Thursday, July 10, 2008

Diabetes-detecting protein found

Scientists have suggested that higher serum levels of a protein known as fetuin-A increases the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), individuals with high serum levels of fetuin-A, a protein expressed by the liver and secreted into the blood stream to inhibit insulin action, are 1.7-fold more prone to diabetes.

UCSD School of Medicine researchers claimed that fetuin-A binds to muscle and fat tissue insulin receptors, resulting in insulin resistance which leads to type-2 diabetes.

The study revealed that the effect of fetuin levels on the development of diabetes is independent from other disease risk factors such as physical activity or inflammation.

Researchers believe fetuin-A can be used as a screening tool to identify individuals at a higher risk of diabetes. They are also optimistic that the protein can help find new treatments for the condition.

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