What Is ERAD ?
ERAD (Endoplasmic Reticulum-associated Degradation) is a very important cellular survival mechanism that handles problematic proteins in our bodies. Accumulation of misfolded proteins in the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) results in ER Stress, which consequently kills healthy cells by initiating apoptosis. ERAD can specifically target misfolded or unfolded proteins such as insulin for degradation. Once a misfolded protein is targeted by the ERAD machinery, it will be removed from the ER and sent to the cytoplasma for degradation by the proteasome. As the cause of ER Stress can be ameliorated, ERAD has been considered a therapeutic target for many diseases.
What Can ERAD do for you?
In people with type II diabetes, the insulin-producing β cells and the diabetic medications collaboratively regulate the blood sugar levels. As you may expect over time, to maintain the same level of blood sugar, stronger medications are needed as the β cell mass diminishes. However, the homeostasis (of the β cell mass) is dependent on how fast β cells die. Therefore, in diabetes management, tactics, including enhancing ERAD to reduce ER stress in the β cell should be useful. By doing this, individuals acquire what has been missing in the treatments that are currently available for diabetes. After all, to maintain the same level of blood sugar, the stronger your β cells are, the less medications you need.