28 February DRC Director's Report - March 2019 February 28, 2019 By The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center 0 Brian T. O’Neill, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Division of Endocrinology in the Department of Internal Medicine and member of the FOEDRC recently published in the journal Diabetes the discovery that FoxO proteins, which are transcription factors that regulate DNA, are the critical regulators of diabetes-related muscle atrophy. While considerable attention has focused on the effects of diabetes on the heart, eyes, kidneys and nerves, diabetes also has a considerable impact on muscle strength and the maintenance of muscle mass. Previous studies have shown that, compared to non-diabetic individuals, patients with diabetes lose muscle strength faster during aging and/or during bed rest after a surgery. This loss of muscle strength leads to slower recovery from illness, disability and potentially even death. But there are no specific treatments for these conditions because the reasons for this muscle atrophy in diabetes were not previously known. Using mouse models of type 1 diabetes, Dr. O’Neill and colleagues discovered that decreased insulin signaling in muscle leads to dramatic increases in protein degradation (or breakdown), which results in muscle atrophy and weakness. The study proves that FoxO transcription factors, which can be directly modulated by insulin signaling in muscle, are critical drivers of protein degradation pathways by increasing genes responsible for protein breakdown. Furthermore, these same genes for protein breakdown were increased 140% to 330% in muscle biopsies from human patients with type 1 diabetes after 8 hours of withdrawal of insulin from these volunteers. The results demonstrate that muscle atrophy in response to insulin-deficient diabetes is mediated by FoxO-driven protein degradation and blocking this pathway may provide protection from this complication of diabetes. Ongoing work in the O’Neill lab is focused on how insulin signaling in muscle can coordinate muscle growth with energy production in the mitochondria of muscle. This recent publication in Diabetes, along with previous publications from Dr. O’Neill identify FoxOs as potential therapeutic targets to help prevent muscle loss in patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes during periods of illness or during aging. Related Articles DRC Director's Report - April 2019 In a recent study done by Wei Bao, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and member of the FOEDRC, his research team found that frequent consumption of fried foods, especially fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish, was associated with a higher risk of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease in women in the United States. Women with at least one serving per week of fried chicken had a 13% higher risk of death from all causes, and a 12% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease, when compared with women with no consumption of fried chicken. DRC Director's Report - March 2021 This month, the Spring 2021 issue of the Iowa Magazine devoted its cover and featured the University of Iowa Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC). The heartwarming article shares real life testimonies of diabetic individuals, cared for at the University of Iowa and the impact of diabetes on their daily life. The desire for relief is real and certainly not lost on physicians and scientists at the FOEDRC. The Center’s mission is to improve the lives of individuals with the disease and find a cure. Every day dedicated FOEDRC scientists conduct a wide range of research projects to improve and benefit the lives of many. DRC Director's Report - December 2019 In individuals with obesity and type 2 diabetes a surplus of energy from too much food or increased glucose and lipids can increase tissue metabolism to damaging rates. This is much like a river overflowing its banks, where water no longer channeled in a controlled way can cause catastrophic damage by being in the wrong places. DRC Director's Report - January 2019 The new year is always a time to look back and reflect on the many achievements of the prior year. I have been pleased that the Fraternal Order of Eagles has committed continued support to a program that will be overseen by the FOEDRC that seeks to develop new treatments for diabetes and its complications and to bring them ultimately to market. The Bridge to the cure program represents an innovative collaboration and we are excited by what this new year will bring. For this reason, I have chosen to write about one example from a FOEDRC member that recently demonstrated the ability of the compound nicotinamide riboside to restore nerve damage from chemotherapy. We believe that this same mechanism could lead to improved nerve function in people with diabetes. I hope that you will enjoy reading about this exciting advance below. DRC Director's Report - February 2019 The Department of Defense office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs has awarded DRC member, Ethan Anderson, Associate Professor College of Pharmacy, funding as part of its Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) Discovery Award competition. The project is: Exploiting the Paracrine-Like Effect of Prohibitin-1 to Treat Septic Cardiomyopathy. The grant will provide $310,000 in total support over a 2-year period. DRC Director's Report - October 2019 The current epidemic of obesity is a major contributing factor in the rising rate of type 2 diabetes. Recent work from the laboratory of Kamal Rahmouni, PhD, a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC), uncovered a novel and important role for a protein complex called the BBSome in the function of key nerve cells called neurons in small a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus that controls food intake, body’s fat and glucose metabolism. 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