Scientists have found that a gene previously associated with leukemia was closely associated with impaired insulin production in type 2 diabetics.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that results in high blood sugar levels due to the body’s inability to produce or use insulin effectively. Diabetes affects millions of people worldwide and its incidence is expected to continue to rise. Researchers have been trying to determine the genetic causes of the disease for years, and now a new study has found a gene that appears to be linked to type 2 diabetes.
A study by scientists at Lund University in Sweden isolated a gene called PAX5 that has not previously been associated with diabetes. It has been found that the gene is overexpressed (turned on too much) in pancreatic beta cells in people with type 2 diabetes, which leads to impaired insulin secretion, writes New Atlas .
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Researchers have used RNA sequencing to study islet cells in both diabetics and healthy people. They found that out of 395 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), only 94 were previously known. Previously, PAX5 was not known to be associated with diabetes.
The researchers’ discovery of the new PAX5 gene is a significant advance in the quest to better understand the genetic causes of diabetes. Overexpression of this gene is closely associated with impaired insulin secretion by beta cells, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
The results of the study highlight the importance of gene editing technology in the treatment of diabetes. Researchers are aiming to use CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology to regulate PAX5 activity and restore levels in people with type 2 diabetes. If successful, this could lead to the creation of a new method of treating the disease.
The study also highlights the importance of genome-wide association studies, which can identify genes associated with a particular disease. Researchers have identified hundreds of genetic signals associated with type 2 diabetes, but most of the studies lacked validity due to small sample sizes. However, the Lund University study is a large-scale and robust study that used RNA sequencing (determining the sequence of molecules in RNA) to identify new genes associated with diabetes.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) predicts that the number of people living with diabetes will continue to rise. The discovery of a new gene associated with diabetes is a significant development that could lead to new treatments and, ultimately, a cure for the disease.