Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Jumping Gene' Diminishes The Effect Of New Type 2 Diabetes Risk Gene

Date:
July 4, 2009
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Research has identified a new gene associated with diabetes, together with a mechanism that makes obese mice less susceptible to diabetes. A genomic fragment that occurs naturally in some mouse strains diminishes the activity of the risk gene Zfp69. The researchers also found that the corresponding human gene (ZNF642) is especially active in overweight individuals with diabetes.

Research led by the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE) has identified a new gene associated with diabetes, together with a mechanism that makes obese mice less susceptible to diabetes. A genomic fragment that occurs naturally in some mouse strains diminishes the activity of the risk gene Zfp69. The researchers also found that the corresponding human gene (ZNF642) is especially active in overweight individuals with diabetes.

The results of the study also involved scientists from the University of Leipzig and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 1.6 billion people are overweight worldwide. The number of people with type 2 diabetes has increased accordingly to 230 million. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is approximately 50% hereditary, but is also dependent on nutrition and lifestyle factors.

In the present study, the researchers compared the genomes of different mouse strains. Some mouse strains were obese but had no strikingly elevated blood glucose levels and were less susceptible to diabetes. Other strains developed a severe malfunction of fat and glucose metabolism as they continued to gain weight, causing these mice to rapidly develop type 2 diabetes.

According to the study, this difference is due to a small fragment of genetic information: a so-called "jumping gene" or "transposon" of viral origin, localized in a non-coding segment of the gene Zfp69, whose effect it diminishes. Without this genetic fragment, the risk gene is fully active and, in combination with obesity, leads to high blood sugar levels and malfunction of fat metabolism. The gene is also active in the fat tissues of overweight people suffering from diabetes – more so than in healthy individuals.

"Our data suggest that the protein product of the risk gene in obese individuals enhances the storage of fat in fat cells. As a result, excessive fat accumulates in the liver and this in turn contributes to the development of diabetes," explains Stephan Scherneck, first author of the study.

"We have therefore discovered a new diabetes gene of similar importance in mice and humans," says Hans-Georg Joost, head of the study and scientific director of DIfE, "as well as a mechanism that has not been described before in connection with the heredity of diabetes and obesity."

These data show the importance of studying in detail not only genes themselves but also transposons in their vicinity.

Joost continued, "This transposon is quite active and almost completely "turns off" the Zfp69 gene. We have found indications that it is also active in other mouse genes. Since the human genome is full of such fragments, it is quite possible that they play a greater role than previously assumed."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Scherneck S, Nestler M, Vogel H, Blόher M, Block M-D, et al. Positional Cloning of Zinc Finger Domain Transcription Factor Zfp69, a Candidate Gene for Obesity-Associated Diabetes Contributed by Mouse Locus Nidd/SJL. PLoS Genet, 5(7): e1000541 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000541

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "'Jumping Gene' Diminishes The Effect Of New Type 2 Diabetes Risk Gene." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090703065220.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2009, July 4). 'Jumping Gene' Diminishes The Effect Of New Type 2 Diabetes Risk Gene. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090703065220.htm
Public Library of Science. "'Jumping Gene' Diminishes The Effect Of New Type 2 Diabetes Risk Gene." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090703065220.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) — After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) — A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) — Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) — Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins