Washington, July 22 (ANI): A protein already known to play an important role in type 2 diabetes and cancer may have an even broader role in disease, particularly in other metabolic disorders and heart disease, say scientists.
"This protein could be a central player in many different diseases and traits," study leader Struan F.A. Grant, a geneticist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said.
The present study is built on Grant's 2006 discovery that a gene called TCF7L2 is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes results either when the pancreas produces insufficient insulin or when the body's insulin-processing cells develop resistance to insulin, causing blood sugar to rise to unhealthy levels.
"It may be more feasible to develop drugs aimed at proteins encoded by specific gene classes regulated by TCF7L2 that are more amenable to targeted interventions, rather than aiming at a more ubiquitous transcription factor," Grant said.
"Our goal was to simply uncover the repertoire of genes that this transcription factor controls," he added.
Grant used a technique called ChIP-sequencing, which locates and compiles the DNA sequences of genes to which proteins bind.
"This uses the latest-generation sequencing technology that has only recently become feasible, allowing investigators to rapidly sequence at the scale of whole genomes," Grant said.
The study was published online in the British journal Diabetologia. (ANI)