Biologists from the University of California at San Diego have discovered a chemical that offers a completely new and promising line of development for drugs for the treatment of metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes, which is a major public health problem in the United States due to the obesity epidemic. Details were posted in the online journal Science.
California scientists believe that insulin dependence is provoked by a violation of the production of proteins that regulate the internal mechanisms of the human body, which are called the circadian rhythm or biological clock. Experts have long suspected a link between a biological clock, diabetes and obesity. Laboratory mice in which the biological rhythm was disturbed were several times more likely to suffer from one of these ailments.
Steve Kay, Dean of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of California, two years ago discovered that the cryptochromic photosensitive protein, which is responsible for regulating the biological clock in plants and animals, is also responsible for the production of glucose in the liver. Scientists conducted several experiments to change the level of this protein in mice, and it turned out that this can either significantly worsen the condition of mice with diabetes, or improve their health, depending on the degree of influence.
A further stage of the study was devoted to the search for molecules responsible for the production of cryptochrome. Stimulation of these molecules led to the fact that cryptochrome began to suppress the production of glucose by the liver. The essence of diabetes is that blood glucose dangerously rises, which gradually destroys the human body, causing blindness, renal failure and other serious complications. And therefore, the discovery is very important, as it can take the fight against diabetes to a whole new level.