A potential target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes has been found by researchers from the Laboratory of Cancer Metabolism at IDIBELL.
Research led by Sara Kozma, have shown in animal models that inhibition of S6K1 protein may be a potential treatment for type 2 diabetes.
In the study, they have shown that animals lacking S6K1, a protein kinase, are more sensitive to insulin, so they require less and do not develop diabetes.
In this study, the Kozma group used embryonic rescue methodology to understand why beta cells of S6K1 deficient mice were smaller.
They aggregated S6K1 deficient embryonic stem cells, with placentas of wild type mice and observed that although embryos developed to the normal size, beta cells remained small.
The beta cell size was independent of the mouse development in utero, yet the absence of S6K1 in peripheral tissues increased whole animal insulin sensitivity.
Thus inhibitors of S6K1 may serve as potential insulin sensitizers to protect against insulin insensitivity and to treat type 2 diabetes.
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.