Discovery of a Suspect Enzyme in Humans Could Lead to Powerful Type 1 Therapy

Once the enzyme was blocked, the damage to beta cells ceased.

| Mar 1, 2010

An enzyme that destroys pancreatic beta cells in lab mice has now been observed in human beta cells. Because scientists already know how to delete the mouse gene that produces the enzyme, they are hopeful that the same therapy can eventually be applied to people with type 1 diabetes. If so, it would be one of the most powerful therapies yet for addressing the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells that causes type 1.

Researchers at Eastern Virginia Medical School's Strelitz Diabetes Center knew that the enzyme, 12-lipoxygenase (12-LO), produces lipids that cause inflammation, killing pancreatic beta cells in lab animals. They suspected that the same enzyme might also be responsible for beta cell death in humans. Thanks to people who donated their bodies to science through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Islet Resource Center Consortium, the Virginia researchers were able to confirm their suspicion-12-LO is present in human islets of Langerhans, which contain the insulin-producing cells. In some individuals, certain lipids produced by 12-LO inflame beta cells, leading to their death and an associated decline in insulin production that can range from drastic to total.

Now that researchers have confirmed the existence of 12-LO in humans, they can build on the insights gained in their studies of lab animals. In those studies, they figured out a way to "switch off" the gene that produces 12-LO. Once the enzyme was blocked, the damage to beta cells ceased. If they can find a way to block 12-LO in humans, while combining it with therapies designed to restore beta cells, they will have be in position to create a powerful new therapy for type 1.

The study was headed by Jerry Nadler, MD, chair of internal medicine and director of the Strelitz Diabetes Center. His team's findings were published in the February issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

* * *

Source:

New study finds possible source of beta cell destruction that leads to type 1 diabetes

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Beta Cells, Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Research, Type 1 Issues


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • What's on the Horizon with Diabetes Research and Therapy
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (4)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 2 March 2010

This gives us hope for an effective treatment to make this annoying condition go away! It would be amazing to stop diabetes before it even starts.

Posted by shosty on 3 March 2010

So how long does "eventually" mean?

Posted by Anonymous on 5 March 2010

Finding a treatment not to develope diabetes is great. Appreciation should be shown to whoever succeeds. But (BUT)eventualy means years???

Posted by Anonymous on 29 March 2010

Sigh. Once again a very promising sounding discovery, but I've been hearing "A cure in within 5 years" since 1961 so I respond to all this with scepticism. Still waiting.


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...


Username: Password:
Comment:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.