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Cell Metab. 2006 Nov;4(5):337-8.

Banking on ATM as a new target in metabolic syndrome.

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Joslin Diabetes Center and Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


In this issue of Cell Metabolism, Semenkovich and his colleagues show that ATM, a protein well known for its roles in the cellular response to DNA breaks, may also be linked to metabolic and cardiovascular diseases (Schneider et al., 2006). ATM seemingly does this by inhibiting JNK, a stress kinase involved in inflammation with related effects in insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. In an interesting twist, the authors show that chloroquine, an antimalarial drug, also activates ATM, which inhibits JNK, and improves insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular effects. These findings provide potential new insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of metabolic syndrome.

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