Navigation Links
Research findings may lead to new ways to study and fight diabetes
Date:2/14/2008

COLLEGE STATION Diabetes can be a killer, but the recent findings of four Texas A&M University researchers could lead to new ways to study and fight the dreaded disease.

Diabetics not only have high blood glucose (sugar) levels, they also have elevated fatty acid levels because they have trouble metabolizing glucose and fatty acids. In the past, scientists have studied the glucose and fatty acid aspects of diabetes separately because there was nothing linking them together.

Texas A&M researchers Heather Hostetler, Huan Huang, Ann Kier, and Friedhelm Schroeder, however, were able to link the two areas of study by identifying a single molecule in the nucleus of cells that regulates the metabolism of both glucose and fatty acids. The results of their study were recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Scientists have long known that fatty acids bind with a protein called PPAR-alpha in the nucleus of cells. PPAR-alpha is a nuclear receptor, which means it is responsible for regulating the expression of specific genes. When fatty acids bind to PPAR-alpha, certain genes are turned on or off to control the metabolism of fatty acids.

Hostetler and her colleagues recently found that glucose also binds to PPAR-alpha, which presents an opportunity for scientists to study and understand one mechanism that regulates both glucose and fatty acid metabolism.

This provides a direct link for the first time between fat and sugar metabolism and shows they are intimately linked and share the same receptor in the nucleus, Schroeder said. This could be a paradigm-shifter and cause people to rethink the way they look at diabetes because we now have a central player PPAR-alpha thats impacted by both glucose and fatty acids.

Normally, a hormone called insulin signals a persons cells to take in and metabolize glucose. In diabetics, however, either not enough insulin is being produced or the persons insulin receptors are not working. This causes some of the bodys cells to not take in glucose properly, and glucose builds up in the bloodstream, Kier explains.

Abnormally high levels of glucose in the bloodstream can severely damage a persons blood vessels. Also, some cells in the body do not need insulin to take in glucose, and when high levels of glucose build up in these cells, it can lead to problems such as accelerated cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and damage to the retina of the eye.

Research conducted by Hostetler and her colleagues suggests that PPAR-alpha normally binds with both glucose and fatty acids in a very precise balance to regulate their metabolism. To metabolize fatty acids, PPAR-alpha breaks them up into small pieces and can then either burn them or make glucose out of them to store for later use, Schroeder explains.

When the balance is thrown off as it is in diabetics, however, the groups research suggests that the high level of glucose over-stimulates PPAR-alpha, which causes it to malfunction and turn most of the fatty acid into glucose. This causes even more glucose to build up, which makes the situation even worse.

The groups findings could also lead to the development of new drugs to prevent or reverse the harmful side effects of diabetes, which is the sixth leading cause of death in Texas. All at once, its like a whole new ballgame, Schroeder said. The new findings open up a whole new potential class of therapeutic agents.

One possibility is a drug that would block glucose from binding to PPAR-alpha, which would prevent PPAR-alpha from becoming over-stimulated and producing even larger amounts of glucose, Schroeder said. So far, the group has tested 1,040 drugs and found five that were able to reverse the harmful effects of high glucose on PPAR-alpha and restore the compound to its normal function.

The group hopes its findings will bring scientists together and lead to studying diabetes in a new way. I think our findings will stimulate a lot more research that tries to understand fatty acids and glucose together, rather than in separate worlds, Kier said. This basic research is important because scientists cant really progress until they go back and understand the process and how things happen physiologically.


'/>"/>

Contact: Keith Randall
keith-randall@tamu.edu
979-845-4644
Texas A&M University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
2. Children of depressed moms do better when dad is involved, SLU researcher finds
3. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
4. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
5. New research shows how chronic stress worsens neurodegenerative disease course
6. New research explores newborn in-hospital weight loss
7. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
8. Bipolar disorder relapses halved by Melbourne researchers
9. HIVs impact in Zimbabwe explored in new research
10. U.S. Research Funding Continues to Flatten as U.S. Health Costs Climb - in August 31 Science
11. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... ... EXPECTED AT AORN SURGICAL CONFERENCE & EXPO , WHAT:     , This conference ... estimated 5000 perioperative nurses in attendance to study the latest evidence-based recommendations ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... ... Shark Finds and Kevin Harrington, along with the Product Managers ... Belly Bands. , Having a dog is great—except when it wets every couch, bed, ... works, get Belly Bands, the easiest way to stop dogs from wetting on ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Love ... long-stem roses in a variety of colors, assortments and packaging. This staple for Valentine’s ... any King Kullen location. , For Valentine’s Day, not only are long-stem roses ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Successful recruitment ... new clinical and scientific initiatives have all marked the last 12 months at ... and CEO of the nation’s oldest cancer center, Candace S. Johnson, PhD, outlined ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Francisco Canales, MD and ... their Napa Valley office. The technique utilizes the body’s own healing abilities to ... Dr. Furnas, are part of only a select few cosmetic surgeons bringing this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016   Bernstein Liebhard LLP ... filed in the United States District Court for the District ... class (the "Class") consisting of all persons or entities who ... "Company") (NASDAQ: INSY ) from March 3, 2015 through ... and certain of its officers with violations of the Securities ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 Summary Breast cancer, ... and the most common cancer in women worldwide, accounting ... exceedingly prevalent. The number of women diagnosed with breast ... the number of deaths has declined due to earlier ... has been revolutionized in the past four decades, especially ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 Mettler-Toledo International Inc. (NYSE: ... 2015.  Provided below are the highlights: , ... compared with the prior year.  Reported sales decreased 3% ... quarter. , Net earnings per diluted share as ... prior- year period.  Adjusted EPS was $4.65, an increase ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: