Scientists closer to understanding how to control high blood sugar

Mar 18, 2009

Scientists are closer to understanding which proteins help control blood sugar, or glucose, during and after exercise. This understanding could lead to new drug therapies or more effective exercise to prevent Type 2 diabetes and other health problems associated with having high blood sugar.

Insulin resistance happens when insulin produced by the body doesn't properly stimulate the transport of glucose into the cells for energy. Too much glucose in the can cause a host of medical problems, including Type 2 , said Gregory Cartee, professor at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology.

Insulin and muscle contractions are the two most important stimuli to increase into muscle cells. Cells then use the glucose for energy. However, scientists aren't entirely sure how this works.

Cartee and colleague Katsuhiko Funai, a graduate student researcher in kinesiology, looked at how two different proteins believed to be important in stimulating glucose transport react to two different enzymes also related to glucose transport. The goal of the study was to understand the contribution of the two proteins, AS160 and TBC1D1, in skeletal muscle stimulated by insulin.

"We're trying to rule out or rule in which proteins are important with ," Cartee said.

The results suggest that the protein TBC1D1 was more important for exercise-stimulated glucose transport and suggested that the second protein, AS160, might be less important for this effect of exercise. By focusing on the protein that works best---in this case, TBC1D---scientists can develop ways to make that protein work better for insulin-resistant .

is a huge public health problem that affects millions of people, Cartee said.

"Almost all people with Type 2 diabetes have muscle ," he said. "This doesn't cause diabetes by itself, but it's an essential component that contributes to Type 2 diabetes. This impacts millions of people. Even for people who aren't diabetic, insulin resistance is associated with lots of health problems."

In the longer term, people who are insulin resistant, or whose muscle don't respond normally to insulin, are more likely to get Type 2 diabetes, Cartee said.

"The muscles seems to have the machinery to respond to exercise, even though they aren't responding to insulin normally," he said. "If we understood how exercise worked we could develop more effective exercise protocols. In others who can't exercise, we could figure out a drug therapy or something else for insulin control."

The next step is to study what exactly TBC1D1 does to promote glucose transport during and after exercise.

More information: The study will appear in an upcoming print edition of the journal Diabetes. For an advance online copy: diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/… abstract/db08-1477v1

Source: University of Michigan (news : web)

Explore further: Ebola: timeline of a ruthless killer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exercise pivotal in preventing and fighting type II diabetes

Feb 07, 2007

One in three American children born in 2000 will develop type II diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A new study at the University of Missouri-Columbia says that acute exercise ...

Completely novel action of insulin unveiled

Nov 05, 2008

A PhD student at Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research has uncovered an important piece in the puzzle of how insulin works, a problem that has plagued researchers for more than 50 years. This finding brings us one ...

Apelin hormone injections powerfully lower blood sugar

Nov 04, 2008

By injecting a hormone produced by fat and other tissues into mice, researchers report in the November Cell Metabolism that they significantly lowered blood sugar levels in normal and obese mice. The findings suggest that t ...

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 ...

Muscling in on type 2 diabetes

Feb 26, 2009

Research by kinesiology investigator Dustin Hittel, PhD, has proven that muscle in extremely obese individuals produces large amounts of a protein called myostatin, which normally inhibits muscle growth--suggesting that for ...

Recommended for you

Ebola: timeline of a ruthless killer

2 hours ago

Here are key dates in the current Ebola epidemic, the worst ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever which first surfaced in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

22 hours ago

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

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.