The discovery of gene newly implicated in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes may boost the development of predictive tests. The findings are published online in Nature.
Hakon Hakonarson and colleagues performed a genome-wide association study on DNA from more than 500 patients with type 1 diabetes and more than 1,000 controls. As well as confirming associations with known type-1-diabetes-related genes, the team spotted a link between the condition and a gene called KIAA0350. It is thought that the gene encodes a sugar-binding C-type lectin, a multi-talented group of proteins whose functions include carbohydrate recognition and cell adhesion.
Type 1 diabetes is a highly debilitating autoimmune disease that primarily affects children. By the time of clinical diagnosis, most of the insulin-producing beta cells have been destroyed, which makes genetic prediction and prevention especially important.
Hakon Hakonarson (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature press release.
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