The Saltiel lab investigates the molecular events involved in the regulation of glucose uptake and storage, with special attention to mechanisms underlying the specificity of the actions of insulin and the links between obesity and diabetes. Developing new drugs targeting defects in the uptake and storage of glucose in muscle and fat cells requires a better grasp of the cell biology of insulin action.
- Diabetes, obesity and metabolic disorders
- Insulin signalling
- Cell biology
Alan Saltiel is a cell biologist who researches the hormone insulin and how it relates to obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
He is also the Mary Sue Coleman Director of the Life Sciences Institute.
Amlexanox, an off-patent drug, also reverses obesity, diabetes and fatty liver in mice by inhibiting two genes—IKKE and TBK1—that together act as a sort of brake on metabolism. By releasing the brake, amlexanox seems to free the metabolic system to burn more, and possibly store less, energy.
The research was published Feb. 10 in Nature Medicine.
Reilly, S, Chiang S, Decker S.J., Chang L., Uhm, M., Larsen, M., Rubin J., Mowers J., White N., Hochberg I., Downes M., Yu R., Liddle C., Evans R.M., Oh D., Li P., Olefsky J.M., Saltiel A.R. (2013). An inhibitor of the protein kinases TBK1 and IKK-ε improves obesity-related metabolic dysfunctions in mice. Nature Medicine.
Chen X.W., Leto D., Xiao J., Goss J., Wang Q., Shavit J.A., Xiong T., Yu G., Ginsburg D., Toomre D., Xu Z., Saltiel A.R. (2011). Exocyst function regulated by effector phosphorylation. Nature Cell Biology.