A gene involved in the action of insulin is associated with type 2 diabetes and the bodys response to insulin, report scientists at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
Donald W. Bowden, Ph.D., the principal investigator, and his colleagues described the gene in two articles in the November issue of Diabetes, a journal of the American Diabetes Association.
Bowden said the gene is called PTPN1 (Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase N1) and is found on the human chromosome 20, which has long been targeted by investigators as a likely site for diabetes genes. "The protein that this gene makes represses the insulin response, so if you are making a lot of this protein, your ability to respond to insulin would be blunted, which would lead to higher glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream. If it is too high, thats diabetes," said Bowden, professor of biochemistry and internal medicine - endocrinology. The researchers found several variants of the PTPN1 gene, he said. "One common form is associated with diabetes, and theres another common form that appears to be protective."
Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
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