Physiology

Could microbes be diabetogenic?

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Science  23 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6417, pp. 906
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6417.906-b

Microbes that live in the gut secrete metabolites that enter the bloodstream and may influence the health of the host organism. Koh et al. found that human gut microbes can produce the amino acid metabolite imidazole propionate, which is abundant in blood from human patients with type 2 diabetes and might contribute to their disease. Germ-free mice injected with imidazole propionate developed glucose intolerance and disrupted insulin signaling, like the diabetic patients. Imidazole propionate appeared to act, at least in part, through the p38γ mitogen-activated protein kinase to activate the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) protein kinase complex.

Cell 175, 947 (2018).

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