New gene to improve treatment of diabetes

rs1An team of international researchers has discovered a gene that will help to formulate fruitful treatment for the lifestyle disease Type 2 Diabetes and to get a better insight to its proliferation. This is the first time that such a gene that will be instrumental in understanding how the body reacts to insulin in the blood.

The gene found is not the one that controls the production of insulin in pancreas but the gene that influences the action of insulin in the body. According to a paper published in the latest issue of ‘Nature Genetics’, a research team from Canada, France, Britain and Denmark have discovered a gene called ‘Insulin Receptor Substrate 1’ (IRS1).

Genes that influence the working of the Pancreas beta cells that in turn effect the possibility of diabetes have been identified. At the same time, the new gene is associated with other cells in the body related to diabetes, said McGill University scientist and research team member Dr Robert Sladek. Instead of decreasing the production of insulin, the new gene tries to control the effect of insulin in the veins, liver and fat. The process is known as ‘Insulin immunity’.

Insulin is the hormone that produces beta cells in pancreas. Insulin helps cells in absorbing sugar and dividing it into energy. When the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin reduces, the cells’ ability to produce energy from blood sugar also decreases. This results in Diabetes.

Taking this into consideration, most studies concentrate on problems related to the production of insulin in order to understand diabetes at the root level. The new findings are different from this. IRS1 is the first inside the cell that gets activated by insulin, said Dr Sladek. “Hey, here’s insulin. Start receiving it from the blood.” Thus says the gene to the cell. If it does not work, cells fail to absorb sugar.

The researchers did not just identify a new gene related to diabetes. The study clarifies how the gene works in a cell and how the failure of the gene’s performance unexpectedly affects various parts of the body.

It has been observed that when the working of the IRS1 gene is disrupted, even the adequate presence of the insulin in blood is futile. This fact is very important n understanding diabetes.


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