Secretagogin: Protein that helps regulate blood sugar levels identified Indian scientists
Scientists at the Hyderabad based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) have demonstrated the role of a protein Secretagogin (SCGN) in increasing insulin action in obesity-induced diabetes. Currently, the processes regulating insulin synthesis, secretion, signalling and maturation in diabetes were not completely understood by scientists. These findings were published in the latest issue of the journal iScience.
It is a protein that in humans is encoded by SCGN gene. The encoded protein is a secreted calcium-binding protein which is found in cytoplasm. The findings shows that SCGN would soon become a diagnostic marker, and one should check its potential in diabetes management.
Function: As per CCMB the findings have established SCGN as a functional insulin-binding protein with therapeutic potential against diabetes. They show that SCGN binds to insulin and protects it from various stresses, increases its stability as well as adds to its action.
Experiment: The scientists have also shown that injection of SCGN (found at lower levels in diabetic patients) in obese diabetic mice clears excess insulin from circulation and reduces fat mass. CCMB release also said that SCGN treated animals also had lower levels of harmful LDL-cholesterol and lower lipid accumulation in liver cells.
Significance: The findings are significant as various kinds of cellular stresses can result in loss of structure and function of insulin, ultimately leading to diabetes. Diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are often linked with each other. SCGN is found in lower quantities in brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
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