Washington: Better treatments for Type I diabetes may be on the anvil, thanks to a new study which improves the understanding of how insulin interacts with cells in the human body.
Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research also offers new insight into how insulin binds to insulin receptors on cells.
By developing and analysing a range of super active insulins, scientists from the York Structural Biology Laboratory at the University of York have been able to identify common features that point to the likely molecular structure of human insulin when it is active in the body.
The research was conducted with colleagues at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
Dr Marek Brzozowski, from the York Structural Biology Laboratory, said: "The structures of inactive forms of insulin and the insulin receptor are reasonably well known, but documenting how they interact has proven to be a considerable scientific challenge.
"Improving our understanding of this interaction holds the key to developing far more sophisticated treatments for Type I diabetes and this research represents an important step forward."