Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New gene associated with type 1 diabetes

23.07.2004


A new gene mutation identified by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston is part of the constellation of genes associated with susceptibility to developing type 1 diabetes. It could also play a role in the devastating complications of diabetes such as kidney failure.



The gene called SUMO-4 contributes a portion of the risk of getting this form of diabetes, which typically strikes youngsters, said Drs. David Owerbach, Kurt Bohren and Kenneth Gabbay. Owerbach and Bohren are associate and assistant professors in the section of molecular diabetes and metabolism in the department of pediatrics at BCM, respectively. Gabbay is professor of pediatrics and head of the section.

SUMO-4 plays a role in regulating the immune system. When mutated, the gene functions abnormally, prolonging the inflammatory response.


This finding gives scientists a clue about the autoimmune cause of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body’s protective system is turned against its own insulin-producing alpha cells in the pancreas. As a result, people who have type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin. Without insulin, their bodies cannot regulate the levels of sugar in their blood.

The mutated SUMO-4 gene may influence the inflammatory process itself and increase the susceptibility to the complications of diabetes.

The reports of the work by Owerbach, Bohren and Gabbay and the rest of their team in the Harry B. and Aileen B. Gordon Diabetes Research Center at Texas Children’s Hospital and BCM appeared in the June 25, 2004 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the July 2004 issue of the journal Diabetes.

No single gene causes type 1 diabetes. However, the BCM researchers and others in the field have identified a host of genes that contribute to the risk of developing the disease. Among the most potent genes are those in the HLA or human leukocyte antigen region, which regulate the immune system and help immune cells differentiate self from non-self.

Gene variants of DR and DQ in the HLA region are particularly important and are found in 95 percent of type 1 diabetics. Together, the genes in the HLA region account for as much as 40 percent of the familial risk of developing type1 diabetes. A second set of Type 1 diabetes susceptibility genes have also been identified in the region immediately preceding the insulin gene. This region contains a VNTR or variable number of tandem repeats, which refers to repeats of specific chemical bases that make up DNA. Inheritance of certain VNTR’s increases the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

SUMO-4 contributes to the overall risk. However, the significance of the SUMO-4 gene lies in its role in controlling the immune and inflammatory response. The diabetes-associated variant gene appears to increase the stress response and cell death. SUMO-4 may provide a therapeutic target to modify or curtail the inflammatory process leading to the destruction of the alpha cells.

Kimberlee Barbour | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.research.bcm.tmc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>