ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Scientists have identified six new genes which play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, and among the group is the second gene known to also play a role in prostate cancer.
The new findings bring the total number of genes or genomic regions implicated in diabetes to 16, said Laura Scott, assistant research scientist in the Department of Biostatistics. Researchers from the University of Michigan were one of three teams of scientists in Europe and North America that led the multi-group collaboration. The findings, which were published today in the journal Nature Genetics, provide new insights into the mechanisms which are usually responsible for the control of glucose, or sugar, levels in the blood, and to the derangements that can result in type 2 diabetes, which impacts more than 170 million people worldwide.
One of the newly discovered genes, which goes by the name of JAZF1, contains a separate variant that has recently been shown to play a role in prostate cancer, and is the second gene that appears to play a role in both conditions. The first identified overlap between genes for prostate cancer and type 2 diabetes was with HNF1B, which is also involved in an early onset form of diabetes discovered at U-M in an unrelated study, called Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY). In HNF1B, the same variant that is associated with increased risk of diabetes is associated with decreased risk of prostate cancer. In JAZF1, the diabetes and prostate cancer variants reside in different parts of the gene and there is no known relationship between them.
"Some of these genes for type 2 diabetes might be involved in diseases other than prostate cancer, in fact there is already a known overlap with heart disease in another genomic region? Scott said. "We have about 25,000 genes, and we've found a very small number by genome wide studies, so to have the same genomic regions come up in studies of different diseas
|Contact: Laura Bailey|
University of Michigan