Discovery May Lead to New Drugs to Curb Diabetes
October 10th, 2012
Vance Matthews presented his latest research in Hyderabad, India.
A collaborative study led by a researcher with the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) has come up with exciting results after exploring the effects that a protein on the surface of human cells has on conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The study, led by WAIMR Assistant Professor Vance Matthews, in collaboration with researchers in Melbourne, Texas and Japan, has been published in the high ranking immunology journal "Immunology and Cell Biology" which is published by the prestigious Nature Publishing Group.
The research is particularly important given that the prevalence of adult obesity has increased by 75% in the past 25 years, with an alarming increase in overweight and obese children. A disorder which directly correlates with obesity is insulin resistance which may result in Type 2 diabetes in which there is a state of chronic inflammation in metabolically active tissues in the body.
"While my research looks at the growing problems of obesity and type 2 diabetes and how the inflammatory pathways are activated in our bodies, our discoveries also have far reaching consequences for other diseases which involve inflammation," Assistant Professor Matthews explained.
Their study established in a large human cohort that many parameters of the metabolic syndrome such as obesity and insulin resistance were significantly correlated with high levels of the metalloproteinase known as ADAM28 in inflammatory cells. The group conducted a series of experiments exploring the interactions between the protein TNF-alpha and the metalloproteinase ADAM28. TNF-alpha is a well-known cytokine which promotes insulin resistance which increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes. It is produced by numerous inflammatory cell types.
The study highlighted that the metalloproteinase ADAM28 may increase the release of TNF-alpha protein from the cell surface and this effect may promote inflammation.
"Our project is very significant as it has demonstrated for the first time the importance of ADAM28 in the metabolic syndrome and further supports that metalloproteinase inhibition is a potential therapeutic target for anti-obesity agents," Assistant Professor Matthews said.
"This means that further down the track, drugs may become available to treat obesity, therefore reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes."
The study was funded by the Medical Research Foundation at Royal Perth Hospital and the Diabetes Australia Research Trust.
For more information please contact:
Mobile: 0448 021 932 (media enquiries only)
Office: (08) 9224 0377