Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


MUHC-led research identifies risk-factor genes for type 2 diabetes

A new study led by researchers at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) has identified four genes that increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This form of diabetes is the most common worldwide and affects nearly 2 million Canadians. In recent years, the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes has increased rapidly. This genetic discovery may help stem this rise.

This genetic study, published today in the journal Nature, was led by MUHC endocrinologist Dr. Rob Sladek at the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre together with Dr. Constantin Polychronakos at the MUHC and Dr. Philippe Froguel at the Pasteur Institute (Lille, France). The study also involved scientists at the University of Montreal, Imperial College (London, UK) and the Montreal Diabetes Research Centre.

Sladek and his colleagues systematically searched the entire human genome to identify genes that predispose individuals to developing diabetes. By comparing hundreds of thousands of DNA fragments from patients with diabetes to those from non-diabetic individuals, they discovered that patients who developed diabetes shared common gene variants on chromosomes 8, 10 and 11.

“Of the four genes we have identified, two are involved in the development or function of insulin-secreting cells and one plays a role in the transport of zinc, an important mineral required for the production of insulin,” says Sladek.

... more about:
»Diabetes »Genomics »MUHC »Medicine »Montreal »Proteomics »Quebec

“We used a totally new concept and technology to look for the genes,” says Polychronakos. “It worked very successfully and our findings are proof of principle that these approaches can be used to dissect the genetic component of other complex diseases and, eventually, other complex human traits.”

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in adults and is becoming increasingly common in children. It is caused by the decreased production or effect of insulin, a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas and which regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. It has been known for some time that for Type 2 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. The group’s new finding helps identify the population at the highest risk of developing this disease.

The research was funded by a grant from Genome Canada and Genome Quebec headed by Dr. Barry I. Posner, professor of Medicine at McGill University and the MUHC; and by a grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation to the Montreal Diabetes Research Centre, headed by Dr. Marc Prentki, professor of Medicine at the University of Montreal.

"In the last few years, advances in technology pioneered in Quebec, have made complex genetic analyses, such as those used in this study, possible," stated Genome Quebec President Paul L’Archevêque. "Without these advances an the collaboration between institutes, this research would not have been possible. The experimental approach used in this study, may help lead to the unraveling of other complex genetic diseases."

The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) is a world-renowned biomedical and health-care hospital research centre. Located in Montreal, Quebec, the institute is the research arm of the MUHC, a university health center affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. The institute supports over 500 researchers, nearly 1000 graduate and post-doctoral students and operates more than 300 laboratories devoted to a broad spectrum of fundamental and clinical research. The Research Institute operates at the forefront of knowledge, innovation and technology and is inextricably linked to the clinical programs of the MUHC, ensuring that patients benefit directly from the latest research-based knowledge. For further details visit:

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is a comprehensive academic health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical programs, research and teaching. The MUHC is a merger of five teaching hospitals affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University––the Montreal Children’s, Montreal General, Royal Victoria, and Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, as well as the Montreal Chest Institute. Building on the tradition of medical leadership of the founding hospitals, the goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care based on the most advanced knowledge in the health care field, and to contribute to the development of new knowledge.

Génome Québec has the mission to mobilize academic and industrial sectors with regard to genomics and proteomics research. This private non-profit organization invests and manages funds totalling over $380 million from both the private and public sectors. Génome Québec presently manages projects in six major sectors, that of human health, bioinformatics, ethics, the environment, forestry and agricultural sciences. For more details on Génome Québec and genomics, visit out web site at:

Genome Canada is a private, non-profit corporation, and the primary funding and information source relating to genomics and proteomics in Canada. Its principal goal is to enable Canada to become a world leader in genomics and proteomics research. Its mandate is to develop and implement a national strategy in genomics and proteomics research for the benefit of all Canadians. For this purpose, it has received $600 million in funding from the Canadian government and co-funding from other partners, allowing it to invest a total of $1.4 billion in 115 innovative research projects and technology platforms. To learn more about Genome Canada, please visit our Web site at

Christine Zeindler | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Diabetes Genomics MUHC Medicine Montreal Proteomics Quebec

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>