Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Proteomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Missing Protein Explains Link Between Obesity and Diabetes

Published: Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Bookmark and Share
A*STAR scientists pioneered a molecular connection between the two health conditions.

Scientists from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), a research institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), have discovered that obese individuals lack a protein that is essential for regulating blood glucose levels, causing them to face higher risks of developing diabetes.

The protein is one of the first molecular links found between obesity to diabetes and is potentially a target for treatment or prevention of diabetes in obese individuals.

Obesity and diabetes are two common health problems faced today. Based on a recent analysis reported in The Lancet medical journal, nearly a third of the world’s population is obese or overweight. In Singapore, one in nine Singaporeans is obese and the situation is becoming more prevalent with an increase of one percent each year.

Obesity inflates the risks of diabetes, which already affects more than 11 percent of the country’s population. While statistics indicate a link between the two conditions, the mechanism of how obesity leads to diabetes has always been unclear.

How Diabetes Develops from Obesity in the Absence of NUCKS Protein

In the latest study reported in Cell Reports journal online, researchers at IMCB discovered that a protein, called NUCKS, is missing in obese individuals. The NUCKS protein is a key player in insulin signalling, an important biochemical pathway that is needed to respond to insulin hormones, which promote the uptake of glucose to regulate blood glucose levels. Without NUCKS, obese individuals develop insulin resistance and are unable to regulate their blood glucose levels effectively. This causes their bodies to constantly experience high levels of blood glucose, making them more susceptible to developing diabetes. These findings were supported by Singapore Bioimaging Consortium’s (SBIC) cutting-edge bioimaging and metabolic profiling technologies, for identifying the parameters for obesity and diabetes.

The NUCKS protein is an important clue for controlling diabetes development in obese individuals. It is the first direct molecular link found between the two health conditions and will open up new areas of research to identify drugs and explore lifestyle changes, such as dietary habits and exercises that could restore the level of NUCKS in the body.

Dr Vinay Tergaonkar, Principal Investigator at IMCB and the lead scientist for the study, said, “It is alarming that obesity is a huge risk factor for many ailments, including diabetes. Having identified this protein, we are now a step closer towards removing one of these complications from individuals suffering from obesity.”

“The world is paying a lot of attention to diabetes. Every year, billions of dollars are spent on metabolic diseases and a big part of the expenditure goes to the drugs for diabetes. The findings in our study have immense therapeutic implications as they will be applicable not only to diabetes in obesity, but also to diabetes as a whole,” Dr Tergaonkar added.

Professor Hong Wanjin, Executive Director at IMCB, said, “IMCB is now focusing research on molecular mechanisms underlying diseases, which is important in developing future treatments for prevailing human diseases. We are excited to be a pioneer in uncovering a molecular link between these two common health problems. The incidence of metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity has been rising over the years, and these findings will prove valuable in further developing therapeutic approaches for them.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,900+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

New Tool to Study Critical Protein Interaction in Cancer Research
A*STAR scientists used fluorescent molecular rotors to study protein-protein interactions involving p53 and MDM2 in cells.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
A*STAR Scientists Discover Novel Hormone Essential for Heart Development
This unusual discovery could aid cardiac repair and provide new therapies to common heart diseases and hypertension.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Scientists Find a Promising Way To Boost The Body’s Immune Surveillance Via p53
Researchers at A*STAR have discovered a new mechanism involving p53, the famous tumour suppressor, to fight against aggressive cancers.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
A*STAR Scientists Make Discovery of Cell Nucleus Structure Crucial to Understanding Diseases
Genes relocated from their correct position in the nucleus cause them to malfunction and this may lead to the heart, blood vessels and muscles breaking down.
Friday, February 08, 2013
A*STAR Scientists Discover Potential Drug for Deadly Brain Cancer
This discovery can potentially prevent the progression and relapse of deadly brain tumours.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Singapore Scientists Identify New Biomarker for Cancer in Bone Marrow
This discovery may potentially cure patients of multiple myeloma.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Breakthroughs in Chikungunya Research Spell New Hope for Better Treatment and Protection
A*STAR's SIgN have made great strides in the battle against the infectious disease.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Discovery of the Cellular Origin of Cervical Cancer
A team of scientists have identified a unique set of cells in the cervix that are the cause of HPV related cervical cancers.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Scientists Uncover Exciting Lead into Premature Ageing and Heart Disease
Scientists increase life span of mice by reducing levels of SUN1 protein.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Scientists Discover Key Component in the Mother's Egg Critical for Survival of Newly Formed Embryo
Study finds out that a protein called TRIM28 preserves 'epigenetic marks' on a specific set of genes.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Scientific News
Detecting Alzheimer's with Smell Test
Odour identification test may offer low-cost alternative for predicting cognitive decline and detecting early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Fighting Cancer Through Protein Pathways
Researchers have found a new drug target within a protein production pathway critical to regulating growth and proliferation of cells.
Uncovering Rhinovirus C Structure
Researchers have determined the structure of rhinovirus C. Their findings may aid the development of antiviral therapies and vaccines.
New Centre Offers Ultra-Speed Protein Analysis
UW-Madison researchers to establish development centre for next-gen protein measurement technologies.
Protein Nanocages Could Improve Drug Design and Delivery
HHMI scientists have designed and built 10 large protein icosahedra that are similar to viral capsids that carry viral DNA.
Virus Inspired Cell Cargo Ships
Virus-inspired container design may lead to cell cargo ships following construction of ten large, two-component, icosahedral protein complexes.
Protein Reinforces Growth of Damaged Muscles
Biologists have found a protein involved in stem cells that bolsters damaged muscle tissue growth - potential for muscle degeneration treatments.
Structure of Cold Virus Solved
Researchers have identified the structure of an elusive cold virus linked to child asthma and respiratory infections, providing the foundation for treating the virus.
New Protein Model Could Accelerate Drug Development
Stony Brook-led international research team creates ultra-fast approach to model protein interactions.
Researchers Can Control Genes Involved in Cancer
A new way to control the activity of a protein, that is often upregulated in cancer, has been discovered by Moffitt researchers through monoubiquitination mechanism.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!