New target for diabetes therapies

New target for diabetes therapies

August 7, 2019 2 By Jose Scott


Diabetes currently affects over 20 million
adults in the United States alone, and an additional 60 million are thought to be at
risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. We found a relay system that has an important
effect on the production of glucose by the liver, and it could be useful in the treatment
of insulin resistance. There are number of complications that are
associated with diabetes. Most these are thought to be due to the high glucose that’s in
the blood stream. These complications include heart disease, kidney failure, loss of limbs,
and blindness, among others. A number of drugs on the market are useful in the treatment.
For example, Metformin or Glucophage is very widely used and is somewhat effective, especially
in early cases of type 2 diabetes. But then people can often become more insulin resistant,
and so finding other ways of treating high glucose levels would have beneficial effects Normally, the production of glucose is regulated
by genetic switches, one of which that we’ve been interested in is called CRTC2. What makes
this relay system worth studying we think, is that the activity of the IP3 receptor spigot
and the calcineurin accelerator are both increased in diabetic animals. And if we reduce the
activities of the spigot and the accelerator, we can shut down the production of glucose
and make these animals more what we would say, have normal blood glucose levels. We think that’s going to be important because
these are proteins in the cells that may be amenable to development of drugs and could
be useful for the treatment of individuals with type 2 diabetes.