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New Biological Mechanism of Insulin Signaling Discovered

Investigators at Scripps Research say they have found a new biological mechanism of insulin signaling. Their work, involving the roundworm C. elegans, reveals that a “decoy” receptor is at work in binding to insulin molecules and keeping them from sending signals for increased insulin production.

The study An alternatively spliced, non-signaling insulin receptor modulates insulin sensitivity via insulin peptide sequestration in C. elegans” which appears in eLife, describes a new factor in the insulin signaling system, one that may offer insights into insulin resistance, a feature of type 2 diabetes. The scientists are now assessing whether a similar decoy exists in humans. If so, it could present a new target for diabetes treatment and prevention research.

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