Kiwi scientists discover missing type 2 diabetes link

New Zealand researchers have uncovered a new mechanism that controls the release of insulin, the hormone involved in regulating blood sugar levels.

The findings, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, show that a protein known as beta catenin is crucial for controlling the release of insulin from the pancreas to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

“In type 2 diabetes, either the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells in the body don’t recognise the insulin that is present, leading to high levels of glucose in the blood,” a University of Auckland press release says.

“This discovery potentially opens up a whole new drug discovery field to understand how we could manipulate beta catenin levels to control the release of insulin,” University of Auckland lead researcher professor Peter Shepherd says in a press release.


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First published: March 2017

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