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Arrestin' Insulin Resistance

  January, 13 2009 18:22
your information resource in human molecular genetics

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.

Author contact:

Gang Pei (Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China)
E-mail: gpei@sibs.ac.cn

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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