Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Are yeast cells bringing us a step closer in treating obesity?

22.10.2004


For the first time, researchers from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) connected with the Catholic University of Leuven have shown clearly that receptors in yeast cells detect and react to nutrients in the cell. The chance is great that this is also the case with human cells. Because about 40% of today’s medicines act on receptors in our cells, this research opens new possibilities for the treatment of metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity.

Detecting sugars in the cell

Every living thing is composed of cells, which communicate with each other and the external world by means of receptor proteins on the cell membrane. These proteins receive signals from outside the cell by binding themselves with particular substances (such as hormones), which then produces a reaction by the cell to regulate processes internal or external to the cell. A number of medicines play on this cellular operation to produce beneficial responses for our health. Now, for the first time, Katleen Lemaire and her colleagues, under the direction of Johan Thevelein of VIB and the Catholic University of Leuven, have discovered receptor proteins in yeast cells that detect and react to glucose and sucrose.



The detection of glucose, the transport sugar in the blood, is of major importance for all the cells in the body. Glucose is not only absorbed and metabolized by the cells - it also regulates many cellular reactions. When too much or too little glucose is present in the blood - as in diabetes, for example - this process can break down. The discovery that receptor proteins react to sugars like glucose is very important to the search for treatments for metabolic diseases. Indeed, these proteins could be good targets for new medicines to compensate for the surplus or shortage of a particular sugar.

Yeast as model for humans

The VIB scientists are conducting their research on yeast proteins. It often turns out that the proteins found in yeast have a similar variant in human cells. This makes yeast an excellent model organism for learning more about mechanisms in humans and animals. There has long been a question about whether mammals have glucose receptors. The discovery of such receptors in yeast considerably raises the possibility of their existence in human beings.

Given that this research can raise a lot of questions for patients, we ask you to please refer questions in your report or article to the email address that VIB makes available for this purpose: patienteninfo@vib.be. Everyone can submit questions concerning this and other medically-oriented research directly to VIB via this address.

Sooike Stoops | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vib.be

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History

nachricht New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>