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Researchers find novel molecular mechanism driving insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes

Friday 22 September 2017

The specific mechanism driving insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes is largely unknown. In a recent article in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers have, for the first time, found the key elements of this important mechanism.

The researchers have uncovered how a novel gene, IRAK1, and inflammatory pathways contribute to insulin resistance, a key feature of diabetes. IRAK1 Knock-out mice had significantly higher insulin sensitivity in muscle than that of regular mice. Inflammation activates IRAK1 which in turn leads to an increase in insulin resistance.

Now that the impact of IRAK1 is known, the next question is what the exact underlying molecular mechanism is. Using the Euretos Knowledge Platform, which integrates over 200 life sciences databases and literature, only limited publications in Pubmed exists on the role of IRAK1 in insulin resistance:

Figure 1: Literature on IRAK1 and insulin resistance (source: Euretos Knowledge Platform)

There are, however, many gene interactions that link IRAK1 to insulin resistance; a key step to unravelling the molecular mechanism. Using the embedded Analytics function to find associated genes, the interacting genes with IRAK1 and insulin resistance are easily found in the platform:

Figure 2: Genes associated with IRAK1 and insulin resistance (source: Euretos Knowledge Platform)

The same embedded analytics can be used to find related proteins, metabolites, pathways, cellular & molecular functions, phenotypes and many more types of multi-omics concepts. Combining the most relevant related concepts provides the following overview of some of the key elements involved in this new mechanism, including the interaction with two earlier identified genes, IRS1 and IRS2:

Figure 3: Key players in the molecular mechanism involving IRAK1, insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity (source: Euretos Knowledge Platform)

Of course further research will be required to fully understand the specific mechanism driving the IRAK1 - insulin sensitivity and resistance. This initial analysis shows that there are many promising angles that can be investigated.

Read more news articles: Euretos News

About this series - The purpose of the Euretos Research Note series is to provide a data analytics perspective on recent life sciences publications. The series focuses on two types of questions: (1) Did the available data already point in the direction of a discovery? (2) What further research angles does the available data suggest?