Researchers from UTMB have discovered one of the pathogenic components of diabetes in the heart, as published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. While both heart disease and diabetes are widely studied, how diabetic cardiomyopathy develops is not well understood, other than that it seemed to be linked to protein kinase C (PKC) — a family of enzymes that controls the functions of other proteins by using phosphates to turn them on and off. Researchers at UTMB, led by assistant professor of biochemistry Dr. Muge Kuyumcu-Martinez, studied the effects of PKC signals in the hearts of diabetic mice. "We now know that the leading cause of diabetic cardiomyopathy can be attributed to PKC activation and its downstream effects on gene expression," said Kuyumcu-Martinez. "Knowing how cardiomyopathy manifests, further research can use these results to concentrate on the prevention and treatment of heart failure in diabetics." The news also appears in BioNews Texas, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, RedOrbit and MedicalXpress.