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Diabetes Gene Identified

Posted on October 30, 2020 | No Comments on Diabetes Gene Identified

The two primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are obesity and lack of physical activity. But because of cases where some overweight people do not have it and of some lean people acquiring it, it has been theorized that type 2 diabetes may also be genetically driven for lean people. A recent study has now corroborated that theory and has identified a new genetic factor associated only with lean diabetes sufferers which may open new possibilities in its treatment.

Using genetic data from genome-wide association studies, the research team led by the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), University of Exeter, which also involved research institutions from around the world, tested genetic markers across the genome in approximately 5,000 lean patients with type 2 diabetes, 13,000 obese patients with the disease and 75,000 healthy controls.

They discovered that lean people do have a greater genetic predisposition to T2DM as opposed to obese patients where factors other than genes are likely responsible for their condition. And for the first time ever, they were also able to link genetic variants near the gene LAMA1 to diabetes risk, and that this occurred only in the lean patients.

Drug therapy typically target gene or protein molecules involved in a particular disease. Dr. John Perry, one of the lead authors of the study, said: “Whenever a new disease gene is found, there is always the potential for it to be used as a drug target for new therapies or as a biomarker, but more work is needed to see whether or not this new gene has that potential.”

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