GSK-3: The Less the Better


By: Linda von Wartburg

Scientists have been having fun again making themselves specially engineered mice. This time they knocked the gene that makes glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) right out of their ever-accommodating mice.

Without the gene, the mice couldn’t make the GSK-3 enzyme. And without that enzyme, they were more insulin-sensitive than their unengineered brethren. Because the mice were better able to use insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels, they could store more sugar in their livers.

The researchers believe that someday, chemical inhibitors of GSK-3 may prove useful to increase the effectiveness of insulin in humans.

Sources: EurekAlert; Cell Metabolism, October 2007



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