City of Hope presents new research at American Diabetes Association meeting

June 11, 2016

City of Hope
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Findings on new biomarkers and potential treatments will be presented at ADA’s annual conference

DUARTE, Calif. — City of Hope doctors and researchers will present their latest research on type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus during the American Diabetes Association Annual Meeting, June 10 to 14 in New Orleans.

An early biomarker for type 1 diabetes
A protein named Doc2b, which regulates insulin secretion from pancreatic B-cells, could serve as an early marker of type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused when pancreatic B-cells fail to produce sufficient insulin, and is preceded by B-cell dysfunction in humans and animal models. An inflammatory immune response toward the Doc2b protein reduces its abundance by 30 to 50 percent, and this results in lower insulin secretion. Arianne Aslamy, a pre-doctoral student at Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, and her colleagues at City of Hope found that Doc2b protein levels are decreased to less than half the normal in pancreatic islet cells, as well as platelets of young prediabetic mice, well before type 1 diabetes symptoms emerge. Human pancreatic islets enriched with the protein showed markedly improved insulin secretion. The results suggest Doc2b could serve as an early marker of disease, and could also serve as a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes. 

Presentation details:
Presentation title: Is Doc2b an Early Biomarker of Type 1 Diabetes?
Number: 2096-P
Date/time: Sunday, June 12, 2016 12 to 2 p.m.

Muscle signaling pathway promotes glucose uptake
When blood glucose levels spike after a meal, insulin drives muscle and adipose cells to move a glucose transporter protein, named GLUT4, from vesicles within cells to cell surfaces. On the cell surface, GLUT4 helps skeletal muscles, heart cells and fat cells to absorb circulating glucose from the bloodstream. Lack of surface GLUT4 in these cells is linked to insulin resistance, preclinical diabetes and eventually, type 2 diabetes. Ragadeepthi Tunduguru, a pre-doctoral student at Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, and her colleagues found that a muscle protein that moves intracellular molecules around is critical to the release of GLUT4 vesicles. In the absence of this protein, named N-WASP, GLUT4 vesicles fail to move to cell surfaces in response to insulin. Understanding precisely how N-WASP signals to muscle filaments to mobilize GLUT4 vesicles could help devise new therapeutic strategies to treat type 2 diabetes. 

Presentation details:
Presentation title: N-WASP-Cortactin Signaling Promotes Skeletal Muscle GLUT4 Vesicle Translocation
Number: 1730-P
Date/time: Monday, June 13, 2016 12 to 2 p.m.

What’s new in beta cell stimulus-secretion coupling
Debbie Thurmond, Ph.D., a professor at Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope who studies diabetes and metabolic diseases, will discuss what’s new in beta cells, the cells that secrete insulin and live in a tiny mini-organ called an islet in the pancreas. In type 2 diabetes, years before a person is diagnosed — sometimes decades before — their beta cells show a defect in the functioning of how they secrete their insulin. The discussion will center on why these defective beta cells lack a particular protein called PAK1, which is required to keep beta cells functioning properly. About 80 percent of that protein is lacking.

Presentation details:
Session title: Beta Cell Stimulus‐Secretion Coupling — What’s New?
Date/time: Monday June 13, 2016 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Presentation title: Exciting Granule Fusion in Beta Cells through the Cytoskeleton
Time: 5:30 to 6:00 p.m.

About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as one of only 45 comprehensive cancer centers, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the world. City of Hope is located in Duarte, California, just northeast of Los Angeles, with community clinics throughout Southern California. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation, diabetes and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs based on technology developed at the institution. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.