Once absorbed, nutrients such as glucose and fat are directed toward specific sites inside a cell along set pathways. Defects in these pathways cause a large number of diseases, including diabetes.
Prof. Zvulun Elazar of the Biological Chemistry Department is studying the transport of molecules between different cell sites in order to understand what happens when this process goes awry, as in the case of Type 2 diabetes. He has identified three previously unknown proteins required for intracellular transport, and has recently isolated and cloned the gene for two of the proteins that take part in directing this process: “GATE-16”and “ERG30”.
Understanding how the molecular mechanism is modulated may lead to new approaches for treating Type 2 diabetes by correcting defective intracellular transport.