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Diabetes Type 2 – New Understandings may help develop treatments in the Future

May 29th, 2006

Diabetes Type 2 – New Understandings may help develop treatments in the Future


Researchers have learned that SHP-1 protein plays a role in controlling blood glucose in Type 2 Diabetes patients which could lead to new treatments in the future. 

Professor André Marette (Laval University) oversaw a group of researchers that included Nicole Beauchemin (McGill University), Martin Oliver (McGill University Health Centre) and Katherine Siminovitch (University of Toronto) who all participated in a Canadian and American team.  The results have been published in the May issue of Nature Medicine.


ShP-1 protein was already known to play a role in the immune system.  The researchers wanted to verify how the protein worked in the regulation of metabolism.  Researchers were able to research the SHP-1 protein with a series of mutant or genetically modified mice.  These mice produced either very little or had none of the SHP-1 protein.

"Our results indicate that these mice are extremely sensitive to insulin and, consequently, they are very effective in metabolizing glucose at the level of the liver and the muscles," said André Marette.  SHP-1 slows down the breakdown of insulin in the liver.  "This could explain the increase in the insulin concentrations of certain metabolic disorders associated with obesity," he further explained.


"The results of Andre Marette and his team represent an important step in the development of a new therapeutic approach in the fight against diabetes. Advances in the treatment of diabetes are needed to improve the lives of the more than two million Canadians already affected by it and the many more who will develop the disease in the years to come. The study is a perfect example of the potential benefits of investing in health research," said Dr. Diane Finegood who is based in Vancouver and is the Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes.

"By inhibiting the activity of SHP-1, it would perhaps be possible to restore better control of blood glucose," said professor Marette.


The concerns with blocking SHP-1 would be for any potential harm to the immune system.  At this time it is not known if blocking the protein would be detrimental or not.  Further researcher would need to be completed to know how safe it would be to block SHP-1.  There still needs to be more research to determine if SHP-1 is involved in the development of type 2 diabetes in humans.

"Good glucose control is essential for managing diabetes and preventing the debilitating complications associated with diabetes," said Dr. Paula Dworatzek, Senior Research Associate, Canadian Diabetes Association. "We congratulate Dr. Marette and his team for these initial findings, which will pave the way for his team and others to pursue a potential new therapy in the management of diabetes."

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:47 PM