Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease may share deep roots

05.11.2014

A new study of genetic and health information from more than 15,000 women uncovered several potential ways that type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease may be related at the level of genes, proteins, and fundamental physiology.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) appear to have a lot in common. They share risk factors such as obesity and they often occur together. If they also share the same genetic underpinings, then doctors could devise a way to treat them together too.


Common roots, common therapy?

A genetic network shows 10 proposed "key driver" genes that may have especially great influence in both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Liiu lab/Brown University

With that hope in mind, scientists applied multiple layers of analysis to the genomics of more than 15,000 women. In a new study they report finding eight molecular pathways shared in both diseases as well as several “key driver” genes that appear to orchestrate the gene networks in which these pathways connect and interact.

The scientists started by looking for individual genetic differences in women of three different ethnicities who had either or both of the conditions compared to similar but healthy women – a technique called a Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS).

But the team members didn’t stop there. They also analyzed the women’s genetic differences in the context of the complex pathways in which genes and their protein products interact to affect physiology and health.

“Looking at genes one by one is standard,” said Dr. Simin Liu, professor of epidemiology and medicine in the Brown University School of Public Health and a co-senior author of the study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics. “But ultimately, the interactions of biology are fundamentally organized in a pathway and network manner.”

The study drew upon the genetic samples and health records of 8,155 black women, 3,494 Hispanic women and 3,697 white women gathered by the Women’s Health Initiative, a major research project funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

In comparing women with CVD and T2D to healthy women, lead author Kei Hang K. Chan, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Population Health and Clinical Epidemiology, and the team found key differences in eight pathways regulating cell adhesion (how cells stick within tissues), calcium signaling (how cells communicate), axon guidance (how neurons find their paths to connect with target sites), extracellular matrix (structural support within tissue), and various forms of cardiomyopathy (heart muscle problems).

These were all common across ethnicities. In addition the team found a few pathways that were ethnicity-specific between T2D and CVD.

Chan used five different methodologies to conduct these pathway analyses, reporting only those pathways that showed up as significant by at least two methods.

From there, the analysis moved further by subjecting the genes and their pathways to a network analysis to identify genes that could be “key drivers” of the diseases. The paper highlights a “top ten” list of them.

“These [key driver] genes represent central network genes which, when perturbed, can potentially affect a large number of genes involved in the CVD and T2D pathways and thus exert stronger impact on diseases,” wrote the authors, including co-senior author Xia Yang of the University of California–Los Angeles.

Potential therapeutic targets

To assess whether those genes made sense as key drivers, the research team looked them up in multiple databases that researchers have compiled about the importance of the genes in the health of mouse models.

In the paper they discuss the pathways they implicate in terms of how they could reasonably relate to the disease. For example, axon guidance, normally of note in how developing fetuses build the nervous system, involves mechanisms that also happen to sustain beta cells in the pancreas, which lies at the heart of diabetes. A breakdown in that pathway could leave the cells more vulnerable, affecting the processing of sugars.

With the pathways and key driver genes identified, Liu said, there are now ample opportunities for follow-up, both to refine the understanding of the role these pathways may play in vascular health outcomes and to design and test treatments that may repair them.

“Using a systems biology framework that integrates GWAS, pathways, gene expression, networks, and phenotypic information from both human and mouse populations, we were able to derive novel mechanistic insights and identify potential therapeutic targets,” the researchers wrote.

In addition to Liu, Chan, and Yang, other authors are Dr. Yen-Tsung Huang of Brown; Qingying Meng, Eric Sobel, and Aldons Lusis of UCLA; Chunyuan Wu and Lesley Tinker of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle; and Alexander Reiner of the University of Washington.

The National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association and the Leducq Foundation supported the research.


Note to Editors:
Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.

David Orenstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://news.brown.edu/articles/2014/11/cardiobetes

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Building blocks for new medications: the University of Graz is seeking a technology partner
19.03.2019 | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

nachricht Scientists find new approach that shows promise for treating cystic fibrosis
14.03.2019 | NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

Im Focus: Sussex scientists one step closer to a clock that could replace GPS and Galileo

Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock

Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...

Im Focus: Sensing shakes

A new way to sense earthquakes could help improve early warning systems

Every year earthquakes worldwide claim hundreds or even thousands of lives. Forewarning allows people to head for safety and a matter of seconds could spell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Levitating objects with light

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique for in-cell distance determination

19.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Stellar cartography

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>