Genetics of Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetes 

Published by Luke Morais on

Genetics of Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetes 


What is Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)?

T2D is a chronic condition that happens when you have high blood sugar levels. Healthy blood sugar (glucose) levels are 70 to 99 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). If you have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, your levels are 126 mg/dL or higher. T2D happens because your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, your body doesn’t use insulin, or both. This is not the same as Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). T1D happens when an autoimmune attack on your pancreas causes a total lack of insulin production.

The main cause of T2D is insulin resistance (IR). IR happens when cells in your muscles, fat and liver don’t respond as they should to insulin. Insulin is a hormone your pancreas makes that’s essential for life and regulating blood sugar levels. If your body isn’t responding to insulin, your pancreas must make more insulin to try to overcome your increasing blood glucose levels. If your cells become too resistant to insulin, it leads to T2D.

How was the research done?

This study wants to investigate the relationship between genetic variations in insulin signaling pathway genes and risk T2D in African Americans. They will also investigate whether the association between these genes and T2D risk is connected to body mass index (BMI). Finally, they will confirm their findings in an independent dataset of T2D cases and controls from BioVU using targeted genotyping. 

What is the significance of this study?

T2D is a major public health issue in the US, with African Americans at a higher risk. IR is a key factor in T2D development, and genetic factors play a role. This study will add knowledge and investigate the biological pathway of IR. This study can help prevent or treat IR and T2D.