Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery offers new understanding of diabetes drug target

26.09.2008
Scientists at the University of Leicester have published findings about a new advance in the study of major diabetes drug target.

The advance - described by the researchers as 'very significant' - could lead to new drugs being developed to target a protein that plays a critical role in controlling the way the body breaks down sugar.

Professor John Schwabe and his team from the University of Leicester Department of Biochemistry (together with teams from Japan and Hungary) have been studying the protein, PPAR gamma. PPAR gamma is a major drug target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Although it was known how drugs are able to activate this protein, until this study, using the sophisticated technique of X-ray Crystallography, it was not clear how PPAR gamma is naturally activated in the body.

X-ray Crystallography is the principal method by which the detailed 3- dimensional structures of molecules - especially the molecules of living systems - have been discovered. It is achieved by firing X-rays at the target and creating its structures by analysing how the x-rays scatter into many different directions.

Through this method, the Leicester team have shown how PPAR gamma binds to eight different fatty acids, derived in part from what we eat. They found that many of these acids joined irreversibly with the protein and led to its long term activation. They have also shown that sometimes two fatty acids bind simultaneously, which might mean that PPAR gamma could be targeted by a mixture of drugs.

Professor John Schwabe, who led the Leicester project with his team, including Dr Toshimasa Itoh and Dr Louise Fairall, said: "The finding that natural activators for PPAR gamma couple irreversibly to the PPAR gamma receptor dramatically changes our understanding of how this receptor is activated.

"It may also allow for the design of novel pharmaceuticals that give longer term activation of PPAR gamma, at lower doses, without some of the side effects of the current generation of drugs."

Professor Schwabe said: "PPAR gamma is a critical player in the increasingly prevalent metabolic disease of type 2 diabetes which affects more than 180 million people worldwide (World Health Organisisation) and in the UK alone costs the NHS £9.6 million every day.

"PPARgamma is activated by two widely prescribed anti-diabetic insulin- sensitising drugs, Actos and Avandia. However the identity of the natural activators for PPAR gamma has remained unclear.

"Our breakthrough is important because it reveals for the first time that how this protein is activated by naturally-occuring fatty acids. This knowledge will help in the design of future novel pharmaceutical agents."

The research has been published in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. The paper will also be featured as a Highlight in the journal Nature Chemical Biology and has been designated a “Must Read” by the Faculty of 1000. The research was funded by the University of Leicester and the Wellcome Trust.

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/
http://www.diabetes.nhs.uk/diabetesinthenhs.pdf
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation

18.01.2017 | Information Technology

Reducing household waste with less energy

18.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>