Researchers discover key protein in the production of insulin

Medical Xpress | January 28, 2019

The crucial hormone insulin needs help to acquire the right structure. A protein that assists in the process of insulin folding has just been discovered in a new study conducted by researchers at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. They hope the new research results can be used to develop treatments for conditions such as increased level of insulin in the blood known as hyperinsulinemia. Even though researchers have been familiar with and studied the hormone insulin for more than a hundred years, especially in connection with diabetes, they still make new discoveries concerning the hormone. Now researchers from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen have uncovered a hitherto unknown process in the production of insulin. The new research results have just been published in the scientific journal Diabetes.
Insulin is produced in the beta cells of the pancreas. The hormone is produced as a precursor called proinsulin. For proinsulin to mature into functional insulin, it needs to be folded and processed correctly to acquire the right structure with assistance from proteins that are termed chaperones. The researchers have now discovered and identified such a chaperone. A proinsulin chaperone termed glucose-regulated protein GRP94.

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The medical technologies, biotechnology and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector in Australia has all the hallmarks of the high-skilled and innovation-based economy that Australia must develop to secure sustainable wealth and employment growth for its future.

Spotlight

The medical technologies, biotechnology and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector in Australia has all the hallmarks of the high-skilled and innovation-based economy that Australia must develop to secure sustainable wealth and employment growth for its future.

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