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[IPk] Dormant Insulin
Has anyone heard about this? It's a new one to me. Sounds like a good idea,
Insulin Altered to Lie Dormant Until Needed
Scientists in California have developed a way to modify insulin that may
allow diabetics to store the sugar-processing hormone in their bodies until
it is needed.
People with type 1, or insulin-dependent, diabetes produce little or no
insulin, a hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in the blood. To
maintain healthy levels of blood sugar, they must take insulin, often by
injection. Another option is to use an insulin pump, a device implanted in
the body that provides a continuous supply of the hormone.
Dr. Jerrold M. Olefsky of the University of California at San Diego and
colleagues are working on an insulin delivery technique that could one day
provide a more convenient way for people with diabetes to maintain their
blood sugar levels. Their findings are published in the November 20th issue
of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( news
The researchers modified insulin so that it is dormant until activated by
38C2, a type of protein called a catalytic aldolase antibody. The idea is
that a diabetic person could take insulin, which would then be stored in the
body until a drug containing the antibody activated the hormone.
In laboratory tests, the altered form of insulin was much less effective at
processing sugar. The modified insulin was 90% less likely to bind to
insulin receptors. And its ability to process sugar was reduced by 96%.
But when Olefsky's team added the antibody, the properties of the modified
insulin were restored to normal. When the researchers tested the system in
rats, they achieved similar results.
According to Olefsky and his colleagues, the approach ``may represent a new
avenue of therapeutics'' for treating diabetes.
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