Korean researchers have found a diagnostic biomarker for type 2 diabetes by analyzing proteins extracted from human bodies.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office registered the patent on Feb. 27, “Protein Biomarker for Early Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes,” invented by Choi Sung-hee at Bundang Seoul National University Hospital’s internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism department, and Park Kyong-soo at Seoul National University Hospital’s endocrinology and metabolism department.
The researchers analyzed the proteome (the entire complement of proteins expressed in specific cells or certain situations) of visceral fat tissues, obtained from early type 2 diabetes patients and control group showing normal blood sugar levels. The analysis led the researchers to find a protein marker associated with type 2 diabetes.
“Proteome is a useful resource for identifying the functions associated with various fat-related diseases, but there has not been any comprehensive study on the proteome of visceral fat cells for type 2 diabetes patients,” the researchers said.
Patients with type 2 diabetes have been reported to accumulate visceral fat, which is highly correlated with insulin resistance, especially liver insulin resistance, the researchers said. "In patients with metabolic disorders, we can easily see a significant amount of visceral fat tissues being accumulated,” they added.
Unlike the healthy control group, type 2 diabetes patients showed changes in metabolism and adipokines, secreted by adipose tissues, which is important pathophysiological characteristics that develop into type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, the researchers said.
The researchers regarded visceral adipose tissues as an essential organ that can reveal the causes of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or obesity.
Using protein markers in visceral adipose tissues related to type 2 diabetes will be useful as a biomarker for early diagnosis of diabetes, they said.
“We may use protein markers also as a screening target to develop new treatments,” the researchers added. “We also expect they could prevent chronic complications such as cardiovascular complications and microvascular complications."
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