Key points from article :
Scientists identified an alternate molecular pathway that regulates blood glucose.
A molecule called FGF1 performs a similar function to insulin.
Involved in regulating glucose production in the liver and by suppressing fat breakdown, or lipolysis.
Insulin uses an enzyme called PDE3B to suppresses lipolysis; FGF1 uses a different one instead – PDE4.
“This mechanism is basically a second loop, with all the advantages of a parallel pathway,” - Gencer Sancar, first author of the study.
FGF1 could be modified to improve the activity of PDE4, or other points in the pathway could be targeted.
This could open up a new area of research into alternative diabetes treatments.
“Ability of FGF1 to induce sustained glucose lowering in insulin-resistant diabetic mice is a promising therapeutic route for diabetic patients,” - Michael Downes, co-senior author.
Study by the Salk Institute published in the journal Cell Metabolism.