When a person’s metabolism does not go well, his or her body sends a warning signal in the form of obesity or diabetes. Cells in the human body inhibit the consumption of energy when it is short to control metabolic activities. Once the mechanism goes awry, metabolic diseases occur such as diabetes and obesity. AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) protein, which can be compared to an energy sensor in the cell that is activated when the cell starves, is involved in the process. Metabolic diseases like obesity, diabetes and a fatty liver can be dealt with if the protein is activated artificially.
Professor Park Chul-seung and his research team at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology have recently found out that a protein called cereblon combines directly with AMPK protein to prevent a metabolic disorder. He said that the diseases can be controlled by AMPK being artificially activated through the inhibition of cereblon.
AMPK detects the material of AMP, which increases when energy in the human body is not enough, and controls the consumption of it temporarily while producing more of it. AMPK is one of the core enzymes whose vitality decreases in the presence of obesity, diabetes, etc.
The research team discovered at this time that cereblon is a suppressor of AMPK. Specifically, it found out that AMPK’s vitality is low when a high-fat diet is taken but it increases even under the same conditions once cereblon is removed, accelerating sugar absorption and fat oxidation to reduce the blood sugar level and body fat.
“If cereblon itself or its bond with AMPK is inhibited, AMPK can be activated artificially,” said the professor, adding, “The research outcome is expected to contribute greatly to the prevention and treatment of different metabolic diseases.”