There kinase, (regulated by serum and glucocorticoids SGK), it’s a enzyme that drives insulin resistance in the liver and according to a team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) represents a promising therapeutic target in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
In fact, a central feature of type 2 diabetes is the inability of the body’s cells to respond to insulin, a hormone that keeps blood glucose levels normal. Crucial to this balance is the liver, which stores and produces glucose according to the body’s needs.
The study was published in the scientific journal Cell Reports.
Kinase: some research details
“We decided to study the role of SGK in insulin action and metabolism because the field took over, as it looks very similar to another insulin-activated kinase called Akt, that SGK would do the same thing as AktSays the senior author Alexander A. Soukas, MD, Ph.D., principal investigator in the Center for Genomic Medicine and Diabetes Unit of MGH and associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School.
Abstract graphic. Credit: DOI: 10.1016 / j.celrep.2021.109785
“We had the idea, based on some early experiments, that it could actually work in opposition to Akt and that it could represent a way to target insulin resistance in diabetes in a very different way, promoting metabolic health and insulin sensitivity“, continued the expert.
Indeed, the team’s experiments revealed that when mice were fed an unhealthy diet, Sgk (the mouse version of the kinase) hindered the action of insulin by inhibiting the beneficial metabolic effects of a liver molecule called protein kinase-activated. AMP (AMPK). Sgk’s blocking of activity released the brakes on AMPK, making the liver more sensitive to insulin and burning fat: “In this way, targeting Sgk can be a way to target the metabolic changes in type 2 diabetes in a way that was not previously thought possible “says Soukas.
The results indicate that inhibition of kinase activity in the liver could prevent the insulin resistance typical of type 2 diabetes. “In essence, the SGK blockade in the liver restores a more normal action of insulin, helping in the process to block the accumulation of fat in the liver and weight gain that so frequently accompany a Western diet “, explained Soukas.
“While we wouldn’t expect this to give people the power to eat fast food with impunity, when combined with exercise and attempts to eat healthier, treatments like this could revolutionize the way we treat type 2 diabetes. “.
The increasing diagnoses of type 2 diabetes is a major concern in health care around the world. In fact, the global prevalence of the disease is projected to increase by 7079 individuals per 100,000 by 2030, reflecting a continuous increase in all regions of the world. The most worrying trend relates to increasing prevalence trends in low-income countries: the incidence peaks around 55 years of age.
Rapid economic development and urbanization have led to an increase in the diabetes burden in many parts of the world. Diabetes affects individuals’ functional abilities and quality of life, leading to significant morbidity and premature mortality. Recently, concerns have been raised that more than a third of diabetes-related deaths occur in people under the age of 60.
Increased consumption of unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles, resulting in increased body mass index (BMI) and fasting blood glucose, are the main causes of the spikes in type 2 diabetes diagnoses. In particular, people with a higher BMI are more likely to be affected by the condition.
Aging of the human population is another contributing factor, as diabetes tends to affect older individuals. Constant control of blood sugar, blood pressure and other goals such as controlling weight gain are the fundamental goals that help keep the disease under control.
In Italy, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has increased slightly since 2012 (7.5%), with increasingly higher values in men than in women (8.8% vs 7.2% in 2017). Even in the Bel Paese, the disease manifests itself more in the 80-84 age group: almost one in 4 subjects (23.4%) in this age group has a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. national data are: Calabria (10%), Sicily (9.4%), Puglia and Abruzzo / Molise (equal 8.8%), Lazio (8.7%), Campania (8.5%) and Basilicata ( 8.6%).