8/9/2012 7:40:34 AM
At its most fundamental level, diabetes is a disease characterized by stress -- microscopic stress that causes inflammation and the loss of insulin production in the pancreas, and system-wide stress due to the loss of that blood-sugar-regulating hormone. Now, researchers led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have uncovered a new key player in amplifying this stress in the earliest stages of diabetes: a molecule called thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP). The molecule, they've discovered, is central to the inflammatory process that leads to the death of the cells in the human pancreas that produce insulin.
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