Navigation Links
Possible Genetic 'Switches' for Blood Sugar Control Detected

TUESDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new genetic analysis has uncovered specific regions in the DNA of certain human pancreatic cells that appear central to the regulation of insulin and other functions of the pancreas.

The new effort -- conducted by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) -- takes scientists a step closer towards understanding the complex genetic underpinnings of insulin deficiency and the onset of type 2 diabetes, which accounts for most of the 23 million cases of diabetes among Americans and the more than 170 million cases worldwide.

By honing in on clusters of hormone-producing pancreatic cells known as islets, the investigators were able to detect about 18,000 "molecular on-off switches" (or so-called "promoters") that control gene behavior. Several hundred of these gene-adjacent switches were previously unknown.

In a U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) news release, study co-author Michael Stitzel explained that previous gene-mapping work has pointed out some genetic differences between type 2 diabetic and non-diabetic individuals in specific regions of the genome.

"But substantial efforts are required to understand how these differences contribute to disease," he said. "Defining regulatory elements in human islets is a critical first step to understanding the molecular and biological effects for some of the genetic variants statistically associated with type 2 diabetes."

Stitzel and colleagues from the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center, Duke University in Durham, N.C., and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor report their findings in the Nov. 3 issue of Cell Metabolism.

The new work has also enabled the authors to identify another 34,000 regulatory "modules" located slightly farther away (than the 18,000 on-off switches) from the genes they control. They believe that these distinct "regulatory elements" may be critical to proper blood glucose levels.

Upwards of 50 genetic abnormalities believed to have an association with islet-related pancreatic dysfunction were also uncovered.

"These findings represent important strides that were not possible just five years ago, but that are now realized with advances in genome sequencing technologies," Dr. Eric D. Green, NHGRI director, noted in the NIH news release.

"Very exciting" is how Dr. Stuart Weiss, an endocrinologist at New York University Medical Center and a clinical assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine in New York City, described the current effort.

"It's clearly the future of medicine," he said. "However, the fact of the matter is that all sorts of factors are involved in the development of diabetes, and different people require different treatments. And just when you think that you understand it, another curve comes at you. So it's very difficult to think that we're going to find a magic bullet. And I would think that the clinical applications from any of this are probably years and years away."

More information

For more on genetics and diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.

-- Alan Mozes

SOURCES: U.S. National Institutes of Health, news release, Nov. 2, 2010; Stuart Weiss, M.D., endocrinologist, clinical assistant professor, NYU School of Medicine, New York City

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. U of M researchers identify possible key to treating, understanding post-traumatic stress disorder
2. New Clues to Possible Genetic Basis for ADHD
3. OHSU research reveals possible method for boosting the immune system to protect infants against HIV
4. Parkinsons disease: Excess of special protein identified as key to symptoms and possible new target for treatment with widely used anti-cancer drug imatinib
5. Team of researchers finds possible new genetic risk for Alzheimers disease
6. 4 possible risk factors for ovarian cancer found
7. FDA Chief Says More Egg Recalls Possible
8. UC San Diego researchers find cause of metabolic disease -- and possible cure
9. Intensively lowering glucose: Possible benefits must be weighed against risks
10. International liver cancer congress provides possible solutions to reduce significant burden
11. Study shows a possible link between preschoolers cavities and excess body fat
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Possible Genetic 'Switches' for Blood Sugar Control Detected  
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Young patients with a wide variety of dental needs can ... S. Lele, who are pediatric dentists in Tucson, AZ . Unlike traditional treatment ... system causes minimal discomfort and bleeding to the patient during treatment and the following ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In an article published November ... determine which patients are or are not eligible for bariatric surgery. The article explains ... 40, are more than 100 pounds overweight, or have a BMI of 35 and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The hospitals ... to several aspects of orthopedic care. They have received recognition for excellence from ... orthopedic care. , Becker's Hospital Review selected hospitals for inclusion based on ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... The Trustees, Massachusetts’ largest conservation and ... fees at several of their most popular properties, including Crane Beach in Ipswich, ... REI’s Black Friday #OptOutside Campaign. The Trustees encourage families and friends to take ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... United Benefit Advisors (UBA), the ... Company as its newest Partner Firm. Based in Jefferson City, Missouri, their core ... advisor regardless of whether that client is a business, a family, or an ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)...  Ascendant Solutions, Inc. (Pink Sheets: ASDS ) ("Ascendant" ... has declared a special 1 percent stock dividend on the ... 14, 2015, to shareholders of record December 7, 2015.  The ... of common stock. --> ... endorsement of our confidence in Ascendant,s growth strategy as well ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Figure 1, a free mobile-first network ... cases, has launched a new completely redesigned web version ... allows radiologists, who work primarily on a desktop, to ... with its radiologist user base, Figure 1 is hosting ... North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Family Rentals, a ... the launch of their newly designed, mobile-responsive website. ... --> Logo - ... --> Now, renting essential items ... vacation, just got a whole lot easier through ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: