The role of insulin is to lower blood glucose levels by stimulating glucose uptake into muscle and adipose tissue. Resistance to insulin, a phenomenon directly involved in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, remains to be understood. Basic research has yet to fully discover how insulin action is elicited. Research in the laboratory of Paul R. Langlais, Ph.D., focuses on the identification and characterization of proteins involved in insulin signal transduction and also tests whether the dysfunction of these proteins is involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Langlais specializes in the use of mass spectrometry to perform proteomics, a technique that allows for large-scale quantitative analysis of protein abundances between different treatments. This approach led him to make the discovery that CLIP-associating protein 2 (CLASP2) is responsive to insulin stimulation, and his now-published findings support the involvement of CLASP2 in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Current research is aimed at discovering the role of CLASP2 in insulin action, in addition to identifying new proteins previously unknown to function in this system.