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BD Biosciences
BD Biosciences

Die, diabetes

By Victoria Stern Die, diabetes Courtesy of Haim Cohen and David Sinclair / Harvard Medical School The paper: J. Milne et al., “Small molecule activators of SIRT1 as therapeutics for the treatment of type 2 diabetes,” Nature, 450: 712–16, 2007. (Cited in 145 papers) The finding: Scientists at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Harvard University developed approximately 3,000 small molecules that mimic resveratrol, which

By | December 1, 2009

Die, diabetes

Courtesy of Haim Cohen and David Sinclair / Harvard Medical School
The paper:

J. Milne et al., “Small molecule activators of SIRT1 as therapeutics for the treatment of type 2 diabetes,” Nature, 450: 712–16, 2007. (Cited in 145 papers)

The finding:

Scientists at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Harvard University developed approximately 3,000 small molecules that mimic resveratrol, which extends life span and protects against age-related diseases (such as Type 2 diabetes) by activating a protein called SIRT1. In diabetic mice, these new compounds were up to 1,000 times more potent than resveratrol and had the same beneficial effects for treating diabetes—they improved insulin sensitivity, lowered glucose levels in the blood, and increased the capacity of mitochondria.

The impact:

“We want to translate these molecules into drugs people can take to treat diseases of aging, such as Type 2 diabetes,” says Christoph Westphal, an author on the paper and a cofounder of Sirtris.

The limitations:

Increasing SIRT1 activity could combat a slew of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration and cancer, Fred Meijer, a retired professor of biochemistry at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, writes in an email. However, for Type 2 diabetes, which is associated with poor diet, activation of SIRT1 and similar proteins “will not help to combat the disease unless food intake is also diminished at the same time,” he adds.

The future:

Westphal says that the company is currently conducting clinical trials in diabetics using these compounds, with results to be published in the next few years.

Benefits of SIRT1 activators:
Extend lifespanImprove insulin sensitivity
Lower glucose toleranceIncrease mitochondrial number
Enhance liver insulin sensitivity

Comments

Avatar of: David Harrison

David Harrison

Posts: 28

December 22, 2009

Your article incorrectly implied that resveratrol is well known to extend lifespans generally. In fact, it only has extended lifespans in male B6 mice fed such a high fat diet that they are models for type II diabetes. I know of NO reports where resveratrol has increased lifespans in normal controls.
Avatar of: Sergio Stagnaro

Sergio Stagnaro

Posts: 59

December 25, 2009

I am delighted with this fascinating news, especially when it sounds "they (= new compounds!) improved insulin sensitivity, lowered glucose levels in the blood, and increased the capacity of mitochondria." In fact, since 32 years I have been stating, and demonstrating, that all severe human disesases, today's epidemics, including type 2 diabetes, are based on an INHERITED mitochondrial respiratory chain imapirment, I termed Congenital Acidosic Enzyme-Metabolic Histangiopathy (CAEMH). Regarding diabetes, exclusively individuals involved by CAEMH-Dependent Diabetic Constitutions may become diabetics, if, since birth, they show Diabetic Constitution-Dependent, INHERITED Real Risk,characterized by newborn-pathological,type I, subtype b) aspecific, (subtype a) is present typically in ONCOLOGICAL, INHERITED Real Risk), bedside evaluated with a stethoscope in a quantitative way, as I referred formerly ALSO in The Scientist website.
Avatar of: Paul Yu

Paul Yu

Posts: 1

January 4, 2010

The claims on the anti-aging efficacy of resveratrol through Sirt1 activation are premature and shortsighted. The physiological aging and pathological aging processes are far complex and involved, requiring numerous multiple regulatory systems, not likely by a small molecule or an enzyme.
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