Gene suppression in type 2 diabetes
Blocking the action of a gene called?Sirtuin-1?reduced the?symptoms of type 2 diabetes in rats, scientists have found.?People with Type 2 diabetes suffer from high blood glucose?concentrations due to insulin resistance and increased glucose?production. To create a similar condition in rats, the researchers?put the rats on a four-week diet of high-fat, fructose-rich meals.
Sirtuin-1?is a gene responsible for regulating glucose production?in the liver. The researchers blocked?Sirtuin-1?in the diabetic rats?by injecting them with a fragment of genetic information. This?fragment – called an antisense oligonuclotide – interrupts and?blocks gene expression and can be targeted to specific genes.
After?Sirtuin-1?inhibition, the rats were more sensitive and?responsive to insulin. The rate of glucose production fell back to?normal levels, resulting in a decrease in the blood plasma. Thus?the?Sirtuin-1?gene is a cause of type 2 diabetes symptoms.
The results of this study are consistent with a recent mouse?study which showed that decreased expression of?Sirtuin-1?led?to better insulin sensitivity. The next step is to develop inhibitors?targeted to?Sirtuin-1?in the liver. ??
See also our page on the development of?insulin for diabetes