A missing protein could be responsible for diabetes risk, obesity

Individuals who are obese lack a specific protein that is crucial for regulating blood sugar levels, recent research published in Cell Reports explained.

Without this essential protein, these people have a higher risk of developing diabetes, scientists from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) report.

Insulin signals controlled by NUCKS protein

The NUCKS [3] protein is missing in obese individuals , which is important in helping the body to regulate insulin signals. Without the NUCKS protein, obese people develop insulin resistance and experience consistently high blood sugar levels - setting them up for diabetes risk.

"It is alarming that obesity is a huge risk factor for many ailments, including diabetes," said Dr. Vinay Tergaonkar, Principal Investigator at IMCB and lead study author. "Having identified this protein, we are now a step closer towards removing one of these complications from individuals suffering from obesity."

The NUCKS protein is the first direct molecular link found between diabetes and obesity, which could lead to new drug developments and the lifestyle or dietary changes needed to keep or restore levels of this protein in the body.

"The world is paying a lot of attention to diabetes," Dr. Tergaonkar said. "Every year, billions of dollars are spent on metabolic diseases and a big part of the expenditure goes to the drugs for diabetes. The findings in our study have immense therapeutic implications as they will be applicable not only to diabetes in obesity, but also to diabetes as a whole."

Source: Science Daily

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