Defective, Infectious Proteins Linked to Type 2 Diabetes
More than one in ten people in the US have type 2 diabetes — that's over 29 million people. It's characterized by excessive sugar (glucose) in the blood due to the development of resistance to insulin, the hormone that normally metabolizes glucose.
Deposits of folded and clumped proteins in the pancreas are also common in type 2 diabetes. There, they may impact the ability of the pancreas to function properly. But, researchers from McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center have discovered that they could play a role in causing the disease.
The configuration of protein, including how it's folded, is one factor that contributes to its ability to function properly. The scientists found the abnormally folded protein that accumulates in diabetes can induce the symptoms of the disease. What's more, the protein is similar to an infectious protein found in diseases like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Kuru, and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow disease).
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Study researcher Claudio Soto and colleagues published their findings on August 1, in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.
Type 2 Diabetes
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include frequent infections, hunger, fatigue, increased thirst and urination, and blurry vision, but some people have no symptoms for the first several years they have the disease. Lab tests to measure blood glucose, or A1C, a test that measures the glucose average over the last three months, can confirm th Continue reading