Researchers obtain 'high-definition' view of diabetes-related proteins

phys.org | 11/7/2017 | Staff
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Scientists have examined a key receptor for the first time at high resolution—broadening understanding of how it might function, and opening the door to future improvements in treating conditions such as type 2 diabetes.

Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptors (GLP1R) are found on insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas and neurons in the brain. The receptor encourages the pancreas to release more insulin, stops the liver from producing too much glucose, and reduces appetite. This combination of effects can helps to control blood sugar levels.

GLP1R - Target - Treatment - Type - Diabetes

As such, GLP1R has become a significant target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and a range of drugs are now available that are based on it. But much remains unknown about GLP1R function because its small size makes it difficult to visualise.

An international group of scientists led by experts at the University of Birmingham and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, have now conducted a detailed examination of the receptor in living cells.

Researchers - Number - Synthesis - Marker - Compounds

Researchers used a number of techniques—including synthesis of marker compounds, immunostaining, super-resolution microscopy, as well as 'in vivo' examination of mice. They were able to label GLP1R with their developed fluorescent probes so as to show its location in the cells and its response to signal molecules.

Publishing their findings in Nature Communications, the researchers—who were partly funded by Diabetes UK—note that they now provide a comprehensively tested and unique GLP1R detection toolbox, which has updated our view of this receptor, with implications for the treatment of conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

David - Hodson - Professor - Cellular - Metabolism

David Hodson, Professor of Cellular Metabolism, at the University of Birmingham, commented: "Our research allows us...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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