For his groundbreaking work, Prof. Shlomo Sasson of the Hebrew University School of Pharmacy has been named one of the winners this year of the Hebrew University’s Kaye Innovation Awards.
Type 2 diabetes is a worldwide epidemic, predicted to affect over 380 million people within the next 20 years. This disease is characterized by high blood glucose levels that lead to severe complications in various organs and tissues. The disease usually results from insufficient secretion and function of the pancreatic hormone insulin that regulates glucose metabolism in peripheral tissues, such as skeletal muscles, fatty tissues and the liver.
Pharmacological anti-diabetic therapy aims at a strict regulation of blood glucose levels to prevent such complications. However, because current oral anti-diabetic drugs often fail, many patients need daily injections of insulin to control their glucose metabolism and reduce blood glucose levels.
The global diabetes therapy market is estimated at around US$26.3 billion in 2009. By 2013 the market is expected to grow to around US$34.5 billion.
Recent work on the molecular mechanisms that regulate glucose transport in skeletal muscles has identified new potential targets for anti-diabetic drugs.
In his research, Sasson, with his colleagues and students, made a unique discovery that high levels of the carbohydrate D-xylose increased the rate of glucose entry into skeletal muscle cells in a non-insulin-dependent manner. They then used it as a prototype molecule for the planning and synthesis of chemical derivatives that may act as potential drugs to lower blood glucose in type 2 diabetic patients.
Some of these derivatives increased significantly the rate of glucose transport in skeletal muscles at very low concentrations. This effect was not achieved by mimicking the classical pathway of insulin action, but by activating the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). When activated, this enzyme increases the rate of glucose transport in skeletal muscles in the absence of insulin. Therefore, compounds that activate this enzyme can be effective in insulin resistant type 2 diabetic patients or in those that fail to respond to conventional drug therapy. This makes AMPK an extremely attractive target in the development of novel anti-diabetic drugs.
One of the lead compounds developed by Sasson and colleagues effectively reduced blood glucose levels in various animal models of diabetes. This discovery indicates the great potential of these novel derivatives to serve as the basis for development of new drugs to normalize blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.The Kaye Innovation Awards have been given annually since 1994. Isaac Kaye of England, a prominent industrialist in the pharmaceutical industry, established the awards to encourage faculty, staff and students of the Hebrew University to develop innovative methods and inventions with good commercial potential which will benefit the university and society. This year’s Kaye Awards were presented on June 9 during the Hebrew University Board of Governors meeting in Jerusalem.
Jerry Barach | Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Signaling Pathways to the Nucleus
19.03.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
In monogamous species, a compatible partner is more important than an ornamented one
19.03.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
19.03.2018 | Life Sciences
19.03.2018 | Life Sciences