Gene mutations could protect against diabetes

Researchers from the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital have pinpointed specific gene mutations that might have protective properties against the development of type 2 diabetes.

If these mutations could be mimicked in a therapeutic drug, preventing the blood sugar condition might be possible – even in people who have diabetes risk factors, like obesity or old age.

Genetic basis identified

The study included genetic analysis of 150,000 patients, showing that rare mutations in a gene called SLC30A8 reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 65 percent. The results held up even in subjects from different ethnic groups, the researchers noted, suggesting that a drug therapy designed to copy the effects of these mutations could act as a worldwide type 2 diabetes prevention solution.

"This work underscores that human genetics is not just a tool for understanding biology: it can also powerfully inform drug discovery by addressing one of the most challenging and important questions – knowing which targets to go after," said co-senior author David Altshuler, deputy director and chief academic officer at the Broad Institute and a Harvard Medical School professor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

SLC30A8 has been previously linked to insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas, but researchers were unclear how inhibiting or activating the protein of the gene would affect disease risk or development – until now.

Gene research could lead to drug

The study, which was part of a widely collaborative research project that started in 2009, included people with extreme risk factors for type 2 diabetes but who never developed the disease.

Over the past several years, researchers found that over 10 mutations of the same SLC30A8 gene would cause a protective effect against type 2 diabetes – which means that inheriting just one copy of SLC30A8 mutation might reduce diabetes risk by 65 percent.

"Such genetic associations provide important new insights into the pathogenesis of diabetes, potentially leading to the discovery of drug targets, which may result in a novel medicine," said Tim Rolph, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Cardiovascular, Metabolic & Endocrine Disease Research at Pfizer Inc.

Results of the study are published in the journal Nature Genetics.

Source: Science Daily
Photo credit: sheelamohan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Get Free Diabetic Supplies

For a limited time only, you can reduce diabetic supplies costs by more than 90%. Enrolling just take a few minutes.
1) Fill out the form
2) Speak to a representative
3) Get diabetic supplies delivered to your door at little or no cost.

Also, you will get a free Diabetes Meal Plan from a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.

Enter your information below to see if you qualify.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Doctors use regular assessments of their diabetic patients not only to monitor the progress of the disease but also as opportunities to counsel...

Every body needs insulin, an essential hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar by converting glucose into energy. Diabetics...

People are not the only beings who suffer from diabetes. Any mammal with a pancreas can develop the disease through a lack of or impaired insulin...

When is diabetes not really diabetes? When it is Diabetes Insipidus. Diabetes Insipidus is a rare disorder not related to diabetes mellitus,...

When news stations feature stories about diabetes, they tend to include a shot of an overweight body, calling attention to the person's excess...

More Articles

The most well-known variations of diabetes are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes....

Those who have not yet been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can greatly reduce their susceptibility by doing one key...

There are those who have heard of the term "diabetes mellitus," but might not be familiar with it. Diabetes Mellitus is a condition in...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

=It’s helpful to know the difference between a food’s total grams of carbohydrate, and net grams of carbohydrate since only net carbs affect blood...

Eating LCHF, or a Low Carb High Fat diet, is a bit mind-bending for those of us who have learned to consume low-fat and lean. In many respects, it...

A 1-minute quiz could predict whether or not you're at risk for prediabetes. More than 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. have prediabetes, which - left...

The human body needs chromium, a trace mineral, for several essential functions including the normalizing of...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

It can be difficult enough to get on stage and make a roomful of strangers laugh, but for comedians suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes,...

Because beets have moderately high sugar content, it’s typically recommended that people watching their glucose levels limit beet consumption....

It would be interesting to know how many people with diabetes actually use blood glucose control solutions to regularly check the accuracy of...

Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by abnormally high blood glucose levels during the condition...

How frustrating to wake up in the morning with elevated blood sugar when all you did was dream about eating a piece of cheesecake. A seemingly...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...