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Posted: Jul 19 2007, 09:37 AM
We are always learning...
Group: Overseer of the Realm
Member No.: 1
Joined: 29-April 04
Diabetes gene link found
Article from: Herald Sun
July 16, 2007 12:00am
US scientists have identified a single gene that may be a key trigger for type 1 diabetes.
The gene was discovered by mass-screening DNA from 563 patients with the auto-immune disease and 1146 healthy individuals.
Several chromosomal regions containing have already been linked to type 1 diabetes.
In the latest finding, scientists identified a single gene called KIAA0350 on chromosome 16.
Three common variations of the gene were found to be closely associated with type 1 diabetes.
The function of KIAA0350 is unknown, but researchers believe it may play a vital role in triggering immune cells to attack the pancreas.
It is the loss of insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas that causes type 1 diabetes.
The scientists from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia wrote in the online edition of Nature: "We hypothesise a genetic variant for such a molecule could elicit an auto-immune response that results in the destruction of the islet cells of the pancreas, as seen in T1D."
The disease usually appears in people under 40, most often in childhood