The depletion of heparan sulphate, a type of complex sugar, triggers the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells, a study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation showed. Researchers also found that autoimmune cells produce the enzyme heparanase, which degrades heparan sulphate in beta cells. "This has revealed a new understanding of the development of type 1 diabetes and has identified a new therapeutic strategy for preventing progression of the autoimmune disease and associated complications," researcher Dr. Charmaine Simeonovic said.

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