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A Potential Drug Target For Diabetes

 
  March, 2 2004 10:00
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
A key protein may control the production and secretion of insulin, research in the March issue of Nature Cell Biology suggests. Drugs that alter the proteins activity may be the key to future diabetes therapies.

Diabetes mellitus is estimated to affect approximately one in 20 people worldwide. The figure is set to double over the next twenty years, according to the World Health Organization, so new therapies are desperately needed. One protein may be a key player. PTB (polypyrimidine tract-binding protein) controls both the production and secretion of insulin, report Michele Solimena and colleagues. They show that increasing PTB activity increases insulin production in rat pancreatic cells; conversely, reduction of PTB activity decreases insulin production.

The failure to produce insulin is one cause of type II diabetes, and treatments include regular injections of the hormone. A drug that can target PTB to increase insulin production may present a more favourable alternative.

Author contact:

Michele Solimena
University of Technology
Dresden, Germany
Tel: +49 351 458 6611
E-mail: michele.solimena@mailbox.tu-dresden.de

Also available online.

(C) Nature Cell Biology press release.


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