"Fasting pathway" points the way to a new class of diabetes medicines
HDAC inhibitors may provide a new way to reduce excessive levels of blood glucose in the source
LA JOLLA, Calif. – A unique collaborative study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies found a novel mechanism that triggers the production of glucose in the liver when blood sugar levels fall, pointing to a new class of treatment of metabolic disease.
Their findings, published in the May 13, 2011 issue of the journal Cell, revealed a crucial role for so-called histone deacetylase (HDAC), a group of enzymes that is the target of the latest generation of cancer drugs. HDACs cause sugar production to roll when blood glucose levels fall after prolonged periods of fasting or overnight.
"In liver cells, so-called HDACs of class II are usually sequestered outside the nucleus, but in response to fasting signals, they quickly launch into the nucleus where they help activate the genes needed for glucose production," says the scientist of the early career of Howard Hughes Medical Institute Reuben J. Shaw, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory. "Drugs that specifically inhibit HDACs involved in gluconeogenesis can be very useful for the treatment of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome."
For more information visit:
Video credits to Salk Institute YouTube channel