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A new potential way to treat diabetes without insulin


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.

Hormone, like insulin, controls blood sugar levels via a better molecular pathway

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Postdoctoral reseacher at Salk Institute for Biological Studies


Senior Staff Scientist at Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies


Scientific research institute focused on neuroscience, genetics, immunology, plant biology and more