Disease States / Lab News

Escr protein may provide metabolic syndrome insight

Escr protein may provide metabolic syndrome insightResearch from Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan has shown that deactivation of a protein which regulates endothelial cell signalling was able to enhance insulin sensitivity in mice.  This could develop into a new therapeutic strategy for treating metabolic syndrome.

The protein, known as Ecsr or ARIA, was highly prevalent in white and brown adipose tissue.  It was found to regulate energy metabolism and glucose homeostasis through the process of modulating endothelial cell function.

The studies, which were conducted using mice, showed genetic deletion of Ecsr.  This resulted in improved glucose tolerance and enhanced insulin sensitivity – even with no change in body weight and body fat mass.

The research team noted, “Until recently, there have been only a few reports of genetically modified mice that show enhanced insulin sensitivity under normal diet and concomitant resistance to diet-induced obesity.  The striking difference for Ecsr-deleted mice from these mice is that the enhanced insulin sensitivity under normal diet arises in the absence of leanness in Ecsr-deleted mice.  This unique metabolic phenotype of Ecsr-deleted mice is due to the roles of Escr in both endothelial insulin signalling and adipose tissue angiogenesis.”

With skeletal muscle blood flow being a major regulator of systemic insulin sensitivity, insulin signalling and insulin-mediated Akt/endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activation in endothelial cells has been shown to have an important role in skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity by regulating muscle blood flow and insulin delivery into skeletal muscle.

The role of Ecsr in the progression of obesity was investigated, with the findings showing that deletion of the protein appeared to protect mice on high-fat diets from obesity and obesity-related metabolic disorders.

The team from Japan further commented, “When challenged with a high-fat diet, weight gain was significantly attenuated in Ecsr-deleted mice” despite their food intake.

“Therefore, the inhibition of Ecsr potentially improves insulin sensitivity and concurrently counteracts obesity in humans as well, and thus Ecsr represents an attractive target for the control of metabolic disorders.”

Reference: www.medpagetoday.com

Randox provides two metabolic syndrome arrays, capable of detecting metabolic syndrome using a number of biomarkers including: C-peptide, Ferritin and C-reactive protein (CRP).  For more information on these arrays, visit the Biochip Immunoassays section of the Randox website.

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