The study, which highlights the role of mitochondrial genome variation in the pathogenesis of common diseases, is published online in Genome Research (www.genome.org).
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 7% of the U.S. population has diabetes, and 90-95% of those cases are classified as type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by external factors such as diet and exercise, and is influenced by several genes. While most of the genes known to be involved in diabetes susceptibility are located in the nuclear genome, a recent study estimated that more than 20% of type 2 diabetes cases may involve mutations in the mitochondrial genome.
In the study published today, the scientists compared two different rat strains; the strains possessed virtually identical nuclear genomes but different mitochondrial genomes. This eliminated any complicating effects due to environmental factors or variation in the nuclear genome. Any differences observed between the two rat strains could be attributed to variation in the mitochondria.
When comparing the two rat strains, the researchers found that the two strains exhibited significant differences related to energy metabolism and storage. One rat strain exhibited impaired glucose tolerance, reduced muscle glycogen synthesis, decreased skeletal muscle ATP (energy) levels, and decreased activity of an energy-producing enzyme called cytochrome c oxidase, when compared to the second rat strain. These metabolic characteristics are typical of diabetic individuals.
The researchers then obtained DNA sequences from mitochondria of both rat strains, and found DNA variants in genes that encode for proteins involved in energy production. Thus, for the first time, they were able to directly link inherited variation in the mitochondrial genome to metabolic markers for type 2 diabetes.
“Our study highlights the role of mitochondrial DNA variation in common genetic diseases,” says Dr. Theodore Kurtz, the lead investigator on the project. “In addition, the animal models developed in this study will open the door for future studies in which the effects of mitochondrial genome variation can be investigated on fixed nuclear genetic backgrounds.”
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine