(HealthDay News) — Proteomic blood profiling has identified new circulating biomarkers for homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), according to a study published in Diabetes.

Christoph Nowak, BM, BCh, from Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues used a novel high-throughput 92-protein assay to identify circulating biomarkers for HOMA-IR in two cohorts of 1,367 community residents without diabetes.

The researchers identified cathepsin D and confirmed six proteins (leptin, renin, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist [IL-1ra], hepatocyte growth factor, fatty acid binding protein 4, and tissue plasminogen activator [t-PA]) as insulin resistance biomarkers. 

Continue Reading

There was a positive causal effect for insulin resistance on t-PA concentrations. IL-1ra and t-PA correlated with incident type 2 diabetes (hazard ratios, 1.28 and 1.30, respectively), while 5-year transition to hyperglycemia was predicted by t-PA (odds ratio, 1.30). 

Both coefficients were rendered insignificant after additional adjustment for fasting glucose, and a correlation between renin and type 2 diabetes was revealed (hazard ratio, 0.79). 

A risk model including IL-1ra, t-PA, and the Framingham Offspring Study type 2 diabetes score was suggested, but prediction improvement was not significantly better than with the type 2 diabetes score only (difference in C-index, 0.02).

“In conclusion, proteomic blood profiling indicated cathepsin D as a new [insulin resistance] biomarker and suggested a causal effect of [insulin resistance] on t-PA,” the researchers wrote.

One author disclosed financial ties to Merck.


  1. Nowak C, Sundström J, Gustafsson S, et al. Protein biomarkers for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes risk in two large community cohorts. Diabetes. 2015;doi:10.2337/db15-0881.