About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Key Protein Involved in Insulin Production Discovered

by Mohamed Fathima S on January 28, 2019 at 6:34 PM
Font : A-A+

Key Protein Involved in Insulin Production Discovered

A protein that helps the hormone insulin to acquire the right structure by assisting in the formation of foldings has been discovered in a recent study. The finding could help develop new treatments for conditions such as high insulin levels in blood or otherwise known as hyperinsulinemia.

Even though researchers have been familiar with and studied the hormone insulin for more than a hundred years, especially in connection with diabetes, they still make new discoveries concerning the hormone. Now researchers from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen have uncovered a hitherto unknown process in the production of insulin. The new research results have just been published in the scientific journal Diabetes.

Advertisement


Insulin is produced in the beta cells of the pancreas. The hormone is produced as a precursor called proinsulin. For proinsulin to mature into functional insulin, it needs to be folded and processed correctly to acquire the right structure with assistance from proteins that are termed chaperones. The researchers have now discovered and identified such a chaperone. A proinsulin chaperone termed glucose-regulated protein GRP94.

'Even though proinsulin has a relatively short sequence, it still needs help acquiring the right structure to become mature, functional insulin. However, several other studies have shown that proinsulin can be folded without help from proteins in artificial cell-free conditions. Yet, our study conducted in live cells shows that proinsulin is not folded correctly and does not acquire the right structure without help from GRP94,' says last author of the study, Associate Professor Michal Tomasz Marzec from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.
Advertisement

Impaired Insulin Production and Secretion

In the study the researchers removed or inhibited the protein GRP94 in to see what happened with the proinsulin and the cells. They observed that the proinsulin was not folded correctly and the beta cells did not secrete sufficient amounts of insulin. The researchers were surprised though to learn that removal of GRP94 did not affect cell viability. Nothing happened to the cells after they had removed the protein.

'This is surprising, because one would anticipate that the beta cells would die from stress when huge amounts of misfolded proinsulin accumulate inside the cells. It is like removing the bearing beam without weakening the construction. This indicates that the GRP94 protein plays a very specialized function and that beta cells are well-prepared to mount effective responses to deal with consequences of misfolding of proinsulin. We are currently working to understand these responses and their biological and pathological consequences,' says Associate Professor Michal Tomasz Marzec.

According to the researchers, the research results may make it possible in the future to manipulate the process from proinsulin to insulin in the body's beta cells. If you can use medicine to inhibit the assistant protein, the result would be reduced insulin secretion. This would be useful in connection with conditions like hyperinsulinemia, where the body produces too much insulin. In the long term, they also hope the new knowledge will be useful in connection with types 1 and 2 diabetes.

'We hope this new discovery will guide the development of novel drugs. Understanding the biological processes behind the production of insulin in the cells will enable us to modify the processes. We thus hope we will be able to inhibit overproduction of insulin as it occurs in children and adults with hyperinsulinemia. In the long term we also hope we will be able to increase the production of insulin, ease the large production burden of beta cells in connection with type 2 diabetes and to maintain their secretion function for longer without the need for insulin injections,' says Associate Professor Michal Tomasz Marzec.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Can Adjusting Fatty Acid Intake Improve Mood in Bipolar Disorder Patients?
Insulin Resistance Doubles the Risk of Major Depressive Disorder
Emotional Healing
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Diabetes - Essentials Gestational diabetes Type 2 Diabetes Diabetes - Foot Care Diabesity Magical Millets for Your Health Baby Food - Basics Diet and Nutrition Tips for Athletes Nutrition IQ Diabetes in Pets 

Recommended Reading
Insulin Hormone
Insulin is a natural hormone that controls our blood sugar. Learn about types of insulin and ......
Insulinoma
Insulinoma is a cancer of pancreas which causes excess release of insulin, thus leading to severe .....
Optimal Management of Basal-bolus Insulin Regimen
The main objective of going on a basal-bolus insulin regimen is to keep the blood sugar range as ......
Diabetes - Oral Hypoglycemic Agents and Glycemic Control
Glycemic control in type 2 diabetes is achieved with oral diabetic medications. Combination drugs .....
Baby Food - Basics
The healthiest baby foods can be made at home. Products from big brands that claim to develop infant...
Diabesity
With more than one billion people affected, diabesity is the largest epidemic in the world today. Fo...
Diabetes - Essentials
Diabetes is a metabolic disease caused by insulin deficiency that leads to high blood sugar levels a...
Diabetes - Foot Care
Valuable information on diabetic foot care, treatment and prevention....
Diabetes in Pets
Pets like cats and dogs suffer from diabetes, which is similar to that in humans. It is treated with...
Diet and Nutrition Tips for Athletes
Athletes can be physically fit by consuming a well balanced nutritious diet, which keeps them mental...
Gestational diabetes
The condition is not caused by a lack of insulin, but by the action of hormones produced during preg...
Magical Millets for Your Health
Millets are far more nutrient dense than wheat and rice. They are inexpensive and tasty too. Nutriti...
Type 2 Diabetes
Globalization and changing lifestyles has made diabetes very common in developing countries so much ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use