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Prof. Kim Sung Hoon Finds New Protein

  • September 12, 2006
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The team led by Kim Sung-hoon, a pharmaceutical professor at Seoul National University, found out that the AIMP1 protein, besides the previously known insulin and glucagon hormones, is a major contributor to controlling levels of blood sugar in animals.

Prof. Kim Sung Hoon finds new protein linked to blood sugar level

A team of South Korean scientists claimed Tuesday it has discovered a new protein which may play a crucial role in controlling the blood sugar level in humans.

The team led by Kim Sung-hoon, a pharmaceutical professor at Seoul National University, found out that the AIMP1 protein, besides the previously known insulin and glucagon hormones, is a major contributor to controlling levels of blood sugar in animals.

Blood sugar is a term used to describe levels of glucose, a type of carbohydrate, in the blood. A drop in the blood sugar level could lead to lethargy, impaired mental functioning and loss of consciousness.

The team found out through examining lab mice that the AIMP1 protein was enriched within hormone-secreting alpha cells, together with glucagon hormones, which increase blood glucose level, in human bodies.

They also discovered that it promotes development of glucose from fatty tissues, when the blood sugar level drops, after being secreted into the blood from the pancreas.

A lab mouse lacking the AIMP1 protein showed a sharp drop of blood sugar level, low glucagon production and slow growth development, according to the team.

The team's feat was published in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the official journal of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

"The discovery is currently being applied for developing a new blood sugar control medicine for humans together with U.S.

partners for possible future commercialization," the team said in a statement.

Seoul, Sept. 12 (Yonhap News)
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