Scientists have advanced knowledge about the proteins that help control blood sugar, or glucose, during and after exercise, and this knowledge could lead to new drug therapies or exercises more effective for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and other health problems associated with high levels of blood sugar.
Insulin resistance occurs when the body is not produced by properly stimulating the transport of glucose, a type of sugar inside the cells as an energy source. Too much glucose in the bloodstream can cause a variety of medical problems including Type 2 diabetes, said Gregory Cartee, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and principal investigator of the study. Katsuhiko Funai is the co-author, graduate student and researcher in the School of Kinesiology.
Insulin and muscle contractions are the most important stimuli that increase glucose transport into the interior of muscle cells. The cells can then use glucose for energy, said Cartee. But scientists do not know exactly how this works.
The group reacted Cartee watched two different proteins that were considered important in stimulating the transport of glucose by two different enzymes, linked also with the transport of glucose. The goal of this study was to understand the contribution of the two proteins, called AS160 and TBC1D1 in skeletal muscle stimulated by insulin.
"Trying to rule out or determine what proteins are important in the exercise," said Cartee.
The results indicate that the protein TBC1D1 was the most important for the transport of glucose stimulated by exercise and suggested that the second protein, AS160, may be less important for this effect of exercise. Give attention to the protein works best, in this case the TBC1D1, scientists can develop methods for making proteins that work best for people with insulin resistance, Cartee said.
Insulin resistance is a major health problem affecting millions of people, he said.
"Almost all people with diabetes have Type 2 muscle resistance to insulin," said Cartee. "This does not cause diabetes by itself, but it is an essential component that contributes to type 2 diabetes.
In the longer term people who have insulin resistance or whose muscles do not respond normally to insulin are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, said Cartee.
"Almost the muscles have the machinery to respond to exercise even if they do not respond normally to insulin. "In other cases of people who can not exercise, we could design a drug therapy or something else to control insulin.