Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UT Southwestern researchers uncover gene variant that appears to predict type 2 diabetes

24.03.2005


A particular gene variant that could serve as a predictor for type 2 diabetes has been identified by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Their findings indicated that a variation in the gene ENPP1 was as much as 13 percent more common in people with type 2 diabetes and those at greater risk for the disease. While further studies are needed, researchers said these results suggest that the variant may serve as an important genetic marker in identifying people at risk for type 2 diabetes. "This important study uncovers one of the genes that appears to predispose to type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Scott Grundy, director of UT Southwestern’s Center for Human Nutrition and the study’s senior author.

In the study available online and scheduled to appear in the April issue of Diabetes, the researchers evaluated a specific gene in three study groups – South Asians, South Asians living in Dallas and Caucasians living in Dallas. Some study subjects suffered from type 2 diabetes, others had risk factors for the disease, while still others showed no signs of diabetes or any apparent risk factors. "The implication from our study is that if a person has this gene variation, then – without waiting for the development of insulin resistance – he or she should be encouraged to follow lifestyle changes that could help prevent the onset of diabetes," said Dr. Nicola Abate, associate professor of internal medicine in the Center for Human Nutrition and the study’s lead author.



Type 2 diabetes has become a serious health problem, particularly in light of the growing number of overweight and obese individuals in the United States, Dr. Abate said. In type 2 diabetes, cells ignore available insulin (insulin resistance) and not enough insulin is produced to maintain plasma glucose within a normal range. While obesity is one of the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes, not all obese people develop type 2 diabetes nor are all type 2 diabetics overweight. Certain ethnic populations appear to have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, whether overweight or not, particularly South Asians – people originating from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The study focused on 679 South Asians living in Chennai, India (of which 223 had type 2 diabetes); 1,083 South Asians living in Dallas who were new immigrants or first-generation immigrants from India, Pakistan or Bangladesh (of which 121 had type 2 diabetes); and 858 nonmigrant Caucasians living in Dallas (of which 141 were type 2 diabetics). All study participants with type 2 diabetes were required to have had diabetes onset before age 60. All subjects were evaluated for diabetes and family history of diabetes, as well as overall general health, and had blood tests conducted for genetic sampling.

Results showed the presence of the ENPP1 variant in 25 percent of the nondiabetic group and in 34 percent of the diabetic group of South Asians living in India; in 33 percent and 45 percent, respectively, in the nondiabetic and diabetic South Asians in Dallas; and 26 percent and 39 percent, respectively, in the nondiabetic and diabetic Caucasians. The gene ENPP1 encodes a protein that blocks the action of insulin. The genetic variation increases the action of this protein and blocks insulin action even more. "Earlier studies we conducted showed a propensity toward insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in South Asians, even when they were thin," Dr. Abate said. "This study expanded that to include diabetic patients and Caucasians of European descent. It also took into account the possible influence of environmental factors by comparing South Asians in both Dallas and in Chennai. "Consistently, we found that this gene variant in all three groups predicted diabetes."

UT Southwestern researchers plan to expand their studies to other ethnic populations, as well as further examine the specific protein involved, with the hope of eventually identifying people at risk for type 2 diabetes and developing drug therapies that could be used to prevent its onset. "Dr. Abate’s previous studies showed that abnormalities in the gene ENPP1 contributed to insulin resistance. Now, Dr. Abate and his associates have demonstrated that this gene’s effects on insulin resistance have biological significance in that its abnormalities make it more likely that people will develop diabetes," Dr. Grundy said. "This study is particularly revealing because of the past difficulty in identifying diabetes-causing genes on the part of geneticists working in the diabetes field."

Donna Steph Hansard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History

nachricht New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>