Scientist have known that genes associated with type 2 diabetes are involved with other diseases, like heart disease and prostrate cancer. There are about 25,000 genes, but so far the same genomic regions keep coming up in studies of different diseases.
Laura Scott, assistant research scientist, Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan, along with European researchers, set out to find differences in the genetic code that contribute to individual differences in susceptibility to disease. They discovered a gene called JAZF1, which has been identified to play a role in prostate cancer and diabetes and the second gene to be identified with a link to both diseases; the first being HNF1B.
A total of 6 genes were found in this latest study, bringing the total of genes implicated in diabetes to a total of 16 genes. Researchers feel with their latest research they are closer to unraveling the complex basis of diabetes and better able to suggest new and better tailored methods to prevent or treat the disease.