Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New genetic regions influencing blood glucose traits revealed

Date:
August 12, 2012
Source:
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Summary:
Researchers have used a specially designed DNA chip, the MetaboChip array, to identify 38 new genetic regions that are associated with glucose and insulin levels in the blood. This brings the total number of genetic regions associated with glucose and insulin levels to 53, over half of which are associated with type 2 diabetes.

The teams found that this technology, called MetaboChip, that is 100 times faster than previous methods, could identify regions that are less strongly detected through genetic studies -- giving a robust new method to search for the genetic underpinnings of these diseases.

Researchers have identified 38 new genetic regions that are associated with glucose and insulin levels in the blood. This brings the total number of genetic regions associated with glucose and insulin levels to 53, over half of which are associated with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers used a technology that is 100 times more powerful than previous techniques used to follow-up on genome-wide association results. This technology, Metabochip, was designed as a cost-effective way to find and map genomic regions for a range of cardiovascular and metabolic characteristics on a large scale. Previous approaches were not cost effective and tested only 30-40 DNA sequence variations, but this chip allowed researchers to look at up to 200,000DNA sequence variations for many different traits at one time. The team hoped to find new variants influencing blood glucose and insulin traits and to identify pathways involved in the regulation of insulin and glucose levels.

"We wanted to use this improved Metabochip technology to see whether we could find additional genomic associations that may have been previously missed," says Dr Claudia Langenberg, co-lead author from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit, Cambridge. "Our earlier work identified 23 genetic regions associated with blood glucose levels, highlighting important biological pathways involved in the regulation of glucose. At that stage, and before the design of the Metabochip, we were still limited by our capacity to quickly follow-up and afford parallel genotyping of promising, but unconfirmed genetic regions associated with glucose levels in many different studies across the world."

The team combined data from new samples typed on the Metabochip with data from a previous study to discover genetic regions associated with blood glucose and insulin levels. They identified 38 previously unknown regions for three different quantitative traits associated with blood glucose levels; fasting glucose concentrations, fasting insulin concentrations and post-challenge glucose concentrations.

"Our research is beginning to allow us to look at the overlap between genomic regions that influence insulin levels and other metabolic traits," says Dr Inga Prokopenko, co-lead author from the University of Oxford. "We observed some overlap between the regions we identified and genetic regions associated with abdominal obesity and various lipid levels, which are a hallmark of insulin resistance. We hope that these studies will help to find gene networks with potential key modifiers for important metabolic processes and related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes."

The team also found many more, less significant, genetic regions that may be associated with blood glucose and insulin levels but currently don't have the available data to definitively establish them as genome-wide significant. This supports previous evidence that there is a long tail of many other genetic regions that add up to quite small genetic effects but may increase the risk of such diseases as diabetes.Collectively, these less significant associations may represent important blood glucose and insulin level associations.

"In addition to these top signals there is statistical evidence that many other regions that appear to be biologically plausible also influence these traits, but what's limiting is that we don't have large enough sample sizes to have the power to validate them," explains Dr Inȇs Barroso, co-lead author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Nevertheless, studying these functionally would be extremely beneficial if we want to fully understand the biology of blood glucose levels and the origin of diabetes."

"What we've found in this study is a number of genomic regions that influence blood glucose and insulin traits. Further analysis such as genetic mapping or 'fine-mapping' and functional analysis will expand and improve our understanding of the control of glucose and insulin levels in healthy persons and what goes wrong in type 2 diabetes patients."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert Scott et al. Large-scale association analyses identify new loci influencing glycemic traits and provide insight into the underlying biological pathways. Nature Genetics, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/ng.2385

Cite This Page:

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "New genetic regions influencing blood glucose traits revealed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120812151612.htm>.
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. (2012, August 12). New genetic regions influencing blood glucose traits revealed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120812151612.htm
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "New genetic regions influencing blood glucose traits revealed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120812151612.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. 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:

More Coverage


Ten New Diabetes Gene Links Offer Picture of Biology Underlying Disease

Aug. 12, 2012 Ten more DNA regions linked to type 2 diabetes have been discovered by an international team of researchers, bringing the total to over 60. The study provides a fuller picture of the genetics and ... read more
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