Methods of Diagnosis and Treatment of Metabolic Disorders

Description: The invention is based on the discovery that two proteins within a specific family play key roles in the pathogenesis of metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity. The family of proteins are the sirtuins, Class III histone deacetylases (HDACs) which are known to play roles in gene silencing and DNA repair, and which also have been implicated in determination of lifespan in model organisms. The inventors have discovered that one member of the sirtuin family can promote adipogenesis when adenoviral constructs expressing the protein were introduced into mouse cells. In addition, a different member of the family was identified in gene expression studies to be down-regulated in mouse models of diabetes. Numerous other proteins were found in the gene expression studies to either be up-regulated or down-regulated in the diabetic animal models. Clinical & Commercial Utility: These two sirtuin proteins are targets for drug development and therapeutic intervention against Type 2 diabetes, obesity and other disorders. The invention includes methods of treating obesity and related diseases by inhibiting or blocking the action of the first sirtuin protein, for example through the use of known HDAC inhibitors. In addition, agents that might enhance expression or activity of the second sirtuin protein could be used to treat diabetes or other metabolic disorders. The invention also includes methods of drug screening and methods of diagnosing disease that involve the detection of increased or decreased activities of the proteins, as the case may be.
A U.S. patent application claiming this invention has been filed. Research publications include Yechoor, et al. (2004), PNAS 101(47):16525-16530 and Jing, et al., (2007), Cell Metab. 6(2):105-14.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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