Identifying novel targets to treat diabetes

Researchers evaluated the ability of human liver cells to produce glucose when exposed to a library of drugs with known molecular targets. The screening identified a set of genes that, when inhibited, dramatically suppressed glucose production.

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Oct 03, 2018
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A high-throughput screen helped identify two novel genes involved in sugar metabolism that could be druggable targets for treating type 2 diabetes. Haiqing Hua and colleagues from the Lilly China Research and Development Center, a division of Eli Lilly & Company in Shanghai, evaluated the ability of human liver cells to produce glucose when exposed to a library of more than 1500 small-molecule drugs with known molecular targets. The researchers identified a set of genes that, when inhibited, dramatically suppressed glucose production. Two of these genes had not previously been implicated in liver function. The researchers began to dissect the molecular function through studies of gene expression and gene network analysis. The results demonstrate a way to combine chemical genetics and functional screening to identify novel drug targets, revealing two for diabetes.

By: Marie-Elizabeth Barabas

Journal: npj Genomic Medicine

Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41525-018-0062-7

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