Approximately 28 million Americans have diabetes or are battling with diabetes, illustrating the public health risk associated with the condition. For years researchers have attempted to identify possible causes, mitigating conditions and treatment associated with the disease.
A study, published by the Medical College of Wisconin, in the issue of Genetics has identified another gene associated with the diabetes.
The variant of a gene called Tpcn2 is responsible for fasting glucose levels in a rat model. Using mice models where the Tpcn2 gene had been removed revealed a difference in fasting glucose levels as well as insulin response between the knockout animals and regular mice.
Tpcn2 is a lysosomal calcium channel that likely plays a role in insulin signaling. Glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction are key underlying causes of type 2 diabetes.
The researchers identified variants within Tpcn2 associated with fasting insulin in humans. Tpcn2 is a lysosomal calcium channel that likely plays a role in insulin signaling. Glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction are key underlying causes of type 2 diabetes.
“Genome-wide association studies in humans have identified 60+ genes linked to type 2 diabetes; however, these genes explain only a small portion of heritability in diabetes studies. As we continue to identify genes and variants of interest, we will evaluate them in multiple models to understand the mechanism of disease,” said Dr. Solberg Woods.
S.-W. Tsaih, K. Holl, S. Jia, M. Kaldunski, M. Tschannen, H. He, J. W. Andrae, S.-H. Li, A. Stoddard, A. Wiederhold, J. Parrington, M. Ruas da Silva, A. Galione, J. Meigs, R. G. Hoffmann, P. Simpson, H. Jacob, M. Hessner, L. C. Solberg Woods. Identification of a Novel Gene for Diabetic Traits in Rats, Mice, and Humans. Genetics, 2014; 198 (1): 17 DOI: 10.1534/genetics.114.162982