With the discovery of TNFR5 gene, researchers may be on the path of a treatment against type 2 diabetes. A gene could treat diabetes!
According to results of a study published in the medical journal Cell Death and Disease, TNFR5 gene would be able to destroy the insulin cells in the pancreas that contributes to type 2 diabetes.
In the laboratory, the researchers were able to inhibit the activity of this gene. A hope for the 30 million diabetics in USA?
Researchers from the University of Nottingham in UK analyzed more than 31,000 genes associated with the pancreas in order to identify those who were the most sensitive to glucose, fatty acids and foods high in fat and sugar.
Scientists have discovered that the gene TNFR5 had the highest sensitivity to glucose and fatty acids. They found that when this gene was over-exposed to sugar and fat, it destroyed the insulin cells in the pancreas and encouraged type 2 diabetes.
The authors explain that these results suggest that people with type 2 diabetes, especially those who have poor blood sugar management are more likely to overexpress the gene TNFR5.
Blocking geneTNFR5 to fight against diabetes
But in laboratory tests, the team found that the TNFR5 blockage in the pancreatic cells exposed to glucose and fatty acids allowed to stop this destruction.
The conclusions of this study suggest that inhibition of TNFR5 gene activity could be a promising therapeutic strategy to fight against type 2 diabetes.
“We think we found one of the first key events that led to a serious decline in producing pancreatic beta cell insulin caused by high levels of sugar and fat,” says Dr. Mark Turner School of Science and technology Nottingham Trent University, author of the study. “This gene may be an important target in the search. In case of success, it could help maintain sugar level control function in the blood in patients with diabetes type 2” concludes the researcher.