Single Insulin Regulator Gene Linked to Obesity and Diabates

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Monday, July 18, 2005

A gene that may regulate the body’s response to insulin has been linked to both obesity and type-2 diabetes, researchers in Britain and France reported on Monday.

Scientists found 11 different variations of the gene, called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs. Six of these forms were linked with severe obesity.

The discovery helps explain how being overweight is associated with type-2, or adult-onset diabetes (NIDDM), the researchers report in this week’s issue of the journal Nature Genetics. It may also some day offer new ways to treat the conditions.

“Although this discovery is not going to lead to a ‘magic pill’ for curing obesity and type-2 diabetes, it could help in identifying groups and individuals at increased risk,” said Philippe Froguel, who led the team at Imperial College London, Institut Pasteur de Lille in France and other institutions.

“The identification of ENPP1 as a molecular mechanism for obesity and diabetes means we may be able to use it as a target to develop new therapies and treatments, ultimately leading to more effective ways of treating diabetes,” Froguel said.


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