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Mitochondria in Mice Hold Clues to Understanding Diabetes

By Dan Bammes

Salt Lake City, UT – Mitochondria are the powerhouses of human and animal cells. They turn glucose and fatty acids into ATP, the molecule that supplies energy for everything we do. Researchers at the University of Utah and Washington University in St. Louis have helped to clarify the role of an enzyme that helps to regulate mitochondria in genetically engineered mice. The enzyme is called PGC-1-alpha, and it could help scientists understand one of the most common diseases in our society -- Type II diabetes. Doctor Dale Abel and post-doctoral researcher Sihem Boudina worked on the study at the University of Utah School of Medicine. The study is published in the journal Public Library of Science Biology. Dr. Abel spoke to KUER's Dan Bammes.

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