20 October 2014
New research has indicated that breaking down conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes into its specific metabolic proteins and processes could offer a new approach for treating them.
This is according to new analysis presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2014 Annual Meeting, which suggested that identifying the proteins and genes that are behind these conditions can help to develop new drugs that directly target the metabolic processes that do not function properly.
Lead author Dr Jennifer E. Below, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, said: “In fact, genes that affect the same process at the protein level can end up influencing multiple traits in tandem.”
Along with colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Chicago, Dr Below found that genes that regulate a person’s circadian cycle not only affect sleep but can also put them at a high risk of diabetes.
They also found that proteins involved in immune system functions and interactions between cells can have an impact on the health of the heart.
Dr Below said that these findings "highlight the importance of capturing the array of effects of genes".
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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