Single enzyme causes diabetes

15 August 2014

A new study, published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, has found that a single enzyme - 12-LO - promotes the obesity-induced oxidative stress in the pancreatic cells that leads to pre-diabetes, and diabetes. It is hoped that these findings will help enable the development of drugs that can interfere with this enzyme, preventing or even reversing diabetes. 

The enzyme's role is the last step in the production of certain small molecules that harm the cell, according to the team of researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis. 

During the research, the team genetically engineered mice that lacked the gene for 12-LO exclusively in their pancreas cells, and then fed them either a low-fat or high-fat diet.

All of the mice that were fed the high-fat diet developed obesity and insulin resistance. The investigators then examined the pancreatic beta cells of both knockout and control mice, using both microscopic studies and molecular analysis. 

They found that the knockout mice were intact and healthy, while those from the control group showed oxidative damage, demonstrating that 12-LO and the resulting HETEs caused the beta cell failure.

Posted by Jeanette Royston​

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)