A Recent Discovery - Small Clusters of a Specific Protein May Contribute to Diabetes
IAPP is the small clusters of protein in question IAPP stands for islet amyloid polypeptides. Researchers believe these proteins play a crucial role in type 2 diabetes.
How IAPP Effects the Pancreas
In people with type 2 diabetes, beta cells, (the cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin,) are increasingly lost, and this loss is often associated with the accumulation of misfolded proteins, in this case the protein is IAPP (islet amyloid polypeptides.) When the researchers explored the role of IAPP in people with type 2 diabetes they discovered that small clusters of IAPP formed within the beta cells and disrupted the membranes required for insulin secretion.
Islet amyloid polypeptides may contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes. There seems to be an increase of these proteins within the secretory pathway in beta cells, to an increased extent in people with type 2 diabetes.
Source: American Journal of Pathology, 2010