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Researchers identify new drug target that stimulates
Date:9/6/2011

se mice were able to clear glucose from the blood more efficiently than control mice with Bace2.

Dr. Stoffel and his team next aimed to inhibit Bace2 in an effort to control and promote the growth of beta cells. To do so, they teamed up with scientists at Hoffmann-LaRoche who developed a chemical compound that could inhibit Bace2. When the scientists gave this compound to mice, they saw that it inhibited Bace2 and stimulated the growth of new beta cells. Importantly, Bace2, and not its close relative Bace1, which is implicated in other diseases, cleaves the Tmem27 protein, suggesting the potential for developing a Bace2 inhibitor as a diabetes-specific therapy.

In addition to identifying a new drug target for promoting beta cell regeneration, Dr. Stoffel's work may also help in developing tests to measure the amount of Tmem27 fragments in the blood a biomarker that could be used as an index of beta cell number.

"This is an exciting and potentially impactful finding," says Patricia Kilian, Ph.D., scientific program director of regeneration research at JDRF. "It's an example of how researchers make an early observation and follow up on it, and then take it to the next level where it has translational potential the potential to be developed into a drug that promotes the growth of beta cells for diabetes."


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Contact: Joana Casas
mcasas@jdrf.org
212-479-7560
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Source:Eurekalert

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