VTT Searches for Novel Biomarkers and Targets for Treating Type 2 Diabetes
News Aug 23, 2012
VTT is participating in two new European projects focusing on type 2 diabetes. The projects aim at identifying new therapeutic choices and strategies for preventing the disease.
Focus is on obtaining information on cellular dysfunction in diabetes and the effects of changes in lifestyle.
The goal includes planning individual lifestyle instructions for people at high risk of diabetes and exploiting the results in a major European health insurance system.
The EU BetaBAT project aims at developing individual therapeutic choices for type 2 diabetics by identifying the connection between the genome and individual cell-level changes causing the disease.
The scientists will use systems biological tools to boost the capacity of beta cells and brown adipocytes for regaining homeostatic control.
The other EU project, DEXLIFE, aims at disease prevention by identifying novel diagnostic and predictive biomarkers to detect the progression toward type 2 diabetes in individuals at high risk of the disease.
Large-scale data will be acquired during the project, including information on genes and metabolites.
The intervention aiming at type 2 diabetes prevention will be set up in the real-life context of a major European health insurance system.
In both projects VTT leads the work packages on integration and modelling of data.
VTT has a central role in applying systems biology strategies - including metabolomics, integrative bioinformatics and biosystems modelling - to identify putative organelle-specific targets (BetaBAT) and early predictive markers of type 2 diabetes progression (DEXLIFE).
The global prevalence of diabetes has reached 285 million and is projected to rise to 435 million by 2030. Type 2 diabetes is preventable by sustained changes in diet and physical exercise.
Despite this, modern societies are already approaching 10% population prevalence of diabetes, and another 15% with pre-diabetes. The costs of type 2 diabetes are huge, approaching 10% of all health costs.
The EU projects are funded by the FP7-Health-2010 Seventh Framework programme.
BetaBAT and DEXLIFE are 4-year collaborative projects with partners from around Europe and United States. VTT’s total budget in the two projects is 1.91 million Euros.
Bacterial Control Mechanism for Adjusting to Changing ConditionsNews
A fundamental prerequisite for life on earth is the ability of living organisms to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Physicists have now determined that the regulation mechanisms used by bacteria to adapt to different environments are based on a global control process that can be described in a single equation.READ MORE
Cracking the Code of Coenzyme Q BiosynthesisNews
Coenzyme Q is a vital cog in the body’s energy-producing machinery, a kind of chemical gateway in the conversion of food into cellular fuel. Researchers are developing new tools to shed light on CoQ function, primarily by finding and defining proteins that have a direct link to the chemical. This includes the development of a new multi-omic strategy to identify the global function of an RNA-binding protein that has long been associated with mitochondria and its role in CoQ biosynthesis.READ MORE
Changes Identified in Body Cells During Type2 Diabetes OnsetNews
Researchers have found fresh evidence to explain the processes that occur in the body’s cells leading to the onset of type2 diabetes. Utilising metabolomics, results showed that amino acids play a contributory role in the onset of type2 diabetes in some younger and older patients, as the metabolism of specific amino acids is adversely affected.