Molecular Link Between Diabetes And Heart Attacks Uncovered By Texas Researchers

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With more Americans each year developing cardiac complications as a result of diabetes, new attempts to discover the underlying cause are producing insightful results. A team of researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch has uncovered a molecular mechanism involved in a common form of heart damage found in people with diabetes.

Their findings, published in the Cell Reports journal, set out to understand more about the underlying heart disease experienced by 2 out of 5 diabetes sufferers. Doctors have known about diabetic cardiomyopathy since the early seventies, a disorder of the heart that can lead to heart failure.

It’s this specific condition that the researchers sought to learn about through the way certain molecular mechanisms function in diabetic hearts. When RNA (Ribonucleic acid, a genetic blueprint for making protein) is cut or spliced by the body to create mRNA (Messenger RNA, which translates that blueprint to make protein) sometimes mistakes can happen. It’s these ‘glitches’ that are associated with many human diseases because they lead to the wrong proteins being created.

Researchers previously found that when splicing is incorrectly regulated by the body, this also led to another discovery: higher levels of a splicing regulator called RBFOX2. Their new study looked into how this regulator contributes to those splicing effects, and how that overall affects cardiac function. They found that RBFOX2 binds to 73% of the ‘glitched’ RNA proteins, which as a result “impair normal gene expression patterns in the heart.”

“We discovered that RBFOX2 function is disrupted in diabetic hearts before cardiac complications are noticeable and RBFOX2 dysregulation contributes to abnormal calcium signaling in the heart,” said N. Muge Kuyumcu-Martinez, lead author and UTMB assistant professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology. “Identifying RBFOX2 as an important contributor to diabetic complications and learning how it is dysregulated may allow us to develop new tools to diagnose, prevent or treat diabetic cardiomyopathy in the future.”

While it’s a very in-depth piece of research, the  takeaway message is that if you are prediabetic or your fasting glucose is 90 or above, there is something you can do about it now. Visit us at the Acupuncture & Wellness Center, P.S. and we can help to regulate your sugar metabolism and prevent this glitch in gene expression from happening.

Currently, 9.3% of the population has Type 2 diabetes, which is around 29 million Americans. This rising number is prompting a significant number of studies seeking to discover new methods for lowering that percentage. Another recent piece of research discovered that a full-fat dairy diet was able to lower a person’s risk of diabetes.

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