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New Protein Biomarker Identified in Insulin Resistance

Cathepsin D identified as new insulin resistance biomarker; IR seems to have causal effect on t-PA

MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Proteomic blood profiling has identified new circulating biomarkers for homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), according to a study published online Sept. 29 in Diabetes.

Christoph Nowak, B.M., B.Ch., from Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues used a novel high-throughput 92-protein assay to identify circulating biomarkers for HOMA-IR in two cohorts of 1,367 community residents without diabetes.

The researchers identified cathepsin D and confirmed six proteins (leptin, renin, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist [IL-1ra], hepatocyte growth factor, fatty acid binding protein 4, and tissue plasminogen activator [t-PA]) as IR biomarkers. There was a positive causal effect for IR on t-PA concentrations. IL-1ra and t-PA correlated with incident type 2 diabetes (hazard ratios, 1.28 and 1.30, respectively), while five-year transition to hyperglycemia was predicted by t-PA (odds ratio, 1.30). Both coefficients were rendered insignificant after additional adjustment for fasting glucose, and a correlation between renin and type 2 diabetes was revealed (hazard ratio, 0.79). A risk model including IL-1ra, t-PA, and the Framingham Offspring Study type 2 diabetes score was suggested, but prediction improvement was not significantly better than with the type 2 diabetes score only (difference in C-index, 0.02).

"In conclusion, proteomic blood profiling indicated cathepsin D as a new IR biomarker and suggested a causal effect of IR on t-PA," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Merck.

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