Genes Responsible for Diabetes Found in Taiwan

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Two specific gene types found in the Han Chinese population revealed links to type 2 diabetes. Everyone has these genes, they're not specific to Han people, but a study released by Academia Sinica’s National Genotyping Center has found two genes that are more abundant in Taiwan, PTPRD and SRR. Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease that is linked to “many genes and environmental factors.” The results of the study reveal that different populations and varying sets of genes could be what leads to type 2 diabetes risk factors.

Since diabetes studies were conducted on people of European descent, researchers weren't able to see this new conclusion. “PTPRD is a protein tyrosine phosphatase and may affect insulin signaling on its target cells. SRR encodes a serine racemase that synthesizes D-serine from L-serine. Both D-serine (coagonist) and the neurotransmitter glutamate bind to NMDA receptors and trigger excitatory neurotransmission in the brain.”

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The study states that about 6 percent of the world population has diabetes, and those numbers are looking to double by 2025. Many researchers attribute the rising levels obesity to this shocking estimate, but gene research will take the risk factors and type 2 diabetes treatment options to new areas.

According to Taiwan today, PloS Genetics is a “reputable genetics and genomics research journal, could lead to the development of therapeutic gene modulation drugs in the future that could reduce the incidence rate of diabetes in adults.”

Wu Jer-yuarn, from Academia Sinica’s National Genotyping Center, leader of the Taiwan research team, thinks the interaction of the SRR and PTPRD genes might be causing cells to “reject” insulin’s blood glucose control abilities, with “glucose in the blood unable to enter cells, thereby raising blood sugar levels.”

Type 2 diabetes is currently the fourth leading case of death in Taiwan with 1.2 million people diagnosed and around 600,000 with latent diabetes. America's statistics are alarming as well. Around 23.6 million people have diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

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