Opening the possibility of new therapies for type 2 diabetes, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that a protein called Sirt1 enhances the secretion of insulin in mice and allows them to better control blood glucose levels. Their study will appear in the August 17 issue of Cell Metabolism.
According to senior author Shin-ichiro Imai, M.D., the finding suggests that therapies that increase the activity of Sirt1 could be of benefit in type 2 diabetes. "We are especially interested in how we can activate Sirt1 in a natural way," says Imai, assistant professor of molecular biology and pharmacology. "One option we are investigating is increasing the bodys synthesis of NAD, a necessary cofactor for Sirt1s function. Because Vitamin B3, often called niacin, is a building block of NAD, it has interesting potential."
Sirt1 is referred to as Sir2 in lower organisms where it has previously proven to be a key to aging and longevity: Increasing the amount of Sir2 dramatically extends life spans in experimental yeast, worms and flies.
Gwen Ericson | EurekAlert!
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