Washington: In a new study, scientists have discovered a gene that is linked to traits involved in diabetes.
According to the collaborative research , which was led by Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) scientist Leah Solberg Woods, the gene called Tpcn2 was associated with fasting glucose and insulin levels in rats, mice and in humans.
The authors said that there was a variant in the gene which was associated with fasting glucose levels in a rat model. Studies in Tpcn2 knockout mice also demonstrated the difference in fasting glucose levels as well as insulin response between the knockout animals and regular mice.
Dr. Woods' team identified variants within Tpcn2 associated with fasting insulin in humans. Tpcn2 was a lysosomal calcium channel that likely played a role in insulin signaling. Glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction were key underlying causes of type 2 diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 29 million Americans have diabetes, which is more than9 percent of the total population. It is the 7th leading cause of death, and experts estimate diabetes to be an underreported cause of death due to the comorbidities and complications associated with the disease.
The study is published in Genetics.