In type 2 diabetes, a protein called amylin forms dense clumps that shut down insulin-producing cells, wreaking havoc on the control of blood sugar. But in people without diabetes, amylin doesn't misbehave; it actually pitches in to help with blood sugar regulation. What accounts for the difference?
It's all about the company amylin keeps, new research by Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy and colleagues at the University of Michigan suggests. In the presence of zinc, amylin is mild-mannered; without zinc, it runs amok. The research will appear in the July 7 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.