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 with diabetes. The results are published in the scientific journal Cell.

Type 2-diabetes is a chronic disease resulting from a reduction in insulin-production from the pancreas or an inability of other tissues in the body to respond adequately to the produced insulin, so called insulin resistance. This leads to increased blood sugar, which in turn leads to a worsening of the insulin resistance, increasing the risk of developing many serious diabetes-associated complications.

An international research team, led by Professor Juleen R. Zierath at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm have identified previously unknown molecular mechanisms by which elevated blood sugar leads to impaired insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes. The research team identified a ‘fat-burning’ gene, the products of which are required to maintain the cells' insulin sensitivity.

They also discovered that this gene is reduced in muscle tissue from people with high blood sugar and type 2-diabetes. In the absence of the enzyme that is made by this gene, muscles have reduced insulin sensitivity, impaired fat burning ability, which leads to an increased risk of developing obesity.

“The expression of this gene is reduced when blood sugar rises, but activity can be restored if blood sugar is controlled by pharmacological treatment or exercise”, says Professor Juleen Zierath. “Our results underscore the importance of tight regulation of blood sugar for people with diabetes.”

Source: Karolinska Institutet

Explore further: Secret of tetanus toxicity offers new way to treat motor neuron disease

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Social robots helping children with diabetes

Nov 14, 2014

Social robots are helping diabetic children accept the nature of their condition and become more confident about their futures, scientists have announced following a four-and-a-half year research study.

Recommended for you

Stroke damage mechanism identified

Nov 27, 2014

Researchers have discovered a mechanism linked to the brain damage often suffered by stroke victims—and are now searching for drugs to block it.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.