Navigation Links
Major international collaboration offers new clues to genetics of type 2 diabetes
Date:3/30/2008

An international collaboration of scientists from Europe and the US has identified six new genes which play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, extending the total number of genes implicated in common forms of the disease to sixteen.

The findings provide valuable new insights into the mechanisms responsible for the control of sugar levels in the blood and how malfunctions in this mechanism can result in type 2 diabetes. The research, of which the major UK funders were the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Diabetes UK and the EU, may lead to new ways of treating and preventing diabetes.

The main feature of type 2 diabetes is a sustained abnormal elevation of blood sugar levels. This results from a failure of the systems (involving the production of insulin from the pancreas) which usually keep those levels within tight limits. Exposure to high levels of glucose over years can result in serious damage to the heart, kidneys and other major organs. There are currently over two million people with diabetes in the UK and as many as 750,000 others who have the condition but are unaware.

Ninety researchers from over 40 centres analysed genetic data gathered from over 70,000 people in search of differences in our genetic code that make some people more susceptible than others to type 2 diabetes. Previous work from these groups and others had identified ten genes contributing to type 2 diabetes risk, to which the new findings, published online today in the journal Nature Genetics, add a further six new genes.

None of the genes we have found was previously on the radar screen of diabetes researchers, says Professor Mark McCarthy from the University of Oxford, one of the authors of the paper. Each of these genes therefore provides new clues to the processes that go wrong when diabetes develops, and each provides an opportunity for the generation of new approaches for treating or preventing this condition.

The research backs up previous studies suggesting that a key process in the development of type 2 diabetes is the failure to regulate the number of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

In addition, the researchers have identified a surprising association between type 2 diabetes and the gene known as JAZF1, which has recently been shown to play a role in a very different condition, prostate cancer.

Genetic studies of this kind are revealing new and unsuspected connections between diseases, says Dr Eleftheria Zeggini from the University of Oxford, first author on the paper. This is now the second example of a gene which affects both type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer. We dont yet know what the connections are, but this has important implications for the future design of drugs for these conditions.

Each of the new genes only increases the risk of diabetes by a small amount, though when combined, their effects can be more impressive. However, the scientists caution against any immediate rush to use this information to give individual predictions of disease risk.

Once we more fully understand the large numbers of genes now implicated in diabetes risk, it might become possible to identify people at particularly high risk before the disease takes root, says Professor David Altshuler of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, USA, who led one of the three groups behind the research. However, until we have evidence that using such information results in better health outcomes, widespread genetic testing would be premature.

The research was made possible through an unprecedented collaborative effort that brought together many groups active in the field of diabetes research. This international collaboration provided access to large data samples, ensuring that the results are robust.

The findings have been welcomed by Professor Simon Howell, Chair of Diabetes UK, which funded the original collection of samples from people with diabetes within the UK.

Its remarkable that we still know so little about such a major condition as type 2 diabetes, says Professor Howell. By revealing new pathways by which the body normally keeps blood glucose levels under control, this research offers new opportunities for more effective ways of treating and preventing this condition."


'/>"/>

Contact: Craig Brierley
c.brierley@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-7329
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. deCODE discovers cause of major subtype of glaucoma
2. Bleeding, not inflammation, is major cause of early lung infection death
3. Mustafa alAbsi Ph.D. and national team awarded major NIH grant
4. Leading experts cite poor health and nutrition as major barrier to education in developing world
5. Majority of Americans want local action on global warming, says poll
6. How schizophrenia develops: Major clues discovered
7. Major genetic breakthrough for ankylosing spondylitis brings treatment hope
8. NIH selects LIAI for major study on allergy molecular causes and possible treatments
9. Local sources major cause of US near-ground aerosol pollution
10. Tree of life for flowering plants reveals relationships among major groups
11. Humans not the major target of Shiga toxin
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/6/2017)... DENVER , Feb. 6, 2017 ... national security are driving border authorities to continue ... Acuity reports there are 2143 Automated Border Control ... Kiosks currently deployed at more than 163 ports ... between 2013 to 2016 achieving a combined CAGR ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... , Feb. 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a market ... new white paper " What You Should Know About ... of ensuring user authenticity is a growing concern. In ... of users. However, traditional authentication schemes such as username/password ... Biometric authentication offers an elegant solution to the ...
(Date:1/30/2017)... 30, 2017   Invitae Corporation (NYSE: ... information companies, today announced that it will report its ... 2017 guidance on Monday, February 13, 2017, and Invitae,s ... at 4:45 p.m. Eastern / 1:45 p.m. Pacific. ... briefly review financial results, guidance, and recent developments and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... medical education provider of women’s health, primary care, and specialty education, announced ... Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). ACCME’s Accreditation with Commendation is a six-year accreditation ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... , Feb. 22, 2017 Origin (Origin Agritech, LLC, a ... and seed provider, and Arcadia (Arcadia Biosciences, ... develops and commercializes agricultural productivity traits and nutritional products, today announced ... biotechnology product developed in China to ... trials. ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Feb. 22, 2017  United Therapeutics ... its financial results for the fourth quarter and ... 2016 financial results reflect continued growth as net ... million," said Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., United Therapeutics, Chairman ... our ability to develop and advance our growing ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... biotech research and development (R&D), today announced the establishment of Genedata Limited as ... Director Kevin Teburi, a recognized expert in life science informatics. Creating the UK ...
Breaking Biology Technology: