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For quite some time now, scientists suspected the so-called hexosamine pathway - a small side business of the main sugar processing enterprise inside a cell - to be involved in the development of insulin resistance. But they could never quite put their finger on the underlying mechanism.

Now, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have uncovered the long-missing molecular link: the enzyme OGT (short for O-linked ?-N-acetylglucosamine transferase), the last in a line of enzymes that shuttle sugars through the hexosamine pathway.

Their study revealed that OGT slams the brake on insulin signaling soon after insulin fires up the machinery that pulls glucose from the blood stream and squirrels it away inside liver or stashes the surplus energy in fat pads.

"For the first time we have a real understanding of how the insulin signaling system is turned on and off," says Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D., a professor in the Salk Institute's Gene Expression Laboratory, who led the study that appears in the Feb. 21 issue of Nature. what is your thought about it?
 
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