Identification of disease-causing proteins leads to possible treatments for diseases like diabetes

New research has identified hundreds of proteins that might contribute to the onset of common, chronic metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, and consequently pathways to potential treatments.

The study, published in Nature Metabolism, successfully linked more than 900 regions in the human genome to almost 3,000 proteins in our blood, with many of these not previously identified. The team then applied these findings to existing genetic studies for hundreds of diseases and found more than 500 gene-protein-disease links.

For example, the team showed for the first time that people with high levels of a hormone called GRP are less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, possibly because it decreases the chances of becoming overweight. As a result, this suggests that GRP is a potential target for the prevention and/or treatment of diabetes.

The study has led to a greater scientific understanding of hundreds of genome regions, which can open the door to more targeted and ultimately successful treatment options in the future.

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