Researchers of molecular diabetology at the University of Bremen have now identified a key protein, protein kinase MST-1, which is responsible for the death of these insulin-producing cells due to apoptosis (programmed cell death) and thus for the formation of the diabetes disease. This is valid for both forms of diabetes, namely the autoimmune type 1 and type 2, which depends on age and obesity. More than 7 million people are affected by this disease in Germany. The scientists are carrying out intensive research on the involvement of the protein kinase MST-1 in the apoptopic processes in the beta cells. In laboratory models, it was possible to demonstrate that the targeted inhibition of MST-1 was able to maintain the secretion of insulin and prevent the disease from progressing. Assays have been developed which can be used by means of in vivo and in vitro tests to show which MST1 inhibitors can prevent diabetes. A worldwide patent is applied for this new approach. Companies are addressed which may are interested in a license or cooperation with the university of Bremen.
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