Gene Chip Technology Unlocks Window on Diabetes

Maybe with ARNT gene more
likely: insulin injections
© Picture Disk

The research was conducted by C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., President and Director of the Joslin Diabetes Center and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kahn’s research is part of the Diabetes Genome Anatomy Project (DGAP), and shows that a newly discovered gene called ARNT (Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor Nuclear Translocator) may be closely linked to diabetes.

In laboratory studies, mice without the ARNT gene were compared to normal mice. The mice without the ARNT gene developed hyperglycemia and diabetic symptoms. Dr. Kahn says that this research would open up new diagnostic avenues for diabetes. “This breathtaking basic science should permit us a better understanding of the development of diabetes, and hopefully allow new therapeutic tools to manage diabetes more effectively,” said Victor L. Roberts, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Florida and member of the National Board of Directors of AACE.

The link between ARNT and its activity is being closely studied for its role in developing type 2 diabetes in humans. The gene chip technology is critical for the continued advances in this research. Gene chip technology uses a half inch chip in a handheld device that probes and displays RNA matches. RNA is critical for gene expression in health and disease.

The Diabetes Genome Anatomy Project (DGAP) represents a multidimensional initiative whose goal is to unravel the interface between insulin action, insulin resistance and the genetics of type 2 diabetes.; Source: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)