Identification of Novel Genes Influencing Development of Type 2 Diabetes [ 2007 - 2009 ]

Also known as: Identification of Genes for Type 2 Diabetes

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: A/Pr Jeremy Jowett (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Paul Zimmet

Brief description Type 2 diabetes is usually associated with obesity and is often part of a wider disturbance affecting an individual's energy metabolism. The number of affected people with type 2 diabetes has trebled since 1981 in Australia and is still increasing. Apart from individual suffering, this presents a major public health burden for the country (approx $3 billion annually). Currently available lifestyle based and pharmaceutical therapies are inadequate to control the increasing numbers of affected individuals. Unfortunately the cause of disease is poorly understood, although genetic factors are known to be important, in other words it runs in the family. This project proposes to identify some of these factors (genes) and how they contribute to the disease. Using molecular flags on the DNA (like DNA fingerprinting) we have previously found that a small region on chromosome 12 is likely to carry one or more of these disease genes. But there are over 100 genes in the region. To help choose the most likely candidates first for testing, we have developed an automated computer database searching program ranked the genes based on what is already known about them. We have also taken a large number of physiological measures in a large group of people. Some of these measures are controlled by the same chromosome 12 region - thus to improve our chances of finding the genes quickly we will look at those that change the most between people with diabetes and people without diabetes. In this project we shall investigate the 20 genes most likely affect diabetes based on changes in physiological measures and what is already known about them. A successful finding means we will know more about the mechanism of disease development and be able to better develop new therapies for treatment and prevention. If none of these genes are the culprit, we would continue examination of the next set of genes likely to be involved and so on until we are successful.

Funding Amount $AUD 558,920.10

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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