Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene linked to greater risk of heart disease in type 2 diabetes

20.10.2004


New studies by an international team of scientists led by Joslin Diabetes Center have found variations in a gene that help explain why people with type 2 diabetes are at much greater risk for coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death for this group.


"We now have potential gene markers to help identify diabetes patients at increased risk for heart disease," said Alessandro Doria, M.D., Ph.D., Investigator in Joslin’s Genetics and Epidemiology research section, Director of Joslin’s Genetics Core and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "This knowledge could potentially lead to drugs or other methods that affect this pathway, reducing risk of heart attack and stroke in these patients."

An estimated 18 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have cardiovascular disease, and are at increased risk for stroke, blindness, kidney disease and nerve damage.

In a two-part study published in the Oct. 1 edition of the British journal Human Molecular Genetics, Dr. Doria and his colleagues at Joslin and other research centers in the Northeast and researchers in Italy focused on a gene governing a protein called CD36. This protein is found in the membrane of several types of cells, including the walls of blood vessels.



Previous studies had shown that, among other functions, CD36 is involved in transporting free fatty acids into cells. It also is a scavenger of oxidized "bad" cholesterol LDL at the arterial wall. All are major players in contributing to atherosclerosis -- the dangerous buildup of plaque that can lead to partial or complete blockage of the artery, leading to heart attack or stroke.

In the first part of this study, the researchers mapped the structure of the CD36 gene, which consists of hundreds of nucleic acids strung together like beads on a spiral necklace. They were looking for variants in this sequence that are associated with increased risk of heart disease.

Studying 585 people who did not have diabetes, the researchers found five different CD36 variations that were associated with increased levels of free fatty acids and triglycerides. When all five variants were factored together, a strong link emerged -- the highest levels of fatty acids and triglycerides occurred in people with a specific variant combination.

Using this new knowledge as a basis for a second study, they studied 518 people in both the United States and Italy. All had type 2 diabetes. In addition, nearly half of these subjects also had heart disease, as shown by heart catheterization indicating more than 50 percent blockage of at least one coronary artery. The others did not have any visible heart disease.

The researchers mapped out each person’s CD36 gene variations, then compared those results with the presence of known heart disease. Again, there was a strong link: People with that specific variant combination in the CD36 gene were 60 percent more likely to have heart disease.

"While this research is a significant starting point for assessing risk of heart disease, a constellation of factors are involved," said Dr. Doria. "But it is clear that in addition to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and environmental factors such as smoking, genes are important determinants of heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes."

An International Research Team

In addition to Dr. Doria, other Joslin researchers included Xiaowei Ma, M.D., and Wojciech Mlynarski, M.D. Other U.S. researchers included Michael T. Johnstone, M.D., and Ernest Gervino, Sc.D., of the Cardiology Division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; Richard W. Nesto, M.D., of the Heart and Vascular Center, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA; and Nada Abumrad, Ph.D., of the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Researchers from Italy included Vincenzo Trischitta, M.D., of the Scientific Institute ’Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza,’ San Giovanni Rotondo; and Angelo Avogaro, M.D., of the University of Padova. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.

Marge Dwyer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.joslin.harvard.edu
http://www.joslin.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School

nachricht Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>