Diabetes associated with other diseases through protein

Tue, 18 Jul 2006
A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation has found that diabetes, arteriosclerosis and asthma are all linked by a single protein, called aP2.

The study was carried out by Australian and American researchers. They found that the protein, which has no useful function in the body, negatively affects blood sugar levels and fatty acid metabolism . The protein only appears to develop in healthy people during the stages of a disease .

A co-author of the paper, Dr Hotamisligil of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, said that: "The exciting thing about this study is that perhaps the way all of these diseases are connected is through the inflammatory responses controlled by this boring little protein."

Using genetically engineered mice, researchers uncovered how the protein affects the body. Human trials are in sight, according to researchers, although they are still several years away.

Another expert concluded: "This research may lead to future therapy to regulate or control excessive inflammation in the airway that can be associated with other forms of respiratory problems: rhinitis as well as asthma. But it's obviously preliminary data, and we need to wait for further data based upon clinical trials of drugs that work on this protein."
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