Hyderabad

A protein that has potential to tackle diabetes

(L to R) CCMB scientists Anand Sharma, Yogendra Sharma, Radhika Khandelwal and Amrutha Chidananda who have discovered the protein – secretagogin or SCGN.

(L to R) CCMB scientists Anand Sharma, Yogendra Sharma, Radhika Khandelwal and Amrutha Chidananda who have discovered the protein – secretagogin or SCGN.  

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Discovered by scientists at CCMB, it helps in managing insulin levels

The scientists at CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) have discovered a protein that helps manage insulin levels thereby showing the potential to tackle diabetes and neuro-degenerative disorders like dementia and Alzheimers.

At a media conference here on Thursday, Yogendra Sharma and his colleagues Anand Sharma, Radhika Khandelwal and Amrutha Chidananda said diabetes affects scores of people worldwide with over 60 million affected in India alone. “It is a metabolic disorder with a defect in insulin production and secretion resulting in high blood glucose levels. At present, the processes regulating insulin synthesis, maturation, secretion and signalling in diabetes are not completely understood,” they pointed out.

Through their research, the scientists have demonstrated the role of a protein – secretagogin or SCGN – in increasing the insulin action in obesity-induced diabetes. This protein (SCGN) binds to insulin and protects it from various stresses while increasing its stability. An injection of the protein, which is at lower levels in diabetic patients, given to obese diabetic mice has shown to clear excess insulin from circulation thereby reducing the fat mass.

The scientists have also found that the SCGN-treated animals also have lower levels of harmful LDL-cholesterol and lower lipid accumulation in liver cells.

These findings, published in the latest issue of the journal Science, establish SCGN as a functional insulin-binding protein with therapeutic potential against diabetes, said Dr. Sharma.

Since diabetes and neuro-degenerative disorders are often linked with each other, the protein is also found to be in lower quantities in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. In a parallel study, also recently published in Biochemistry, Dr. Sharma’s group has shown the SCGN’s role in preventing the formation of ‘alpha-synuclein protein fibrils’ – a precursor for many neuro-degenerative diseases.

“The SCGN will soon become a diagnostic marker and aid in diabetes management,” said Dr. Sharma. “This is yet another example of how quality basic science can lead to valuable applications” added CCMB Director Rakesh Mishra.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 9:02:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/a-protein-that-has-potential-to-tackle-diabetes/article30041479.ece

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