Hitting the Sweet Spot: Capturing the Pancreas in a Protein

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Abel B. Cortinas, Kevin B. Daniel, Victor Cruz, Robert Grant, Daniel G. Anderson

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Abel B. Cortinas, Kevin B. Daniel, Victor Cruz, Robert Grant, Daniel G. Anderson
Koch Institute at MIT

Certain types of diabetes can be managed through injection of insulin, a protein hormone that regulates how the body processes sugar, but such treatment requires careful dosing and constant monitoring of glucose levels in the blood.

To help relieve these burdens, the Anderson Lab is developing “smart” insulin that can automatically sense changes in blood sugar levels and turn itself on or off to meet the body’s need. This image offers structural insights into the engineered insulins by overlaying crystalized glucose-responsive insulin protein (cubes) with diffraction pattern data (dots) collected from shooting x-rays at the crystals.   

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