Scientists have discovered a pair of molecules regulating the liver's production of glucose, which can offer a new hope in diabetes therapy.
American researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies say the two molecules are responsible for producing glucose which is the source of energy in human cells and the central player in diabetes.
Controlling the activity of these molecules that act like switches in sugar production could potentially provide a new way to lower blood sugar levels and treat insulin-resistant type 2 diabetes, researchers suggest.
"If you control these switches, you can control the production of glucose, which is really at the heart of the problem of type 2 diabetes," said head of Salk's Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology Professor Marc Montminy.
There is urgent need for producing new drugs as almost 26 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, and an estimated 79 million people are at risk of developing the condition, Montminy emphasized.
In order to develop new and effective treatments for diabetes, researchers need to understand the complex and delicate biology behind human metabolism as well as the disorders that develop when this finely tuned system is out of balance, he explained.
Montminy's lab has for the last few years focused on the central switches that control glucose production in the liver and those that control glucose sensing and insulin production in the pancreas.