Washington, Feb 8 (ANI): An important step forward has been taken in understanding how insulin secretion is regulated in the body.
This discovery has important implications for drugs currently in development to treat Type 2 diabetes, a disease which is diagnosed every 10 seconds somewhere throughout the world.
A team led by Dr Vincent Poitout of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) studies the G protein-coupled free fatty acid receptor (FFA1/GPR40), a molecule that plays a key role in stimulating and regulating the production of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas to remove excess glucose from the blood, which otherwise would be toxic.
They demonstrated that glucose in the blood stimulates the expression of the receptor, which in turn prompts the body to produce insulin when glucose and fatty acids rise in the circulation, such as occurs after a meal.
Their accomplishment consists in mapping the intricate pathway taken by glucose to stimulate the expression of the receptor and in identifying the various genetic and cellular processes that are activated in this process. This phenomenon contributes to maintaining the right balance between the intake of nutrients and the production of insulin. That balance is precisely what is upset in type 2 diabetes patients, for whom the production of insulin is deficient, and which leads to a variety of chronic conditions.
Although a new generation of antidiabetic drugs which target this receptor to promote insulin tolerance and production is currently being tested, until now little has been known about precisely how the expression of GPR40 is controlled
"Our work has contributed to a better understanding of how these new drugs work. Our ultimate goal is to allow type 2 diabetes patients to lead a healthy life free from the many complications associated with this disease," said Dr Poitout.
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. (ANI)
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AnnaFebruary 8, 2012 at 9:31 PM