Qatar University (QU) has achieved a significant milestone in diabetes treatment research. Dr. Layla Al-Mansoori, Research Assistance Professor at QU’s Biomedical Research Center (BRC), in collaboration with esteemed colleagues, has unveiled a groundbreaking discovery with immense promise for individuals living with diabetes, particularly Type 2. Their study focuses on the critical role of the protein GATA3 in the development of this chronic health condition.
Diabetes affects millions of people worldwide, with Type 2 diabetes being the most prevalent form. It is characterized by insulin resistance, where the body’s cells are unable to effectively use insulin. This condition results in elevated blood sugar levels, which, over time, can lead to damage to blood vessels, nerves, and organs.
In recent years, researchers worldwide have been diligently working to better comprehend the underlying causes of diabetes and explore novel treatment avenues. QU’s scientific team, led by Dr. Layla Al-Mansoori, alongside Dr. Mohamed Elrayess, Associate Research Professor at BRC, and Dr. Hamda Abdulla Al-Naemi, Director of the Laboratory Animal Research Center (LARC), embarked on an innovative investigation into GATA3 inhibition and its effects on adipogenesis and insulin signaling. While GATA3 inhibition has been previously utilized in diseases such as asthma and ulcerative colitis, this study marks the first time scientists at QU Health, BRC, and LARC have explored its potential impact on diabetes.
The researchers employed a GATA3-specific DNAzyme encapsulated in liposome particles to induce GATA3 inhibition, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the inhibitor used. The study produced exciting findings, demonstrating that in vitro GATA3 inhibition induced adipogenesis in primary human pre-adipocytes and enhanced insulin signaling in an insulin-resistant in vitro model. Furthermore, in vivo GATA3 inhibition not only promoted adipogenesis at the injection site but also led to a reduction in omental tissue size, resulting in more favorable fat redistribution.
These groundbreaking findings suggest that modulating GATA3 expression holds the potential for therapeutic benefits by correcting impaired adipogenesis, promoting healthier fat distribution, improving insulin sensitivity, and potentially reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Moreover, the observed reduction in omental tissue size indicates that inhibiting GATA3 could offer a non-surgical alternative for improved fat distribution, presenting exciting possibilities in the cosmetic industry.
The research conducted by Dr. Mohamed Elrayess and Dr. Layla Al-Mansoori has been patented at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, with a publication date of December 2021. Recognizing the significance of this breakthrough, the office of Strategic Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development (SIEED) at QU, in collaboration with the inventors, is actively exploring potential investments from international pharmaceutical companies.
“While further research is necessary to fully comprehend the effects of GATA3 inhibition and determine its therapeutic efficacy for individuals with diabetes, our findings provide a solid foundation for further investigations into the potential benefits of inhibiting GATA3,” stated Dr. Layla Al-Mansoori. “This discovery represents a promising approach to diabetes treatment, with the potential to transform lives and improve patient outcomes.”
QU remains committed to driving innovation and excellence in research, fostering collaboration with global partners to address healthcare challenges on a broader scale. The institution’s dedication to advancing scientific knowledge and translating research into tangible solutions continues to affect the lives of individuals worldwide.