Diabetes is related to the beta cells of the pancreas not secreting enough insulin in response to blood glucose levels. The release of insulin involves many complex biochemical processes.
One such process involves protein structures known as GLP1Rs that are present in the cell. In one such process, a hormone molecule, called GLP1, released after eating a meal, binds to proteins, known as GLP1R. This triggers the release of insulin.
Current drugs used to treat diabetes, such as exenatide and liraglutide, mimic GLP1 and bind to GLP1R to trigger insulin release. However, these drugs are given as injections, and they are expensive and unstable after administration.
“We strive to find simpler, stable, cheap and effective drugs against both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes“, said study author Dr. Prosenjit Mondal, Associate Professor, School of Basic Sciences.
The researchers found that PK2 is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, which means it can be used as an oral medication instead of an injection.
After two hours of administration, PK2 was found distributed in the liver, kidney and pancreas of rats, but there was no trace of it in the heart, lungs and spleen.
Small amounts are present in the brain, which suggests that this molecule can cross the blood-brain barrier. The release said it was removed from circulation in about 10 hours.
“In addition to increasing insulin release, PK2 can also prevent and even reverse the loss of beta cells, a cell required for insulin production, making it effective for both Type 1 and Type 1 diabetes. 2.‘ said Dr. Mondal.
To test the biological effects of PK2, the researchers administered it orally to diabetic rats and measured glucose levels and insulin secretion. Serum insulin levels in PK2-treated mice were increased six-fold compared with controls.