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Scripps Researchers Identify Key Protein in Insulin Pathway

October 1, 2013 | A team at the Scripps Research Institute is looking at a little-known protein called TMEM24 as a possible linchpin in the control of insulin levels--and therefore a promising target for diabetes research. The researchers took a novel approach to studying the insulin pathway, looking at the pancreatic beta cells where insulin is synthesized and secreted into the bloodstream. By using antibodies to pull both insulin and precursor proteins to insulin out of their beta cells, they were able to see which proteins bound to insulin at the various stages of its synthesis and release. This process yielded the first pathway-wide glimpse into the proteins that regulate insulin. TMEM24 is only one of many proteins involved in delivering insulin to the body, but its abundance and high level of interaction with insulin at the late stages suggests it may play a crucial role in regulating the long-term secretion of insulin through the beta cell membrane. Scripps Research Institute 

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