A new study by scientists at the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit in Dundee have identified the function of a molecule and its role in turning blood glucose into glycoge, a discovery which could bring about new treatments for diabetes . The molecule, glucose-6 phosphate (G6P), activates the enzyme glycogen synthase, creating a metabolic switch that plays an important role in transforming glucose into glycogen.
Although it has been known that the molecule activates glycogen synthase in a laboratory environment, scientists have not been able to identify how it did this in the body. It is hoped the results from the research will offer a clue to the development of a new generation of drugs for treating type 2 diabetes, as such drugs could increase the rate of conversion of glucose from the blood into glycogen storage in the body.
Kei Sakamoto, who led the research, which was published in the journal Cell Metabolism, said “This study helps us to understand a molecular pathway of blood glucose regulation. Our new findings can potentially provide an important clue for the generation of a new drug to treat Type 2 diabetes .”
Victoria King, Head of Research at charity Diabetes UK, which helped fund the study, also commented “This research provides an important insight. Having a greater understanding of the management of glucose levels and the storage of glucose as glycogen provides another piece of the diabetes jigsaw which could help us produce new treatments for diabetes and find out more about how and why diabetes develops.”

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