Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential New Therapeutic Target for Controlling High Blood Sugar

Date:
March 19, 2014
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
A new potential therapeutic target for controlling high blood sugar has been discovered by scientists, a finding that could help the estimated 25 million Americans with type 2 diabetes. Researchers showed that lipid molecules called phosphatidic acids enhance glucose production in the liver. These findings suggest that inhibiting or reducing production of phosphatidic acids may do the opposite.

Dr. Anil Agarwal and Dr. Shireesha Sankella (right) discuss the findings of their recently published study that identified a new potential therapeutic target for controlling high blood sugar.
Credit: Image courtesy of UT Southwestern Medical Center

A UT Southwestern Medical Center study has identified a new potential therapeutic target for controlling high blood sugar, a finding that could help the estimated 25 million Americans with type 2 diabetes.

Related Articles


Researchers showed that lipid molecules called phosphatidic acids enhance glucose production in the liver. These findings suggest that inhibiting or reducing production of phosphatidic acids may do the opposite.

"This study establishes a role for phosphatidic acids in enhancing glucose production by the liver and identifies enzymes involved in the synthesis of phosphatidic acids as potential drug targets," said Dr. Anil Agarwal, Professor of Internal Medicine and senior author of the study in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

These observations were made while studying a mouse model of lipodystrophy, a rare metabolic disease in which the body is devoid of fat. Lipodystrophy patients often develop diabetes and accumulate fat in the liver because of an imbalance in the body's ability to properly regulate lipids and glucose. The causal gene, AGPAT2, which is involved in the synthesis of phosphatidic acid and triglycerides, was removed in the mice, resulting in rodents with generalized lipodystrophy. The research team then examined what impact this genetic manipulation had on phosphatidic acids and glucose production.

"We expected the levels of phosphatidic acids to go down. However, in examining the livers of these lipodystrophic mice, we unexpectedly found high levels of this lipid class," Dr. Agarwal said, which led to the identification of new targets involved in the production of phosphatidic acids.

The buildup of these lipid molecules was due to an increase in the levels of two enzymes in the liver, diacylglycerol kinase and phospholipase D. Researchers also discovered a marked increase in glucose production in the livers of the lipodystrophic mice.

The lack of normal insulin signaling in these lipodystrophic mice led to unrestricted production of phosphatidic acid, Dr. Agarwal explained, contributing to development of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar.

Besides revealing a new potential therapy to test for treatment of diabetes, the study's findings may have implications in understanding how cancer develops. Increased phosphatidic acid levels may play an important role in a metabolic pathway that supplies energy to cancer cells.

Lead author Dr. Shireesha Sankella, a postdoctoral researcher in the Division of Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases, now plans to test the inhibitors of diaclyglycerol kinase and phospholipase D in cultured cells and in animals to understand the molecular mechanisms for increased glucose production by phosphatidic acids in liver and cancer cells.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Sankella, A. Garg, J. D. Horton, A. K. Agarwal. Hepatic Gluconeogenesis Is Enhanced by Phosphatidic Acid Which Remains Uninhibited by Insulin in Lipodystrophic Agpat2-/- Mice. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2014; 289 (8): 4762 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M113.530998

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Potential New Therapeutic Target for Controlling High Blood Sugar." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140319124528.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2014, March 19). Potential New Therapeutic Target for Controlling High Blood Sugar. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140319124528.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Potential New Therapeutic Target for Controlling High Blood Sugar." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140319124528.htm (accessed April 20, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 20, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Humanoid Robot Can Recognise and Interact With People

Humanoid Robot Can Recognise and Interact With People

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 20, 2015) An ultra-realistic humanoid robot called &apos;Han&apos; recognises and interprets people&apos;s facial expressions and can even hold simple conversations. Developers Hanson Robotics hope androids like Han could have uses in hospitality and health care industries where face-to-face communication is vital. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Labour Party Warns Britain's Health Service 'on Life Support'

Labour Party Warns Britain's Health Service 'on Life Support'

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Britain&apos;s opposition Labour Party Monday claimed the National Health Service (NHS) was &apos;on life support&apos; as it turned its attention to the state-run service, which is a key issue for the UK&apos;s May 7 general election. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Students Back to School After Long Ebola Closure

Sierra Leone Students Back to School After Long Ebola Closure

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 20, 2015) After an eight-month break, children in Sierra Leone return to school for the first time since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teen E-Cigarette Use Triples, Government Debates Regulations

Teen E-Cigarette Use Triples, Government Debates Regulations

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2015) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in 2014, 13.4 percent of high school students reported smoking an e-cigarette within 30 days. 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:

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