A new computational model of sugar transport in the pancreas reveals a metabolic “tipping point” in type 2 diabetes—a discovery that may form the basis for new efforts to prevent and treat the disease.
Changes in cellular metabolism play a bigger role in the development of type 2 diabetes than previously thought—perhaps an even larger part than genetic predisposition plays in the disease. That’s what Sanford-Burnham and UC Santa Barbara researchers concluded in a study published recently in the journal PLOS ONE. The team, including Jamey Marth, Ph.D., developed a computational model to better understand the underlying causes and progression of type 2 diabetes. The model revealed a metabolic “tipping point” that, when crossed, prevents the pancreas from adequately sensing blood sugar and secreting insulin. The team expects the discovery will form the basis for new efforts to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.