2 October New Muscle Wasting Research Holds Promise at UI October 2, 2017 By The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center 0 DRC Director's Report, October 2017 A hearty “Congratulations!” is in order for Dr. Christopher Adams, Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and member of the FOE DRC who is the recipient of a five-year, $2.4M grant from the National Institutes of Health to study skeletal muscle atrophy. Dr. Adams holds an FOEDRC endowed chair, and this recent success underscores the important impact of the investment of the FOEDRC towards the ongoing success of his research program. In preliminary studies, performed in mouse models, Dr. Adams and members of his lab identified the first example of a protein that is required for the loss of skeletal muscle mass, quality, strength, and endurance exercise capacity during aging: the transcription factor ATF4. Muscle wasting is a very serious problem that affects millions of people as they become older and/or develop illnesses such as diabetes. Unfortunately, however, muscle wasting is poorly understood and lacks a medical therapy. The Adams’ Lab research is focused on a protein called ATF4, which acts as a switch that turns on genes that cause muscle wasting. By studying how ATF4 works, we hope to understand how muscle wasting occurs and identify new ways to treat patients. Related DRC Researcher Chris Adams Develops New Therapy for Age-Related Muscle Atrophy Scientists at the FOE Diabetes Research Center and University of Iowa have discovered the first example of a protein that causes muscle weakness and loss during aging. The protein, ATF4, is a transcription factor that alters gene expression in skeletal muscle, causing reduction of muscle protein synthesis, strength, and mass. The UI study also identifies two natural compounds, one found in apples and one found in green tomatoes, which reduce ATF4 activity in aged skeletal muscle. Stressing Muscle Metabolism Prevents Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Exciting new research was recently published in the EMBO Journal by the laboratory of FOEDRC Director, Dale Abel. The study suggests that gently stressing muscle metabolism could help prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes. The study was carried out on mice where the team found triggering a type of metabolic stress increased levels of a hormone called fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF21). The findings showed the animals were completely protected from obesity and diabetes. Interestingly, in the mice which had already started to develop the condition, the hormone reversed the diabetes and helped them return to a normal weight with normal blood sugar levels. Adams Named Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Chair Christopher Adams, MD, PhD, has been named the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Chair. This position has been endowed by the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) to propel and accelerate the pace of discoveries in the FOE Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC), whose mission is to advance knowledge of the mechanisms of diabetes and its related complications through cutting-edge research. DRC Researchers Publish Major Breakthrough In Understanding How Diabetes Induces Eye Damage In the retina, diabetes damages nerves before it damages blood vessels. Diabetes is a major risk factor for severe vision loss and blindness. A condition known as retinal diabetic neuropathy causes visual impairment through the degeneration of small nerves (neurons) in light-sensitive tissue called the retina, which lines the back of the eye. ADA To Honor Career Achievements of Daryl Granner, MD DRC Director's Report, April 2017 Dr. Daryl Granner is the founding director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Center (FOEDRC). He is a stalwart in diabetes research and I am deeply grateful for the groundwork which he laid in putting in place the structure and framework around which the FOEDRC has been built and for his ongoing commitment to our success. Thus, I was particularly pleased to learn that Dr. Granner will be recipient of one of the most prestigious awards granted for a life-long commitment to diabetes research from the American Diabetes Association. How Diabetes Harms The Heart Study in mice involving FOEDRC researchers, reveals heart-damaging pathway triggered by insulin, identifies possible drug targets to prevent or treat heart failure. Diabetes is hard on the heart. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in people with diabetes, and risk for heart failure—where the heart can’t pump enough blood—is two to three times higher in men and up to five times higher in women with diabetes compared to people without diabetes. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.