Archive for May 2nd, 2008

An international research team has discovered a genetic mutation that causes a normally healty person’s blood sugar (up to 5 percent) to rise more than is natural.  This causes medical problems like heart disase and diabetes although the gene does not exactly link directly to the problems.

A Strand of DNA

The gene is called G6PC2 and when it is mutated, it prevents glucokinase, a protein enzyme, from regulating blood glucose levels.  Glucokinase signals to cells known as beta cells in the Pancreas which secretes insulin to keep blood glucose levels down by turning it into a storage carbohydrade: glycogen.  The team discovered this by comparing the genetic map of people with diabetes or otherwise high BGLs (blood glucose level) and those with a normal BGL.

The team also found five areas of human DNA that could account for up to 70 percent of the genetic mutations that cause type 2 diabetes (not the genetic disease type (that is type 1)).  The researchers hope to use this discovery to find new treatments for unnaturally high blood sugar.


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