Fatty Liver Disease Linked to Type 2 Diabetes
News Oct 18, 2016
Insulin resistance in the liver is a major factor in the development of type 2 diabetes, and it is almost always associated with too much fat in the liver — a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The question of whether there’s a causal link between NAFLD and type 2 diabetes has been unclear. In recent studies, Yale professor of medicine and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Gerald Shulman have identified factors that cause the normal function of insulin in the liver to go awry in NAFLD. A new study pinpoints the final link between NAFLD and the changes in insulin and blood sugar that give rise to type 2 diabetes.
In this new study Shulman and his colleagues identified a single amino acid in the insulin receptor that undergoes phosphorylation (a process by which phosphate is added to an amino acid), causing liver insulin resistance in rodent models of NAFLD. “We were able to demonstrate the importance of this amino acid in causing liver insulin resistance associated with NAFLD by mutating this threonine amino acid to an alanine, which cannot undergo phosphorylation, and found that we could prevent hepatic insulin resistance despite the presence of fatty liver disease,” Shulman said.
This latest finding gets scientists a step closer to developing new therapies for type 2 diabetes that target the root molecular cause of insulin resistance, as opposed to virtually all current antidiabetic medications which lower blood glucose concentrations without reversing insulin resistance, he noted.
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.