Main Newsletter
Mastery Series
Therapy Series
 
Bookmark and Share | Print Article | Items for the Week Previous | All Articles This Week | Next
This article originally posted and appeared in  PathologyIssue 674

Excess Glucose May Harden Heart and Lungs

Research found that glucose suppressed ferroelectricity up to 50%....

Advertisement

New research conducted at the University of Washington and Boston University has shown that excess glucose in the body could damage the elastic proteins found in important organs such as the heart and lungs, which aid in breathing and pumping blood.

In this study, aortic tissue was separated into two types of proteins, elastin and collagen. Ferroelectric switching is what allows the elastin to be flexible and convey repeated pulses, in organs such as the arteries. It is a response to an electric field in which a molecule switches from having a positive charge to a negative charge. Recent discoveries in animal tissue have traced this property to elastin in animal tissues.

When researchers treated the elastin with sugar, they noticed a 50% suppression of the ferroelectric switching. The sugar-protein interaction mimics glycation, a process where sugar molecules attach to proteins and degrade their structure and function. Consequently, hardening of the tissues, and degradation of ligaments and arteries has been observed, leading to an overall loss of function.

Co-author, Jiangyu Li, says, "This could be associated with aging and diabetes."

Yuanming Liu, Yunjie Wang, Ming-Jay Chow, Nataly Q. Chen, Feiyue Ma, Yanhang Zhang, and Jiangyu Li. Glucose suppresses biological ferroelectricity in aortic elastin. Physical Review Letters, 2013

Advertisement


 

Bookmark and Share | Print | Category | Home

This article originally posted 25 April, 2013 and appeared in  PathologyIssue 674

Past five issues: Issue 752 | SGLT-2 Inhibitors Special Edition October 2014 | Diabetes Clinical Mastery Series Issue 211 | Issue 751 | Humulin Insulin Special Edition October 2014 |


Cast Your Vote
Are your patients getting enough glucose strips to manage their diabetes?
CME/CE of the Week
Dr. George S. Eisenbarth

Category: General Diabetes
Credits: 1.0
Search Articles On Diabetes In Control