Scientists Discover Genes for Type-2 Diabetes
Breakthrough could lead to personalized treatments for deadly illness in 15 to 20 years.
February 12, 2007
By Marisa Taylor
An international team of scientists has made an important genetic discovery that could lead to personalized treatments for type two-diabetes, an illness that can cause serious complications like heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes.
The scientists found mutations in four genes that appear to increase the likelihood of developing type-two diabetes. The researchers looked at the genetic variations of more than 400,000 genetic locales in 700 patients with type-two diabetes who also have a family history of the disease.
Among their more notable discoveries was a variation on the eighth chromosome that seems to be responsible for the transport of zinc, a mineral that is needed for the production of insulin.
“We know that the zinc transporter is very, very important for determining how sensitive your body is to insulin,” said Robert Sladek, scientific director at the Diabetes Gene Discovery Group at McGill University, and one of the authors of the study.