This is very topical. This entry was in the Garvan Institute newsletter this month:
Taking a muscular approach towards diabetes and other diseases
Scientists at Garvan have identified a gene that regulates muscle size, a finding that could help unlock therapies for Type 2 diabetes and diseases such as muscular dystrophy, where muscles are weakened and damaged.
Dr Lowenna Holt (pictured right), A/Prof Greg Cooney and Prof Roger Daly were researching ways to improve the response of muscle to insulin, when they discovered that a particular strain of genetically modified mice - missing the Grb10 protein - had large muscles. This finding led them to further research and they have found that this protein regulates muscle development at the embryonic stage, even before birth.
Apart from its implications in muscle regeneration during healing, the finding is important for diabetes research because muscles are the biggest users of glucose in the body. A drug able to reduce the Grb10 protein from expressing in the body would increase muscle mass, and so increase the capacity to move glucose from the blood stream into cells, a major goal for any diabetes therapy.