Researchers to study genetic reason behind type1 diabetes

Philadelphia researchers are on their way to find out the genetic reason behind type 1 diabetes. They expect to improve predictive tests and devise preventive strategies.

The study led by the Hakon Hakonarson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was published in the journal of the American Diabetes Association.

Type 1 diabetes is a complex disease, in which a variety of genes interact with each other to cause the biological events in the immune system that remove the body’s control of blood sugar levels. Over the past two years, large research collaborations, including groups led by Hakonarson and Polychronakos, have used highly automated, sophisticated gene-scanning tools to pinpoint genes implicated in the disease.

The genes at those locations, UBASH2A, on chromosome 21, and BACH2, on chromosome 6, are active in immune cells that play key roles in autoimmune disorders such as type 1 diabetes.

The lead researcher of the study Hakonarson said,

“We believe we have captured the vast majority of common gene variants in the disease. We are now focusing on rare gene variants. As we increase the number of known genes, we will be able to develop better diagnostic tests. Furthermore, as we better understand the gene pathways that give rise to type 1 diabetes, this knowledge may suggest ways to intervene early in life with therapies that target those pathways and prevent the disease from developing.”

Source: Science Daily

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