Medical

Enzyme that governs sugar metabolism may uncover treatments for obesity and diabetes

Enzyme that governs sugar meta...
The team has now turned its attention to finding small molecules that can serve as activators of G3PP
The team has now turned its attention to finding small molecules that can serve as activators of G3PP
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The team has now turned its attention to finding small molecules that can serve as activators of G3PP
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The team has now turned its attention to finding small molecules that can serve as activators of G3PP

Scientists have uncovered a new enzyme that works to block the adverse effects of sugar on the body. Present in all mammals, the enzyme plays the role of disposing of the unwanted byproducts of heightened glucose levels. In discovering this key step in the metabolism of sugar, the scientists say they have uncovered a new therapeutic target for conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity, and are now working to develop drugs that boosts its activity.

Dubbed glycerol 3-phosphate phosphatase (G3PP), the newly-discovered enzyme was happened upon by scientists at University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM). The team was hunting for mechanisms that convert excess glucose in beta cells into glycerol, before diverting them outside the cell wall altogether. The hope is that if this process can be manipulated, then it may be possible to avoid the consequences of high glucose levels which can include obesity, diabetes and heart problems.

"When glucose is abnormally elevated in the body, glucose-derived glycerol-3 phosphate reaches excessive levels in cells, and exaggerated glycerol 3 phosphate metabolism can damage various tissues," explains Marc Prentki, a principal investigator at the CRCHUM and professor at the University of Montreal. "We found that G3PP is able to breakdown a great proportion of this excess glycerol phosphate to glycerol and divert it outside the cell, thus protecting the insulin producing beta cells of pancreas and various organs from toxic effects of high glucose levels."

The scientists say that it has been rare in the last half a century to discover novel enzymes behind the metabolism of nutrients in mammal tissue, and that so significant are their findings that they may even prompt revisions to biochemistry textbooks.

They are now turning their attention to finding small molecules that can serve as activators of G3PP to treat sufferers of cardiometabolic disorders, those with heightened risk of diabetes, heart disease or stroke. These molecules would mark the beginnings of a new class of drugs, but the researchers note their effectiveness would first have to be established in animal models before being tested on humans.

The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: CRCHUM

5 comments
Mzungu_Mkubwa
Or, cut back on your sugar intake.
(Okay, the wife's been making me watch all these healthy-eating-related movies on our streaming service - e.g. "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" and "That Sugar Movie" - and now I'm starting to believe some of what they're preaching... even to the point of cutting back on my complex carb intake. Sad, but true. ☺)
Mr. Hensley Garlington
Or, both. Slow carb dieting and exercise are sure fire ways to fight the fat and unhealthiness, but a little extra firepower in that fight doesn't hurt either.
Using cold to increase thermogenesis is also a very good booster, especially after nearly having a heat stroke after an intense workout.
fen
Research shows putting someone on a pure carb/sugar diet will not make them fat or diabetic. Research also shows putting people on fat only diet wont make them fat but will make them diabetic.
It's not sugar or fat alone that cause people to get big, its the unnatural combination of both found in nearly all man made food. If you take in a food that is 50% fat, 50% carb, you can only use one at a time so the other gets converted directly to fat.
Assuming no medical condition that causes weight gain, simply eat carb/protien diet and only take in as many calories as you need. Keep the ratio of fat as low as you can so only take in as much fat as you need.
(im not saying this research wont help fight diabetes and weight gain, just that people can fight it themselves in a simple fashion).
AGO
Fat doesn't make you fat or cause diabetes. This is just another ruse by industry to move the worlds population to a carb dominated diet which is much more lucrative than feeding people on the diet we evolved eating which was high fat, low carb. Sugar and high carb diets cause metabolic illness but there is just too much money in grain. Think about it. What can you make out of grain and what can you make out of livestock?!!! Grains can provide 8 times more calories from an acre than any livestock! Last I checked, farmers fed grains (high carb) to fatten livestock, not fat! And, from grain, you can make ethanol, biodesile, pesticides, food fillers, sugar, drinking alcohol, etc.....not to mention the incredible shelf life of processed grains and the amazing versatility of shape, save, texture and flavor!!! Can't do that with livestock. It's time everyone opened there eyes.... There is a reason that NASA, the Navy and extreme athletes everywhere are turning to ketogenic adaptation (high fat low carb diet) for a higher level of health and performance and reversal of "incurable" diseases.........
charizzardd
Uh, fen, high fat diets don't give you diabetes and high carb low fat is a disaster for human beings.
Thank you AGO (keto all the way!)
This research is just another way to take our terrible dietary habits and try to make them good by blocking things that process the junk we eat. Or, you could just eat less sugar and carbs and more fat and not have to worry about any of these diseases or funding for this type of research and eventual medication development.
Crazy what we will go through instead of taking a step back to realize the last 40 years of government dietary advice is completely wrong. It gets worse and worse and the solution is we need more and more?