A Korean research team discovered that diabetes can be improved by controlling the activation of a protein directly related to the detoxification function of the liver.
The Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI) announced on Sept. 2 that a research team led by Dr. Kim Gun-hwa found out that it is possible to treat type 2 diabetes by controlling the activation of CYP4A.
CYP4A is representative membrane protein involved in the detoxification and drug metabolism of the liver. In particular, the protein is considered to play an important role in constituting bio-active lipid molecules.
The research team found that the liver of a mouse with type 2 diabetes had too much CYP4A compared to a normal mouse. They also confirmed that it is possible to treat type 2 diabetes by controlling the expression and function of CYP4A.
After suppressing the expression of CYP4A in the liver of a diabetic mouse by manipulating the hormone gene that controls appetite, they discovered that diabetes-related symptoms, including blood sugar levels on an empty stomach, improved.
In particular, when a candidate material to restrain the function of CYP4A was administered to mice eating high-fat animal feed, the mice's weight decreased by 45 percent and body fat was reduced by 69 percent, compared to a control group. The blood sugar level was lowered by 56 percent as . In addition, when the drug was administered to normal non-obese mice without diabetes, there were no side effects associated with glucose metabolism.
Dr. Kim remarked, “Our research is significant in that we presented a candidate material for a new drug for diabetes without side effects.” He added, “We will try hard to develop a new drug for type 2 diabetes through a follow-up study using automated equipment for high-content screening recently built by the KBSI.”
The research findings were first published online by Gastroenterology, a scientific journal published by the American Gastroenterological Association.