A chemical that affects our biological clock could lead to the development of new class of diabetes drugs, according to scientists in the US.
In 2010, a team of researchers headed by Steve Kay, dean of the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California San Diego, discovered the first biochemical link between diabetes and altered biological clocks in study on laboratory mice.
They found that a key protein called cryptochromen, which regulates the biological clocks of plants, insects and mammals, also controls the production of glucose in the liver, and that increasing the levels of this protein could suppress liver glucose production and thus improve the health of diabetic mice.
Further investigation by Kay and colleagues has now revealed that a much smaller molecule, dubbed KL001, can also regulate that activity.
The molecule, which they say can easily be developed into a drug, slowed down the biological clock by preventing the cryptochrome protein from being sent to the proteasomes, which are responsible for degrading unneeded or damaged proteins.
The researchers said the now plan to examine how these compounds affect other processes besides the liver that may link the biological clock to metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

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