Diet, diabetes, and a gene called mINDY

Tamping down expression of the fruit fly gene Indyimproves mitochondrial function, mimicking the effects of a low-calorie diet and prolonging the life span of the flies (hence the name, an abbreviation for “I’m not dead yet”). But scientists have lacked details on the precise physiological bases for these changes.

To find out, a group led by Gerald I. Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., George R. Cowgill Professor of Physiological Chemistry and professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Physiology, knocked out mINDY, a mammalian version of the gene. As reported In the August 3 issue of Cell Metabolism, the manipulation improved mitochondrial function and fatty acid metabolism in the liver. The mice were protected from diet- and age-related accumulation of fat in the liver, which leads to hepatic insulin resistance, and, in humans, can evolve into type 2 diabetes.

mINDYmay be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of hepatic insulin resistance, a major factor in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes,” says Shulman, also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.


Other Advances


Knocking out itch with a BAM

Many of us turn to antihistamines to deal with itch caused by seasonal nuisances such as mosquito...

Read more...


Opioid abusers have supplies close to home

The widespread illicit use of opioid painkillers begins more in bathroom medicine cabinets than...

Read more...


Could digestive woes be contagious?

In the digestive system, many trillions of bacteria subsist in a delicately balanced ecosystem...

Read more...