Editors' ChoicePharmacology

Personalized Diabetes Therapy

Science Signaling  14 Oct 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 347, pp. ec288
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaa0459

The sequencing of the human genome has been heralded as the advent of personalized medicine; however, translating an individual’s genetic variants to tailored therapy for a specific disease is a long road. Now, Tang et al. report that yohimbine, an antagonist for the α2A-adrenergic receptor, can improve insulin secretion in type 2 diabetics who carry a genetic variant in the encoding gene, ADRA2A. Type 2 diabetics with this variant overexpress the α2A-adrenergic receptor and have impaired insulin secretion. In a randomized, placebo-controlled study, yohimbine increased insulin secretion in type 2 diabetics with the risk variant to levels comparable to those without the risk variant. These results suggest that risk variant analysis can lead to individualized therapies that target patient-specific pathophysiology.

Y. Tang, A. S. Axelsson, P. Spégel, L. E. Andersson, H. Mulder, L. C. Groop, E. Renström, A. H. Rosengren, Genotype-based treatment of type 2 diabetes with an α2A-adrenergic receptor antagonist. Sci. Transl. Med. 6, 257ra139 (2014). [PubMed]