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 September 1, 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 September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. 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