Anti-diabetes Compounds That Reduce Liver Glucose Production Discovered

Scientists have discovered a new class of anti-diabetes compounds that reduce glucose production in the liver linked to type 2 diabetes. The compound will be used for further study and could lead to new treatments for the most common type of diabetes in the U.S.

Scientists at the Florida-based Scripps Research Institute, in collaboration with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and the Yale University School of Medicine identified the new class of compounds. One of the compounds was targeted for optimization by the Scripps scientists and has been found to improve the health of diabetic animal models.

The compound modifies a protein that plays an important role in energy balance.

The compound, called SR-18292, changes protein PGC-1a. That protein is produced most abundantly during fasting or starvation, which causes the liver to produce more glucose. Modifying the protein through SR-18292 can, the scientists found, keep glucose production low.

"This protein was generally considered non-druggable," said Patrick Griffin, co-chair of the Scripps Research Institute Department of Molecular Medicine. "But the team approached the problem through the process of acetylation, which means we can influence the protein's behavior indirectly. SR-18292 increases acetylation of PGC-1?, which in turn shuts down glucose production in liver cells."

Several other compounds with similar potential are also being explored.

Source: ScienceDaily.com

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