29 October DRC Director's Report - October 2019 October 29, 2019 By The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center 0 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. POMC and AgRP neurons in the hypothalamus play an essential role in the regulation of body weight by regulating appetite and energy expenditure (fat burning). Dr. Rahmouni and his team published an important paper this month in which they showed that by genetically disrupting the BBSome in these defined neurons causes severe obesity associated with elevated insulin levels in the blood and abnormal glucose metabolism. Their investigation of the biochemical pathway that links the BBSome to control of metabolism led them to the identification of a defect in the transport of specialized receptors (G protein-coupled neuropeptide Y Y2 receptor (NPY2R) and serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine (HT)2C receptor (5-HT2CR)) to the cell surface of these neurons and specialized structures in these cells known as cilia. These receptors interact with hormones and other signals that underlie neural control of metabolism. One of the receptors affected by loss of the BBSome is the target of BELVIQ®, an FDA-approved prescription weight-reducing medication. These findings are important because it shows that obese people who do not respond to weight-reducing medications such as BELVIQ® may have or develop defects in this pathway, which influences in the way the brain responds to this weight loss treatment. Dr. Rahmouni’s paper, entitled: “The BBSome in POMC and AgRP Neurons Is Necessary for Body Weight Regulation and Sorting of Metabolic Receptors”, which acknowledged FOEDRC support of this work, was published in the prestigious journal Diabetes. Related Articles DRC Director's Report - March 2019 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. 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 - October 2020 Please join us in welcoming Bhagirath Chaurasia, MS, PhD, to the University of Iowa and to the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center. Dr. Chaurasia also joins the Division of Endocrinology from his previous position as Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology at the University of Utah. He received his PhD from the University of Cologne in Germany before working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. 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. 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