Role and relevance of RNA editing of immune cells in obese-induced type 2 diabetes

Cecilia Morgantini
Karolinska Institutet
200 000 SEK - 2019

Obese individuals can develop resistance to the cellular actions of insulin, characterized by an impaired ability of insulin to inhibit glucose output from the liver. As a consequence of insulin-resistance, both insulin and glucose level builds up in blood causing type 2 Diabetes. Obesity associated-insulin resistance is a complicated metabolic state that also includes an accumulation of fat molecules inside liver cells. We recently discovered that one of the immune cells of the liver, can produce proteins that directly regulate circulating glucose levels. Some of these
proteins can be modified at RNA level only in insulin resistant patients.

This phenomenon could serve as a protective evolutionary mechanism against insulin resistance. Here we will use advanced sequencing techniques to map both changes in RNA and proteins of immune cells from such patients. These findings can then be related to disease progression and increase the understanding of how obesity is linked to the development of insulin resistance, Moreover, the results will give new treatments for patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes.