Aging protein linked to diabetes treatment

6 November 2014

A team at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine has discovered a small protein, which could help treat diabetes.

Published in the American Diabetes Association's journal Diabetes, the Sestrin 3 protein has a critical role in controlling the production of glucose and insulin sensitivity in the liver. This would make it a logical target for developing future treatment to manage diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Sestrin 3 is part of a small family of proteins that are able to suppress oxidative stress, while also regulating normal cell activity, making it important for metabolic homeostasis.

Lead author Dr Charlie Dong, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the IU School of Medicine, analysed blood glucose levels and liver insulin sensitivity in mice. One group had the endogenous Sestrin 3 protein, while another set were genetically engineered to not produce the protein.

They found that insulin and glucose tolerance tests were significantly better in the mice that had the protein, which suggests that Sestrin 3 protein plays a critical role in hepatic insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.

Posted by Edward Bartel 

 

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