4 Sep 2012

Anchoring Proteins Effect Glucose Metabolism and Insulin Proclamation



(Sep. 4, 2012) — Scientists from the United States and Sweden have discovered a new control point that could be important as a drug target for the treatment of diabetes and other metabolic diseases. A-kinase anchoring proteins or AKAPs are known to influence the spatial distribution of kinases within the cell, crucial enzymes that control important molecular events related to the regulation of glucose levels in the blood.

In a new study published in The EMBO Journal, the team of researchers led by Simon Hinke and John Scott reveal for the first time that AKAPs influence the levels of glucose in the body by coordinating the spatial positioning of phosphatases, naturally occurring enzymes that counteract the effects of kinase enzymes.

"Our discovery that anchored enzymes contribute to the regulation of cellular events that underlie diabetes may help us to move more rapidly toward new therapies to control this increasingly prevalent metabolic disease," commented John Scott, Edwin G. Krebs-Hilma Speights Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "The observation that AKAP 150 functions by coordinating phosphatase activity in the cell reveals a new role for these anchoring proteins in the control of glucose metabolism and related metabolic disorders. It also suggests that new drugs that interfere with the role of anchoring proteins are possible therapeutic interventions to treat chronic diseases such as diabetes."

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