Liver molecule linked to diabetes

Scientists have identified a link between the structure of the glucose-storage molecule (known as glycogen) in our liver cells and diabetes, showing that the liver could be a major springboard for determining life-changing diabetes diagnosis and treatment.

Glycogen in liver comprises two sorts of molecules: smaller ones known as beta particles, and dozens of these joined together, known as alpha particles. The research has shown diabetic mice have lower levels of alpha particles compared to healthy mice. Having fewer alpha particles will impair the body’s means of gently regulating blood sugar levels against glucose spikes.

“This discovery sheds new light on diabetes: it suggests that there is a molecular mechanisms involved in the lack of control of blood sugar which characterizes diabetes,” one of the researchers said. “Type-2 diabetes is growing at epidemic rates: it is estimated that by 2025, three million Australians will suffer from this disease.”

“This new insight opens the way to potential new means of diagnosis and clinical intervention,” he added.

Read more at The University of Queensland