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Protein important in diabetes may also play a key role in heart disease, other disorders
Date:7/21/2010

h investigators at the University of Pennsylvania, Grant used a technique called ChIP-sequencing, which locates and compiles the DNA sequences of genes to which proteins bind. "This uses the latest-generation sequencing technology that has only recently become feasible, allowing investigators to rapidly sequence at the scale of whole genomes," said Grant. In human cell lines, this ChIP approach identified and mapped DNA sequences of TCF7L2 binding sites at over 1,000 gene locations.

"What was unexpected and striking about our results was that this transcription factor binds to a large number of gene locations already implicated in disease from previous GWAS research," said Grant. In the last five years, GWAS, or genome-wide association studies, have proven to be highly successful in scouring the genome to locate gene sites associated with particular diseases.

"We found an over-representation of genes associated with metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, but also with cardiovascular disorders, such as coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis," Grant added. "We expect to follow up these initial observations with functional research to investigate how these genes operate in these diseases, and whether these genes may become candidates for better therapies. For now, our work suggests that this transcription factor may be a central node in a network of genes associated not only with type 2 diabetes, but also exerting its influence much further in contributing to other genetic diseases."


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Contact: John Ascenzi
Ascenzi@email.chop.edu
267-426-6055
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert

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