Researchers discover new explanation for diabetes and poor growth

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Researchers discover new explanation for diabetes and poor growth


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Old 04-24-2013, 12:22   #1
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Default Researchers discover new explanation for diabetes and poor growth

Researchers discover new explanation for diabetes and poor growth – University of Copenhagen


CELL BIOLOGY

A group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen has taken a significant step towards understanding the reasons for both diabetes and growth hormone deficiency. Their new discoveries centre on the body’s ability to regulate certain hormones, and their findings have just been published in the respected scientific journal PLOS Biology


Some people suffering from diabetes or affected by poor growth most likely have problems with the so-called PICK1 protein,
a protein that plays a decisive role in the formation of both growth hormone and insulin in the human body.

“We have studied the role played by PICK1 when growth hormone is released by the brain and insulin by the pancreas. Our experiments show that PICK1 deficiency leads to growth hormone and insulin deficiency in both fruit flies and mice. In mice, we can clearly see that the animals become small and fat and less tolerant to sugar when deficient in PICK1. We have reason to believe that the same is true for humans,” says Professor Ulrik Gether from the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, who has made the new discoveries together with his research colleagues Ole Kjærulff, Birgitte Holst and Kenneth Madsen.

“Different cells produce different kinds of hormones, and store the hormones for secretion into the bloodstream when required. Up until now, this has been a poorly understood mechanism which, among other things, plays a key role in the development of diabetes and poor growth. However, given what we now know about the PICK1 protein, we are in a position to say far more about what might have gone wrong when someone is suffering from the two diseases,” says Professor Birgitte Holst, explaining that the group wishes to continue looking at whether changes in the PICK1 protein can lead to some people being short, overweight, and diabetic.

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