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The connection between oxygen and diabetes
Date:6/5/2014

ide translocase 2 (ANT2), a mitochondrial protein in fat cell membranes that is involved in cellular energy metabolism.

Activation of ANT2 caused increased oxygen consumption, which meant less was available for the rest of the cell. The result was a relative state of hypoxia or inadequate oxygen supply, one that subsequently induced production of a protective transcription factor in fat cells called HIF-1alpha. In turn, HIF-1alpha triggered release of chemokines, proteins that signal cellular distress, launching the immune system's inflammatory response. A sustained high-fat diet ensured that the process continued unabated, leading to obesity, chronic low-grade tissue inflammation and eventually, insulin resistance in the mice.

The elucidation of this sequence also revealed two potential therapeutic targets: ANT2 and HIF-1alpha. The researchers suggest that inhibiting either could blunt, or even reverse, the damaging cellular sequence. Indeed, they found that mice genetically engineered to lack HIF-1alpha in their adipocytes were protected from high-fat diet-induced inflammation, insulin resistance and elevated glucose levels.


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Contact: Scott LaFee
slafee@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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