David L. Ruff

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Susan R. Stapleton

Second Advisor

Dr. David Reinhold

Third Advisor

Dr. Bruce Bejcek


Diabetes, insulin, selenium, cell signaling, glucosamine

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Chronically high blood glucose levels lead to many problems, such as insulin resistance, the hallmark of Type II diabetes. Increased flux through the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway is one mechanism by which high glucose as well as glucosamine has been shown to induce insulin resistance. This study tests the effects of glucosamine induced insulin resistance on insulin regulation of the metabolic genes glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) as well as insulin responsive proteins tribbles homolog (TRIB3) and sterol regulatory element binding protein (SERBP-1c) 1c.

Selenium, a micronutrient has been shown to be an effective insulin mimetic in Type I diabetics, however its effectiveness has not been tested under Type II diabetic conditions. Thus we also assessed the ability of Se to act as an insulin mimetic agent under glucosamine induced insulin resistance.

In summary, our results show that glucosamine effects the insulin induction of the genes tested. The effect of Se, however was variable and is suggestive of different mechanisms by which it modulates gene expression.