Washington: Providing a fresh ray of hope for diabetic patients, scientists have identified a new gene associated with fasting glucose and insulin levels in rats, mice and in humans.
Researchers have identified a gene called Tpcn2, a variant of which was associated with fasting glucose levels in a rat model.
The team has also identified variants within Tpcn2 associated with fasting insulin in humans.
Tpcn2 plays a role in insulin signalling.
"Genome-wide association studies in humans have identified 60+ genes linked to type 2 diabetes. As we continue to identify genes and variants of interest, we will evaluate them in multiple models to understand the mechanism of disease," said Leah Solberg Woods, an associate professor of paediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
From their study of Tpcn2 knockout mice (a genetically engineered mouse in which researchers have inactivated an existing gene), the team demonstrated the difference in fasting glucose levels and insulin response between the knockout animals and regular mice.
Glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction are some main causes of type 2 diabetes.
The findings were published in the journal Genetics.