Thursday, December 3, 2009

New target for diabtes type 2 treatment ?

Mitochondria provide energy for cellular activity. Mitochondrial damage causes people with type 2 diabetes to lose insulin-producing cells, a finding that could lead to new treatments, researchers say.

The researchers (Dr. E. Dale Abel, chief of the endocrinology and metabolism division at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City) found that when insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas can't respond to circulating insulin, it triggers a "molecular cascade" that damages the normal action of a certain molecular receptor on the surface of the mitochondria. The damaged mitochondria then begin to destroy adenosine triphosphate, the prime fuel for cellular activity. As a result, the beta cells die.

The study provides novel insights into the role of insulin signaling in the regulation of the BAD/GK complex, glycolytic enzyme activity and mitochondrial metabolism in pancreatic β-cells. Ser112-BADS and its upstream kinases may be potential targets for the maintenance of the BAD/GK complex that is necessary for normal mitochondrial function and the regulation of β-cell survival....

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