Is Type 2 Diabetes in the Genes?

Could a person's risk for type 2 diabetes be written in their genes?

According to a study recently published in Diabetologia, research has uncovered a new gene, ACSL5, which “regulates how the body recognizes insulin”.

A Possible Culprit

Scientists at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) worked in collaboration with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania on the study that led to the discovery of ACSL5.

Using gene-editing technology known as CRISPR (or clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), researchers were able to study ACSL5 more closely. Using cells from the colon, scientists were able to learn that this gene plays a role in lipid metabolism – and, more importantly, that developing drugs to act on ACSL5 could increase a type 2 diabetic's sensitivity to insulin.

“Type-2 diabetes is increasingly common, with an impact on millions of people,” Struan Grant, leader of CHOP study, said in an interview. “But it has complex causes, involving multiple genes and environmental influences, and we are still learning the details of its complicated biology.”
Of the new research, Grant said, “Our goal in investigating these biological functions is to develop more effective therapies.”

A Possible Treatment?

Of course, gene research is not a wholly new field for Grant, who in 2006 led the a team that discovered a variation within the gene TCF7L2. This variation, Grant's team determined, raised the risk of type 2 diabetes in a patient. Grant is optimistic that this work will lead to more targeted treatments for type 2 diabetes, saying, “Our task becomes that of converting an association signal to the correct disease-causing gene or genes at each of these locations.”
And in the meantime, Grant cautions that there is still much to learn about ACSL5, reminding us that “[W]e still don't know which specific tissue or tissues that these T2D-related signals operate in to affect patients--whether they act primarily in the gut, in the liver, in adipose tissue or on beta cells in the pancreas.

“As we continue to better understand the biological mechanisms functioning in type 2 diabetes, we expect to find better strategies for treatment.”

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Today, the healing benefits of essential oils are more than the claims of ancient tradition and alternative medicine. They are increasingly the...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

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

More Articles

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control can be tough. There are so many factors that can affect blood sugar, like exercise, food, illness,...

Today, the healing benefits of essential oils are more than the claims of ancient tradition and alternative medicine. They are increasingly the...

Stomach aches and other gastrointestinal pains can be signs of a bigger problem. One such problem for diabetics is gastroparesis, or delayed...

Two of the most common symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst and increased urine production. These symptoms are so prevalent in diabetics that...

While some celebrities aren't quick to talk about living with diabetes, others are quite transparent and inspiring - acting as advocates for the...

People with diabetes are about twice as likely to experience heart disease as those without the condition, making cardiovascular health a critical...

All diabetics know that maintaining proper blood sugar levels is the lifeline...

Pilates is an exercise method proven to improve flexibility, strength, coordination, muscular stamina, balance, and posture. Many Pilates...

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,...

Most people with insulin-dependent diabetes use syringes and lancets every day. However, many of them do not know how to dispose of these...

People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have successfully competed in the Olympic Games. Their amazing stories prove that diabetes is no match for...

Explaining diabetes to children can seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it is no more difficult than discussing anything else important....

Diabetes is a complex disease, affecting virtually every part of the body. The damage it does, to nerve endings, blood vessels, organs, and the...

If your child has diabetes, you want him or her to be safe while in school and to have the same educational opportunities as other children....