How Circulating Proteins could play an Important Role in Identifying Type 1 Diabetes


A team of researchers from two centres-The Université de Montréal and CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre – led by Dr. Despoina Manousaki have found three circulating proteins as molecules that could be used for drug development and initial detention tools for patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Manousaki, who works in different positions at both places, said that an analysis, whose results were presented in Diabetes Care, had found that higher levels of IL27EB13 and SIRPG proteins increased the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes and a great amount of CTRB1 reduced the risk of Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a shortage of insulin secretion by the pancreas. This form of diabetes affects close to 10 percent of people suffering from normal diabetes. There are not many biomarkers around the world, however, who predict the risk of getting this disease.

In order to characterize the biomarkers, Dr. Manousaki with her team conducted a Mendelian randomization study to find out proteins in the blood stream which influenced the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. Firstly, the team put together a database to help in identifying the genetic determinants of 1600 circulating proteins. Then they performed analysis on the genomic data from 9684 patients, who were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and 15743 controls to understand whether any of the proteins were related to the Type 1 diabetes risk.

Findings from the Study

Dr. Manousaki said that the results suggested that an increase in plasma SIRPG was associated with close to 60 percent increase in the threat of developing Type 1 diabetes whereas a rise in IL27EB13 enhanced the risk two-fold. The results also suggested that a greater CTRB1 level helped reduce the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes by 20 percent. Dr.Manousaki felt that more research was needed in order to validate these proteins and they had the ability to advance precision medicine for those at risk of developing Type 1 diabetes.

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