Diabetes and Obesity (Diabesity) is a growing worldwide epidemic, with more than 285 million people suffering this disease in the world, and is difficult to eradicate due to increasing unhealthy lifestyles.
Lupins, and in particular, Lupinus angustifolius (L.), also known as narrow-leaf lupin (NLL), are getting more and more recognition for multiple benefits, since lupin grains are a potential human health food, with specific nutritional attributes, highly beneficial for agriculture, and also with important pharmaceutical attributes.
As is the case for many legumes, seed proteins from lupin species can potentially contribute to food allergy. The prevalence of food allergies varies by country, but the highest is among young children between 0-14 years old, affecting over a quarter (26%) of the world’s population.
NLL seed storage proteins (conglutins) are the major class of seed proteins in NLL and they will be analyzed using powerful plant reverse genetic and mouse genetic models (including mice genetically predisposed to obesity), to identify key proteins involved in health attributes of the lupin grain that lead to an increase to an increase in insulin sensitivity and/or reducing appetite. This project will gain in knowledge about the health beneficial attributes of NLL seed storage proteins, helping to develop strategies for diseases prevention by designing an alternative and more healthy and medical beneficial lupin-enriched foods for “Diabesity” treatment. In addition, the project will use different approaches to characterize the lupin conglutin proteins’ allergenic properties, and their role in food allergies and cross-reactivity with different food allergen proteins. The knowledge obtained will help to develop rationale strategies for allergy prevention, allergy diagnosis, and food allergy therapy improvement through diagnosis kits and vaccine development.
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