Navigation Links
Hormone in fruit flies sheds light on diabetes cure, weight-loss drug for humans
Date:8/8/2012

Winston-Salem, N.C. Manipulating a group of hormone-producing cells in the brain can control blood sugar levels in the body a discovery that has dramatic potential for research into weight-loss drugs and diabetes treatment.

In a paper published in the October issue of Genetics and available online now, neurobiologists at Wake Forest University examine how fruit flies (Drosophila) react when confronted with a decreased diet.

Reduced diet or starvation normally leads to hyperactivity in fruit flies a hungry fly buzzes around feverishly, looking for more food. That happens because an enzyme called AMP-activated kinase stimulates the secretion of the adipokinetic hormone, which is the functional equivalent of glucagon. This hormone acts opposite of insulin, as it tells the body to release the sugar, or food, needed to fuel that hyperactivity. The body uses up its energy stores until it finds food.

But when Wake Forest's Erik Johnson, an associate professor of biology, and his research team turned off AMP-activated kinase, the cells decreased sugar release and the hyperactive response stopped almost completely even in the face of starvation.

"Since fruit flies and humans share 30 percent of the same genes and our brains are essentially wired the same way, it suggests that this discovery could inform metabolic research in general and diabetes research specifically," said Johnson, the study's principal investigator. "The basic biophysical, biochemical makeup is the same. The difference in complexity is in the number of cells. Why flies are so simple is that they have approximately 100,000 neurons versus the approximately 11 billion in humans."

Medical advances as a result of this research might include:

Diabetes research: Adipokinetic hormone is the insect equivalent to the hormone glucagon in the human pancreas. Glucagon raises blood sugar levels; insulin reduces them. However, it is difficult to study glucagon systems because the pancreatic cells are hard to pull apart. Studying how this similar system works in the fruit fly could pave the way to a drug that targets the cells that cause glucagon to tell the body to release sugar into the blood thus reducing the need for insulin shots in diabetics.

Weight-loss drugs: An "exercise drug" would turn on all AMP-activated kinase in the body and trick the body into thinking it was exercising. "Exercise stimulates AMP-activated kinase, so manipulation of this molecule may lead to getting the benefits of exercise without exercising," Johnson said. In previous research published in the online journal PLoS ONE, Johnson and his colleagues found that, when you turn off AMP-activated kinase, you get fruit flies that "eat a lot more than normal flies, move around a lot less, and end up fatter."


'/>"/>
Contact: Katie Neal
nealkc@wfu.edu
336-758-6141
Wake Forest University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. BRG1 mutations confer resistance to hormones in lung cancer
2. Estrogen hormone reveals protective ability after traumatic brain injury
3. Measuring progesterone receptor expression to improve hormone-receptor-positive cancer management
4. Hormones dictate when youngsters fly the nest, says new research
5. Hormone-mimicking chemicals cause inter-species mating
6. Lighting up the plant hormone command system
7. An invasive Asian fly is taking over European fruit
8. First fruitful, then futile: Ammonites or the boon and bane of many offspring
9. Fruit flies provide new knowledge about uninhibited cell growth
10. Virginia Tech and University of Tuscia lead team to unravel origin of devastating kiwifruit bacterium
11. Commonly used herbicides seen as threat to endangered butterflies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/6/2017)... Jan. 5, 2017  Delta ID Inc., a leader ... technology for automotive at CES® 2017. Delta ID has ... to demonstrate the use of iris scanning as a ... the driver in a car, and as a way ... experience. Delta ID and Gentex will demonstrate ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , Dec. 20, 2016  As ... all levels, 23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, recently released ... Only Me . The book focuses on the topics ... the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) taught in elementary school ... the second in a series by illustrator Ariana Killoran ...
(Date:12/19/2016)... TORONTO , 19 de diciembre de 2016  Mosaic ... permitirá el desarrollo acelerado de MSC-1, un anticuerpo humanizado que se ... tumor en 2017, con múltiples sitios previstos a lo largo de ... ... el factor inhibidor de leucemia (LIF), una citoquina pleiotrópica que se ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Basel, Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... ... ... leading provider of advanced software solutions for pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), ... project-based expertise in omic data analysis and interpretation for the rapidly evolving ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... National Institutes of Health (NIH) to update its Data Sharing Policy. Specifically, the ... element of grant applications subject to the existing policy. AMIA recommended that NIH ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: NWBO) ("NW Bio"), a U.S. ... and inoperable solid tumor cancers, announced today that Dr. ... Bio, will present at the Phacilitate Immunotherapy World Conference ... Hotel in Miami, Florida . ... Therapeutic Approaches – Expanding the Reach of Cancer Immunotherapy ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... 2017   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... cancer stemness pathways, will feature data from two clinical ... 2017 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, held from January 19-21, ... Napabucasin is an orally-administered investigational agent designed to ... Cancer stem cells (CSCs) possess the property of stemness ...
Breaking Biology Technology: