Strong gene-link to type 2 diabetes revealed

 作者:宋耔     |      日期:2019-03-02 02:04:03
By AFP and staff A gene variant associated with type 2 diabetes has been revealed by scientists, who claim it is the closest link to the disease than has been found for any such genes to date. The presence of the variant in patients with type 2 diabetes suggests that the variant accounts for about 20% of all cases, says Kari Stefansson, who led the study. People with one copy of the specific variant have about a 45% higher chance of developing diabetes than those without, and those with two copies are 141% more likely to be struck by the disease, according to the study. “A common gene variant conferring elevated risk of [type 2 diabetes] has been earnestly sought by the genetics community for many years,” says Stefansson, who is also chief executive of Decode Genetics in Iceland, a biopharmaceutical company which funded the research. The discovery could allow scientists to develop a test to diagnose the risk of type 2 diabetes in patients, he says. “In terms of the epidemiological risk of diabetes, this is by far the biggest finding to date,” notes David Altshuler, a medical geneticist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, US, according to The New York Times. The researchers first isolated the gene variant while studying 2000 diabetes and control patients in Iceland. They found one occurrence of the specific gene variant in 50% more diabetes sufferers than in those free of the disease. They then replicated the findings in tests on people in Denmark and the US. “This discovery sheds new light on the biological causes of the disease,” Stefansson says. “Importantly, virtually all of this risk can be captured by looking at a single-letter change in DNA – ideal for the development of a genetic test for assessing individual risk and developing more personalised and effective prevention strategies. He says the team is pursuing the development of diagnostics and new drugs for type 2 diabetes. About 200 million people worldwide have diabetes, a number expected to rise to 366 million by 2030 due to changing diets, urbanisation, and an ageing population, according to the World Health Organization. Journal reference: Nature Genetics (DOI: