Genes matter

Genes matter

Genes, a component of deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA, are important as they give instructions to the body to make proteins essential for the smooth functioning of the body. Each body cell contains chromosomes which consist of long strands of DNA with genes attached to them. Together, they form the biological information centre of the body and are unique to every person.

Genes are linked to the onset of diseases like Type 1 Diabetes. Research studies have shown that in the case of twins with the same DNA code, one may develop Type 1 Diabetes whereas the other might not have Diabetes. The exact cause of Type 1 Diabetes is unknown but several factors such as environment, race, viral infections and diet are being studied to understand the exact cause.

An interesting study was conducted on 410 people with Type 2 Diabetes of Arab origin from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Out of these, 145 people were diagnosed with Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD) and the remaining 265 did not have kidney disease. The study sought to replicate two genome-wide association studies in European and Japanese populations which had both reported a genetic risk factor for the development of DKD.

The results suggested that FTO gene located on chromosome 16 was shown to cause DKD in all three studies. This FTO gene was not influenced by factors such as obesity, body mass index (value derived from the weight and height of a person), hypertension (high blood pressure) or the estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (e-GFR is a measure of kidney health). This means that the presence of this gene may lead to onset of DKD irrespective of whether hypertension was or e-GRF was under control. The association of the FTO gene with DKD was also seen to be independent of the BMI effects.

Source: Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine, 2023

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