Mechanism decoded that could help to better understand diabetes
The destruction of insulin producing beta cells leads to Type 1 diabetes. Several Australian researchers were able to decipher the locking mechanism and functioning of the insulin receptor in the cell, which they described as a "molecular handshake." This discovery could be crucial for millions of diabetics worldwide, because insulin is the hormone responsible for retaining the sugar in the blood to transform into energy.
By establishing a model locked in hormone receptor (a protein) by a particle accelerator, "we show that insulin and its receptor are modified through interaction," said Mike Lawrence, associate professor in the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne .
The professor explained that "a piece of insulin unfolds and key parts of the receiver go to meet the insulin hormone. That can be called 'a molecular handshake.'"
"Now we can use this knowledge to develop new insulin and more effective treatments," said Lawrence.
According to experts, through this mechanism, "millions of sufferers can expect a significant improvement in their quality of life thanks to the end of daily injections."
It is also hoped that emerging countries may produce a more stable insulin resistant to high temperatures without refrigeration, and for sufferers of Alzheimer's and certain cancers associated with insulin resistance.
The destruction of insulin producing beta cells leads to diabetes type 1, while the disruption of its operation is the most common cause of the disease, type 2 diabetes (T2D).
DT2 Diabetes affects over 300 million people worldwide, 32 million of which are in Europe and 3 million in France.
This figure could double in the coming years due to the epidemic of obesity and sedentary lifestyles accompanied by a diet too rich in fats and carbohydrates.
Diabetes is a silent disease and the early symptoms (thirst, frequent urination, rate of blood sugar very high) is because it has evolved over many years. During that period, the deterioration of organs has already begun.
Diabetes, often associated with hypertension and cholesterol, exposes the individual to a higher risk of a heart attack and stroke. It is also a cause of dialysis, blindness, and amputation.
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