes Dr. Patti.

Joslin's Wanzhu Jin was lead author on the paper. Co-authors included Allison Goldfine, Tanner Boes, Eun-Young Kim, Merve Emecan, Connor Fitzpatrick, Anish Sen, Ankit Shah, Martha Vokes, Joshua Schroeder, Elizabeth Tatro, and Jose Jimenez-Chillaron of Joslin; Theodore P. Ciaraldi and Robert R. Henry of the Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System and University of California/San Diego; and Edward Mun of Brigham and Women's Hospital. Lead funders were the National Institutes of Health and the Graetz Fund.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Wanzhu Jin et al. Increased SRF transcriptional activity in human and mouse skeletal muscle is a signature of insulin resistance. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011 DOI: 10.1172/JCI41940

Cite This Page:

Joslin Diabetes Center. "People at risk of diabetes offer clues toward novel drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214122639.htm>.
Joslin Diabetes Center. (2011, February 14). People at risk of diabetes offer clues toward novel drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214122639.htm
Joslin Diabetes Center. "People at risk of diabetes offer clues toward novel drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214122639.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) — Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. 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:

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