Findings may provide new target for treating the disease
Using the newest DNA chip technology, scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center have discovered a new gene implicated in the cause of type 2 diabetes. In a new study appearing in the August 12 issue of the journal Cell, the investigators first identified genes that were altered in their level of expression in islets isolated from people with type 2 diabetes. The researchers then went on to show that when they created a defect in one of these genes called ARNT in mice, the mice developed alterations in insulin secretion that were like those in humans with type 2 diabetes.
The ARNT (aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator) gene is a member of a family of transcription factors essential for normal embryonic development and also is involved in response to conditions of hypoxia and certain environmental toxins, such as dioxin. Transcription factors like ARNT control the expression and activity of many other genes in the cell and thus serve as master regulators of cell function. As a component of the response to toxins and hypoxic stress, ARNT is also at a potential site to integrate genetic and environmental insults.
Marge Dwyer | EurekAlert!
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