Medical scientists at the University of Leicester have identified for the first time a new way in which the body controls blood sugar levels following a meal.
The researchers discovered that in order to maintain the correct levels of sugar, a protein present on the cells that release insulin in the pancreas has to be active. This protein, called the M3-muscarinic receptor, is not only active but also needs to undergo a specific change. The change triggers insulin release and the control of blood sugar levels.
The breakthrough was made in the University of Leicester by a team led by Professor Andrew Tobin, Professor of Cell Biology, who is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow. The research is published online ahead of print in the international scientific journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.