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Rare, Diabetes-Sparing Gene Mutation Identified — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 3, 2014

Rare, Diabetes-Sparing Gene Mutation Identified

By Joe Elia

A rare mutation is associated with a 65% reduced risk for type 2 diabetes.

Researchers mined genetic data on 150,000 people and found 70 in Iceland and Sweden with the gene variant, according to a New York Times report. The researchers report in a a letter to Nature Genetics that the variant, in a gene known as SLC30A8, truncates a protein — ZnT8 — that transports zinc in the islet cells of the pancreas. The faulty protein results in lower glucose levels and lower diabetes risks.

The Times says a vice president for one of the two drug-company sponsors "cautioned it can take 10 to 20 years to get a drug to market after discovering something new about human genetics and disease."

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