Researchers have discovered a metabolic pathway that plays a key role in glucose, lipid, and energy balance in mammalian cells, presenting a new potential approach for treating metabolic disorders (Mugabo Y et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016;113:E430-E439).
While looking for mechanisms that enable cultured insulin-secreting beta cells to get rid of excess glucose as glycerol, scientists at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre identified an enzyme not previously known to exist in mammalian cells called Gro3P phosphatase (G3PP) that directly hydrolyzes glycerol-3-phosphate (Gro3P) to glycerol and diverts it outside the cell when glucose levels are high.
Hampton T. Enzyme Discovery May Lead to New Treatments for Metabolic Disorders. JAMA. 2016;315(9):860. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1484