Could slowing glucose production in the liver treat type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes could be treated by slowing the production of glucose in the liver, according to new research.
The study, conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found that shutting down a particular liver protein lowered blood glucose levels.
The researchers experimented with a variety of drugs. The investigational drug MSDC-0602 had the desired blood glucose lowering effect. MDSC-0602’s manufacturer, Metabolic Solutions Development Company, say that the drug is being tested as a type 2 diabetes treatment.
Previous studies have found that tampering with the transportation of the glucose building block pyruvate can lower the production of glucose in the liver. This study takes those findings further by discovering the particular protein that needs to be blocked in order to lower blood glucose levels: mitochondrial pyruvate carrier 2 (MPC2). It is the first study to discover the important link between MPC2 and glucose production in the liver.
“A drug that shuts down glucose production has the potential to help millions of people affected by the most common form of diabetes,” said lead author Professor Brian N. Finck.
The research is currently at a preliminary stage, but, if further trials are successful, it could lead to new treatments for type 2 diabetes. However, while the theories were successful when carried out on mice, they are yet to be tried in humans.
The findings were published in Cell Metabolism.
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