Characterising the role, function and regulation of eNAMPT in Type 2 diabetes
Dr Paul Caton and his team aim to find out if raised levels of the protein NAMPT in the blood lead to reduced insulin release and action, and ultimately contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes. This research could help to identify targets for new drugs that could improve the management and prevention of this condition.
Background to research
The protein NAMPT is found at higher than normal levels in the blood of people with Type 2 diabetes and in animal models of Type 2 diabetes. NAMPT in the blood comes predominantly from fat tissue, although the precise function of NAMPT and its relationship with insulin in Type 2 diabetes is unclear. Recent work by Dr Paul Caton has shown that blocking the activity of NAMPT corrects beta cell problems, reduces insulin resistance and lowers blood glucose levels in mice with Type 2 diabetes. He believes that high levels of NAMPT in the blood are a direct cause of beta cell problems in the pancreas, leading to Type 2 diabetes.
Dr Caton and his team aim to find out if raised NAMPT levels in the blood cause reduced insulin release and action and lead to the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Specifically, they will identify the mechanisms that govern the release of NAMPT from fat tissue, how these are altered in obesity and Type 2 diabetes and how NAMPT affects beta cell function in mouse and human tissue.
Potential benefit to people with diabetes
This work will improve our understanding of the mechanisms driving beta cell failure and insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes, focusing on the role of NAMPT. It will help to identify targets for new drugs to improve diabetes management and prevention.