Critical gene discovery could change type 2 diabetes treatment

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Gene mutation found to protect from type 2 diabetes

Researchers have made what they say is a critical gene discovery that could change the way type 2 diabetes is prevented and treated. The new finding uncovers a gene mutation that protects people from type 2 diabetes.


The investigation also showed the GLP1R gene mutation protects from diabetes but has no impact on obesity of body mass index.

Mark O. Goodarzi, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Cedars-Sinai said in a press release the finding could lead to the development of medications that can prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.

Controlling diabetes can be difficult and requires taking oral medications sometimes combined with insulin. Complications of the disease can be life-threatening. The financial burden of type 2 diabetes is significant.

The team of international scientists from the US, Asia and Europe analyzed genes from 81,000 people without diabetes, comparing the results to 16,000 people with type 2 diabetes.

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Gene mutation discovery could lead to new diabetes treatment

They discovered the GLP1R (glucagon-like peptide 1) gene helps stop diabetes from developing. The gene binds with glucagon-like peptide-1 and is expressed in the pancreas that produce insulin. People with the mutation were fourteen-percent less likely to develop the condition that affects approximately 26 million people in the United States.

Richard Bergman, PhD, director of the Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai said in a press release: "Now we need to better understand why and how this genetic mutation might protect people from developing diabetes." Bergman added the discovery is a "critical" finding for diabetes research.


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