Caffeine-Inducible Gene Switches Controlling Experimental Diabetes
ZURICH – June 22, 2018
Good news for diabetics came from ETH Zurich. A group of scientists headed by Dr. Martin Fussenegger have developed a completely new method of treatment for the disease involving caffeine. Utilizing a caffeine-binding single-domain antibody they have established a caffeine-inducible protein dimerization system, enabling synthetic transcription factors and cell-surface receptors that enable transgene expression in response to physiologically relevant concentrations of caffeine generated by routine intake of beverages such as tea and coffee.
In simple terms they introduced a special cells into the pancreas that act as a "plant" to create the essential hormone. After that, when you take caffeine, integrated cells stimulate the process of insulin production and reduce the concentration of glucose in the blood. A group of scientists have already conducted experiments on mice that have confirmed their expectations. When the proteins were injected and further stimulated with caffeine, the blood sugar level in mice stabilized and the animals returned to their normal weight.
Scientists stressed that with abundant caffeine consumption, the body continued to maintain a stable concentration of glucose, without lowering it to a critical level. Caffeine is a component of various popular beverages like coffee. So this therapy should seamlessly integrate into people's lifestyles. C-STAR cells were challenged with 26 products, including Nespresso Grand Cru®, Starbucks®coffee, Red Bull®, Cuida Te® tea capsule, and Coca-Cola etc. In each case, the integrated genetic system has been successfully “Launched.” This indicates the universality of the method. Dr. Martin Fussenegger notes that his team is now preparing to test the product of their research on humans. If the tests confirm the scientists’ expectations, the life of diabetics could change dramatically for the better in the near future.