An overall aim of our research is to study the regulation and function of protein phosphorylation cascades with relevance to type 2 diabetes, with a particular focus on adipose tissue, since this tissue is involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes. Presently, our main project evolves around the amp-activated protein kinase (ampk) family, which consists of ampk and another 12 related kinases, of which we are particularly interested in the salt-inducible kinases (1-3). We have shown that sik2 is down-regulated in adipose tissue from obese individuals and are currently investigating the role of sik2 in the development of diabetes. Ampk is a target for new and existing diabetes therapy, and our research will predict effects of such therapy in adipose tissue.
Protein phosphorylation is a signalling mechanism that regulates most aspects of cellular life, and protein kinases, which carry out this post-translational modification, constitute the largest family of enzymes encoded by the human genome. Defects in signal transduction is a mechanism contributing to the development of both cancer and diabetes. Increased knowledge about protein kinase signalling is thus needed to prevent and treat these diseases.