Metabolism and Inactivation of Glucagon by Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV (DPIV)

John Pospisilik’s research centres on glucagon, an important hormone involved in regulating blood sugar levels between meals. Glucagon prevents hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) by releasing sugar stored in liver, fat and muscle. While type 1 and type 2 diabetes both involve excessive release of glucagon, until recently, little was known about how the body inactivates and clears glucagons from the blood stream. Pospisilik contributed to research that showed the DP IV enzyme may inactivate glucagon. Now using state-of-the-art and conventional techniques, he is examining the process in which DP IV may inactivate and clear glucagon, and developing tools to measure active glucagon. He hopes this research will lead to novel treatments for diabetes.