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News-in-brief / 06.23.15

Study identifies small-molecule compound that protects cells against ER stress

By Broad Communications

The cellular organelle known as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is critical for metabolism, and a stressed ER, as occurs during obesity, can lead to type 2 diabetes. A team led by Gökhan Hotamisligil, of the Broad Institute and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, developed novel high-throughput assay systems to monitor ER function in cells in culture, and used it to identify a novel compound, azoramide, that improves ER function and protects cells during ER stress. In addition, azoramide improved insulin action and reduced blood glucose levels in animals, suggesting potential translational possibilities and warranting testing in human clinical trials. Read more in Science Translational Medicine or this Harvard press release.