Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How fat could help solve part of the diabetes problem

Date:
October 29, 2013
Source:
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Summary:
The pancreas is a large organ that wraps around our gut, and produces the exact amount of insulin our bodies need when we eat -- except when we start to develop diabetes, and insulin production slows down. Scientists describe how a fat recycling system within pancreatic "beta cells" determines the amount of insulin they secrete, and so may provide a target for future diabetes therapies.

The pancreas is a large organ that wraps around our gut, and produces the exact amount of insulin our bodies need when we eat -- except when we start to develop diabetes, and insulin production slows down. Sydney scientists describe how a fat recycling system within pancreatic 'beta cells' determines the amount of insulin they secrete, and so may provide a target for future diabetes therapies.

A small structure inside the beta cell, known as a 'lysosome', behaves like an intracellular recycling unit. It breaks down unwanted fats and proteins in such a way that they can be re-used.

PhD student Gemma Pearson and Professor Trevor Biden from Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research showed that when they prevented lysosomes from breaking down fat, beta cells secreted more insulin. Their study is published in Diabetologia, now online.

While this is a very early stage cell biology story, it nonetheless holds promise, and encourages the scientific community to look at diabetes therapies through a fatty lens.

"There are many different ways fats can be used within the beta cell -- so if you stop them being recycled, you force them to be used in a different way," said Gemma Pearson, whose PhD examines the "lipid profile" of beta cells.

"When you shift fats from the lysosome, you store them in other parts of the cell, and they become available to participate in various signaling pathways. One of these pathways clearly increases insulin secretion."

"Fat molecules are not the inert blobs you might think -- they can bind to proteins and activate them, causing a range of downstream events to occur."

"The good thing about this particular pathway is that it is only stimulated by glucose. That limits the beta cell to producing excess insulin only to deal with food, rather than around the clock. Too much insulin circulating in the blood, or hyperinsulinaemia, can be very detrimental to health in many respects."

"If in future a drug were to be developed to block fat degradation in the lysosome, it would have to be tweaked to affect beta cells only."


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.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gemma L. Pearson, Natalie Mellett, Kwan Yi Chu, James Cantley, Aimee Davenport, Pauline Bourbon, Casey C. Cosner, Paul Helquist, Peter J. Meikle, Trevor J. Biden. Lysosomal acid lipase and lipophagy are constitutive negative regulators of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells. Diabetologia, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s00125-013-3083-x

Cite This Page:

Garvan Institute of Medical Research. "How fat could help solve part of the diabetes problem." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029092032.htm>.
Garvan Institute of Medical Research. (2013, October 29). How fat could help solve part of the diabetes problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029092032.htm
Garvan Institute of Medical Research. "How fat could help solve part of the diabetes problem." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029092032.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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