Gene associated with Down syndrome, diabetes recognised

This gene can cause defects in insulin secretion in people with Type-2 diabetes and Down syndrome as well.

Last Updated: May 20, 2016, 19:05 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Researchers from Flinders University in Australia have managed to identify a key gene linked to diabetes and Down syndrome.

This gene can cause defects in insulin secretion in people with Type-2 diabetes and Down syndrome as well.

Many individuals with Down syndrome experience lower insulin secretion, mitochondrial dysfunction and increased oxidative stress in the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.

 

These same conditions also appear in people with Type 2 diabetes. In experiments with mice, the researchers found that the over-expression of the gene RCAN1 can cause these problems common in both the disorders.

The findings, detailed in the journal PLOS Genetics, suggest that this gene may be playing a lead role in development of Type-2 diabetes in the general population.

For the study, the team led by Damien Keating, professor at Flinders University, used four mouse models, two with high blood sugar and two without to identify genes duplicated in Down syndrome that contributed to problems with insulin secretion.

They narrowed down the list by comparing it to genes over expressed in beta cells from humans with Type-2 diabetes.

(With IANS inputs)