Breakthrough in battle against type 2 diabetes

July 23, 2018, University of Stirling
Dr. Iain J Gallagher. Credit: University of Stirling

Experts from the University of Stirling have made a breakthrough in understanding how people respond to lifestyle treatment for preventing Type 2 diabetes.

The team, including academics from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, discovered a new genomic signature in people whose Type 2 status improves following a treatment intervention. Significantly, it is the first reliable signature for sensitivity in human muscle.

Scientists believe that the findings—published in leading journal Nucleic Acids Research - will inform future research by helping understand why not all people are able to eliminate the risk of the condition by changing their lifestyle.

Dr. Iain J Gallagher, of the University of Stirling, one of the research team, said: "Our hypothesis was that, with sufficient numbers of well characterised subjects and our new analysis methods, we could reveal a robust signature for what is known as 'insulin resistance' - an important precursor for developing Type 2 diabetes.

"Importantly, because we could also examine how the activation status of each 'insulin resistance' gene responded to treatment, we have also discovered a potential explanation for why not all people eliminate their Type 2 diabetes risk by following a lifestyle and exercise training programme."

The team—which included a number of international partners—analysed more than 1,000 samples and five distinct treatment regimes. In doing so, they demonstrated that 16 genes are consistently "switched" on or off in muscle tissue—but only in those people whose Type 2 diabetes risk factors improved. In such cases, the gene changes increased the individuals' insulin sensitivity—a measure of how effectively the is working.

Activation of the signature is impaired in people with poor , and is dysregulated to a greater extent following various types of standard lifestyle treatment.

The signature includes more than 300 measures of gene activity, representing both protein coding and long non-coding . It was extensively modelled to take into account body weight and age, as well as exercise capacity.

Explore further: Resistance exercise improves insulin resistance, glucose levels

More information: James A Timmons et al, A coding and non-coding transcriptomic perspective on the genomics of human metabolic disease, Nucleic Acids Research (2018). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gky570

Related Stories

Resistance exercise improves insulin resistance, glucose levels

April 4, 2018
A new study suggests that resistance exercise may improve indicators of type 2 diabetes by increasing expression of a protein that regulates blood sugar (glucose) absorption in the body. The paper, published ahead of print ...

Culprit in reducing effectiveness of insulin identified

April 26, 2018
Scientists at Osaka University have discovered that Stromal derived factor-1 (SDF-1) secreted from adipocytes reduces the effectiveness of insulin in adipocytes and decreased insulin-induced glucose uptake.

Researchers identify critical molecular link between inflammation and diabetes

September 12, 2017
A new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) has uncovered how inflammation contributes to a key feature of diabetes, the body's inability to metabolize glucose, a condition known as ...

Women retain insulin sensitivity better than men

March 17, 2015
It's long been known that obese men are more likely to develop type two diabetes than obese women, but researchers at McMaster University have discovered it may be related to a difference between the sexes in the activity ...

Researchers identify cause of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics

March 7, 2016
More than 29 million Americans are currently living with diabetes. The majority have type 2 diabetes, and for them insulin resistance - their body's inability to effectively process sugar - is a part of daily life. Therefore, ...

Recommended for you

Fat tissue may play a crucial role in the progression of diabetes, challenging long established notions

October 12, 2018
A new study by Australian researchers, out today, is challenging what we know about the causes of diabetes. The new research points to fat tissue as a source of disease, and widens our understanding beyond the traditional ...

Does breastfeeding hormone protect against type 2 diabetes?

October 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—The hormone prolactin—most commonly associated with breastfeeding—may play a role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Planned intermittent fasting may help reverse type 2 diabetes, suggest doctors

October 10, 2018
Planned intermittent fasting may help to reverse type 2 diabetes, suggest doctors writing in the journal BMJ Case Reports after three patients in their care, who did this, were able to cut out the need for insulin treatment ...

Markers of dairy fat consumption linked to lower risk of type two diabetes

October 10, 2018
Higher levels of biomarkers of dairy fat consumption are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research published today in PLOS Medicine. The study, in more than 60,000 adults, was undertaken ...

New discovery restores insulin cell function in type 2 diabetes

October 8, 2018
By blocking a protein, VDAC1, in the insulin-producing beta cells, it is possible to restore their normal function in case of type 2 diabetes. In preclinical experiments, the researchers behind a new study have also shown ...

Weight loss drug shows positive effect on diabetes

October 4, 2018
At the 2018 Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Brigham and Women's Hospital investigators from the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) Study Group presented diabetes-related findings from ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gzurbay
not rated yet Aug 01, 2018
Dis-biome resulting in production of sugar in the gut - not too likely to change in response to exercise?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.