His next step is to begin exploring chemical combinations to discover drugs that are effective at shutting down the novel gene. The development of new drugs that can block or slow down the formation of MCPIP likely would take several years. However, Kolattukudy is encouraged by the results of his research to date.
Kolattukudy, whose team in 2006 first identified the MCPIP gene as a contributor to heart disease, found its function as a fat inducer by focusing on its inflammatory influence.
Recent evidence has shown that the increased inflammation of fat cells causes them to become less sensitive to insulin, potentially triggering type 2 diabetes. A predominance of fatty tissue contributes to the inability to process insulin which, in turn, enables glucose or sugars to flow directly to the bloodstream instead of going into cells.
|Contact: Barb Abney|
University of Central Florida