August 5, 2013

Gene to Turn-off Diabetes Risk

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gene-switchA protein on the surface of a cell is responsible for sugar absorption in the body.  This protein can be switched-on or off, affecting insulin resistance. This study was published in Diabetes.

Could it be that insulin resistance in T2D is due to lack of a protein that has not previously been associated with diabetes?

A protein known as neuraminidase 1 can influence the absorption of sugar by simply turning this process on or off. Researchers have nicknamed the gene-regulating protein Neu1.

Neu1 works by regulating the amount of sialic acid on the surface of cells. By continuing studies, researchers hope to find a way to restore Neu1 levels.

In theory, by removing sialic acid from the cell surface, insulin receptors cannot absorb blood sugar properly. This could give rise to a new treatment for prediabetes, preventing the ultimate diagnosis of T2D.

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