Scientists at Penn and Howard Hughes Medical Institute believe that their investigation of the role fat metabolism plays in the development of Type 2 diabetes has pointed to a new drug target. Their focus is a protein that plays a role in fat metabolism. The protein Akt2/PKB prevents fat metabolism by adding a phosphate group to PGC-1a, which is needed to trigger the genes needed for fat metabolism. Both PGC-1a and Akt2/PKB are good targets for new drug development, according to the researchers. The lead author is Morris J. Birnbaum, MD, PhD, the Willard and Rhoda Ware Professor of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases at Penn and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
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