Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a potent regulator of sensitivity to insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar levels. The new findings may help scientists find better treatments for type 2 diabetes, obesity and other health problems caused by the body’s inability to properly regulate blood sugar.
The research is published online Feb. 13 in PLoS ONE.
Fat and muscle cells in patients with type 2 diabetes become resistant to insulin, which normally causes them to take in glucose from the blood. The protein studied by the researchers, known as TBC1D3, keeps the insulin pathway open, so the cells can continue to take up glucose. TBC1D3 is found only in humans and certain other primates.