Scientists from Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica released important scientific results this morning that can help the development of new medicine on diabetes treatment, the institute said.
The result published in Nature, one of the world's top scientific journals, is about the determination of the high-resolution atomic structure of human glucagon receptor (GCGR).
Glucagon receptor is a protein activated by peptide hormone glucagon which is mainly found in liver and kidney. It participates in adjusting the blood sugar level and helps keeping it steady.
It belongs to the class B G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily, the largest membrane protein family in human body. Class B GPCRs exert essential action in maintaining the balance of hormones and cell signal transduction. They are important factors on setting the therapy for the treatment of various diseases, including metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, migraine, depression and anxiety. Likewise, the activation of GCGR triggers the release of glucose from the liver during fasting, and thus it is a potential drug target for type 2 diabetes.
The results found by the team, led by researcher Wu Beili, are in support of the GCGR structure and confirm the conformational alterations of the receptor in different functional states.