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Researchers from Italy and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) say they have found a link between a gene defect and insulin resistance, a condition that predisposes people to type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.
According to the September issue of the journal Diabetes, researchers discovered that insulin-resistant patients produce a protein called PC-1 in very high concentrations.
It was found that a single mutation in the gene is three times more common in insulin-resistant patients and twice as common in people with diabetes, when compared to people without these conditions. Ira Goldfine, MD, professor of medicine and physiology at UCSF and coauthor of the Diabetes study, is suggesting that PC-1 might play the key role in causing insulin resistance.
“The insulin key goes into the receptor lock, but PC-1 seems to keep the lock from turning,” says Goldfine, who is quick to point out that about 20 percent of people with insulin resistance do not show elevated levels of PC-1, and another 20 percent of people with elevated PC-1 levels are not insulin resistant.
Goldfine says that exercise and weight loss “can affect the expression of [these] genes.” He suggests that the discovery of the gene may help drug designers to develop ways of treating insulin resistance. The Italian researchers believe that testing individuals for the gene could help identify those at risk for the development of insulin resistance.
0 comments - Nov 1, 1999
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