Unlocking the promise of future diabetes research

Posted by fi17 at Nov 16, 2011 03:35 PM |
Diabetes UK announces funding of C-peptide study

Issued by Diabetes UK on 16 November 2011

Leading health charity Diabetes UK today announces funding of a study into C-peptide, a little-understood molecule researchers believe could transform future diabetes treatments.

People with diabetes either produce no or little insulin, or the insulin that is produced does not work properly. Insulin is a hormone that allows us to use the energy from the food we eat. When insulin is released into the blood, C-peptide is also released. This molecule is absent in people with Type 1 diabetes[1], while people with Type 2 diabetes2 may be resistant to its actions. These problems are thought to contribute to the development of diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation. 

“Previously, we thought C-peptide had no other functions and was useful only as an indicator of how much insulin someone was producing. More recent evidence suggests that C-peptide binds to the surface of particular cells and activates their internal signalling mechanisms in different ways,” explains lead researcher Professor Nigel Brunskill of the University of Leicester.

“We hope this study improves our understanding of C-peptide and opens up new approaches to protect against diabetes complications. Results from previous studies have already shown, for instance, that C-peptide could protect against diabetes-related kidney disease (nephropathy).”

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: “If successful, this research could be the first to reveal the secrets of C-peptide in diabetes and open up entirely new approaches to replace the lost effects of C-peptide and protect against complications. This is an exciting area of research, as it could be possible, for instance, to add C-peptide to insulin treatments if it was shown to benefit people with diabetes.”

Diabetes UK is calling on people to become supporters and to sponsor ground-breaking research to help them ‘Unlock The Promise of C-peptide.’

Link to video presentation

Diabetes UK website

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