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Breakthrough in understanding type-2 diabetes as key genes identified

ts reached their conclusions after comparing the genetic makeup of 700 people with type-2 diabetes and a family history of the condition, with 700 controls. They looked at mutations in the building blocks, called nucleotides, which make up DNA.

There are mutations in around one in every 600 nucleotides and the scientists examined over 392,000 of these mutations to find the ones specific to type-2 diabetes. The mutations are known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms.

The researchers confirmed their findings by analysing the genetic makeup of a further 5,000 individuals with type-2 diabetes and a family history of the disorder, to verify that the same genetic mutations were visible in these individuals.

Professor David Balding, co-author on the study from Imperial's Division of Epidemiology, Public Health and Primary Care, said: "Until now, progress in understanding how genes influence disease has been painfully slow. This study is one of the first large studies to report results using the new genome-wide technology that governments and research charities have invested heavily in during the past few years.

"Our research shows that this technology can generate big leaps forward. The task now is to study the genes identified in our work more intensively, to understand more fully the disease processes involved, devise therapies for those affected and to try to prevent future cases," he added.


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Source:Imperial College London


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