Scientists discover new mechanism for controlling blood sugar level

Nov 29, 2010
This hematoxylin- and eosin-stained pancreatic slice illustrates an islet of Langerhans adjacent to a capillary. Credit: University of Leicester

Medical scientists at the University of Leicester have identified for the first time a new way in which our body controls the levels of sugar in our blood following a meal.

They have discovered the part played by a particular in helping to maintain correct .

The breakthrough was made in the University of Leicester by a team led by Professor Andrew Tobin, Professor of Cell Biology, who is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow. The research is published online ahead of print in the prestigious international scientific journal the .

Professor Tobin said: "The work, which was done wholly at the University of Leicester, is focused on the mechanisms by which our bodies control the level of sugar in our blood following a meal.

"We found that in order to maintain the correct levels of sugar, a protein present on the cells that release insulin in the pancreas has to be active. This protein, called the M3-muscarinic receptor, is not only active but also needs to undergo a specific change. This change triggers insulin release and the control of levels."

Professor Tobin added: "Without the change in the M3-muscarinic receptor protein sugar levels go up in the same way that we see in diabetes. We are of course testing if the mechanism of controlling sugar levels we have discovered is one of the mechanisms disrupted in diabetes. If this were the case then our studies would have important implications in ."

Explore further: Mutant protein in muscle linked to neuromuscular disorder

More information: M3-muscarinic receptor promotes insulin release via receptor phosphorylation/arrestin-dependent activation of protein kinase D1 appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/11/12/1011651107.abstract?ct=ct

Related Stories

Impaired fat-burning gene worsens diabetes

Feb 07, 2008

Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have in collaboration with researchers from Finland, China, Japan and the US discovered new cellular mechanisms that lead to in insulin resistance in people ...

Regulating the sugar factory in diabetes

May 21, 2009

Scientists in Sydney and Boston believe they may have identified a gene that controls abnormal production of sugar in the liver, a very troublesome problem for people with diabetes.

Recommended for you

Gate for bacterial toxins found

6 hours ago

Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Freiburg have discovered the receptor responsible ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.