A new component involved in the regulation of an adipose-tissue hormone linked to insulin action is presented in research published in the May 2006 issue of Nature Cell Biology. The hormone adiponectin is known to improve insulin resistance and atherosclerosis in mice and studies in humans have revealed that levels of adiponectin are a good predictor for the development of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.
Lily Dong and coworkers searched for cellular proteins that associate with the adiponectin receptor 1 to uncover new candidates likely to mediate the function of this hormone. They identified a multidomain protein, which they named APPL1, and showed that it regulated the effects of adiponectin on fatty-acid oxidation and glucose uptake. Furthermore, the authors showed that APPL1 was involved in the insulin-sensitizing effect of adiponectin in muscle cells that works through the known kinase pathways.
Adiponectin has demonstrated clinical potential as an anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory agent. The connection between APPL1 and the adiponectin receptor 1 may, therefore, provide a new avenue to explore adiponectin function, as well as the mechanism underlying its insulin-sensitizing action.
Lily Q. Dong (University of Texas Health Care Center, San Antonio, TX, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Cell Biology press release.
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