Calcineurin, NFAT and Diabetes

ScienceDaily looks at another line of research that may lead to effective therapies for type 2 diabetes: "Certain immune-suppressing drugs [greatly] increase the risk of developing diabetes. These drugs are known to put a stranglehold on a protein called calcineurin. ... mice that had been bred to produce calcineurin in the pancreas only until they were born, which had been born with a normal number of beta cells, were severely diabetic ... [scientists] used further genetic trickery to bypass calcineurin by artificially activating its protein sidekick, called NFAT. Beta cells lacking calcineurin but with active NFAT behaved normally, multiplying as the mice aged and producing normal amounts of insulin. ... Drugs that enhance the activity of calcineurin or NFAT could become a new treatment for type-2, or adult-onset diabetes, in which the beta cells don't produce enough insulin." Remember that type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease; most people can choose to avoid it, reduce its effects, or greatly postpone onset.

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920193541.htm

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