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Human insulin enhanced with corn snail “Blueprint”

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Mini-in structure

Description of fast-acting, minimized form of insulin

“Mini Inn” by Professor Mike Lawrence.

Diabetes treatment could be improved by the development of a dramatically modified form of human insulin called “miniin,” which was successful in mimicking the superrapid-acting nature of the corn snail venom, insulin.

Mini-Ins shows great potential in a laboratory model and rapidly lowers postprandial blood glucose levels. It is well tolerated by the immune system and is not prone to long-term side effects. Diabetes Treatment.

This study was a collaborative study between the Walter and Elizahol Institute of Medicine and the University of Utah, with researchers from the University of Melbourne, Latrobe University, Flinders University, and Monash Institute for Medicinal Sciences in Australia. It was published today in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

At a glance

  • Researchers have succeeded in strengthening human insulin with lessons learned from the super-rapid corn snail venom insulin.
  • Preclinical studies have shown that a modified insulin, Mini-Ins, rapidly lowers blood glucose levels and is well tolerated by the immune system.
  • Mini-Ins is under development to provide a safe form of human insulin that functions faster than current gold standard treatments.

Exciting proof of principle

Principal Investigator at the Research Institute, Mike Lawrence, Have studied the structure of insulin and its receptors for 20 years.

Professor Lawrence is pleased that preclinical studies were able to effectively enhance human insulin using Conus geographus, a principle found in corn corn snail venom.

“We have completed the translational steps from snail venom insulin to human-like miniins that are safe and well tolerated by the immune system.”

“Our findings also show that Mini-Ins does not activate the related insulin-like growth factor pathways that increase the risk of cancer. Researchers found that when developing new insulin therapies for diabetes.” It is something that must be avoided.

“Even in this early stage of development, Mini-Ins was able to lower blood glucose levels as quickly as the best therapies in use today, which could lead to even shorter response times with further development. That’s something that can be life-changing for diabetics, ”said Lawrence.

Frustrating and annoying

According to the World Health Organization, diabetes affects more than 422 million people worldwide. For many people with diabetes, it can be difficult to consistently control blood glucose levels by injecting enough insulin before starting each meal.

As a result, some diabetics find it difficult to comply with injection regimens, Professor Lawrence said.

“Our goal is to improve insulin treatment by reducing the time frame they spend working.”

“Achieving this will help people with diabetes manage their condition easier, which will lead to better health outcomes,” he said.

Corn snail clues

Prof. Mike Lawrence and Dr. John Menting

(L-R) Prof. Mike Lawrence and Dr. John Menting

Australian research department. [Photo taken pre COVID-19 pandemic]

Working closely with Professor Lawrence in the lab is Dr. John Menting, who has long been involved in research leading to this exciting milestone.

Dr. Menting said a new discovery made based on previous research that marine snails have discovered a very fast-acting venom insulin.

“In 2016, we worked with colleagues at the University of Utah to show how the corn snail venom insulin avoids the conformational changes found in human insulin.

“Developing a mini-in was like designing an old machine to incorporate the latest components.”

“Like engineering, our process needed detailed images to know which” design changes “to make.

“By applying extensive experience in structural biology, we acquired images of the corn snail venom insulin and its receptor at the Australian synchrotron. These incorporate the faster-acting corn snail venom insulin properties. This provided us with a “blueprint” for enhancing human insulin, “he said.

Treatment advances

San Francisco, USA-based biotechnology company Monolog is proof-of-concept of Mini-Ins for the development of therapeutic versions that are safe and effective for humans.

These are exciting next steps, Professor Lawrence said, and future versions of the mini-in could be used by patients worldwide.

“The purpose of this next phase is to advance the treatment to clinical trials, hopefully to deliver a safe and effective insulin treatment that will someday function faster than current gold standards.

“Even if we could halve the pre-injection time frame, it would make a huge difference for people with diabetes,” he said.

The research was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. This was supported by the US National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Institute (NIDDK) and JDRF.

Visualized mini-in

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