Type 2 diabetes develops when the body fails to produce enough insulin or when insulin produced by the body is not effective. Over 400 million people suffer from diabetes across the world and most suffer from type 2 diabetes.
For the first time, scientists have discovered a fiber-like structure behind type 2 diabetes, according to a study in 2020.
Amyloid fibrils are generated from “clumps” of the peptide-protein Amylin, responsible for regulating the body’s glucose levels.
Professor Neil Ranson of the University of Leeds said the discovery is “really exciting” since it is vital in understanding the way the protein works. With these structures, we will get to know what might be going on.
Cryo-electron microscopy, the latest electron microscope technology, was utilized to visualize the fibers’s structure. Protein samples were then analyzed to a resolution where they can observe the individual.
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People with early-onset Type 2 diabetes have an amyloid fibrils known as S20G. The researchers compared S20G with amyloid fibrils discovered in the general population, known as wild-type.
Scientists evaluate thousands of images to examine how amylin molecules stack up to build fibrils. The researchers discovered molecules that developed to intricate structures like rungs in a ladder.
Co-author Professor Sheena Radford, of the Astbury Centre revealed that the breakthrough is not only important for understanding amylin, but also understanding how run-away fibril forms in several amyloid diseases.
The formation of amyloid fibrils is also associated with other diseases like Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease. A better knowledge about amyloid fibrils structure can help in the diagnosis of treatments for several people who may suffer from amyloid diseases.