(CTN News) – A new Diabetes enzyme that inhibits the production of insulin in the body has been identified by researchers from Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals in the US.
This discovery has the potential to serve as a target for the treatment of diabetes. The study, which was published in the journal Cell, focuses on the role of nitric oxide in various bodily functions such as dilating blood vessels, enhancing memory, combating infections, and stimulating hormone release.
The mechanism by which nitric oxide carries out these activities has long been a mystery.
However, the researchers have now identified a unique enzyme called SNO-CoA-assisted nitrosylase (SCAN) that binds nitric oxide to proteins, including the insulin receptor.
They observed that the SCAN enzyme is crucial for normal insulin function and also found increased SCAN activity in diabetic patients and mice with diabetes.
Interestingly, mouse models lacking the SCAN enzyme seemed to be protected against diabetes, suggesting that excessive nitric oxide on proteins may contribute to the development of such diseases.
Lead researcher Jonathan Stamler from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine stated that by inhibiting this particular enzyme, protection against diabetes can be achieved.
However, the implications of this finding extend beyond diabetes and encompass various diseases that are likely caused by newly discovered enzymes that introduce nitric oxide.
As a result, blocking this enzyme could potentially provide a novel treatment approach. In light of this significant discovery, the logical next steps would involve the development of medications specifically designed to target and counteract the effects of this enzyme.
It is worth noting that excessive nitric oxide has been associated with numerous diseases, but the challenge lies in treating it due to its reactive nature and lack of specificity.