The protein beta-arrestin-2 helps ensure efficient insulin signalling by scaffolding key enzymes to the insulin receptor, a Nature paper reveals. The study offers insights into the molecular events that contribute to insulin resistance, and may aid the development of new therapies for type 2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, occurs when normal insulin levels cannot stimulate insulin receptor signalling. Gang Pei and colleagues show that beta-arrestin-2 is downregulated in mouse models of diabetes, as well as in type 2 diabetes patients. Loss of beta-arrestin-2 leads to insulin resistance, whereas administration of the same protein restores insulin sensitivity.
Insulin stimulates the formation of a new beta-arrestin-2 complex, which is critical for mediating insulin signalling. Loss of beta-arrestin-2 disrupts the signal complex and so contributes to the development of insulin resistance and the progression of type 2 diabetes.
Gang Pei (Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature press release.
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