Researchers at Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute recently identified the TXNIP gene as a type 2 diabetes biomarker. The study indicates that the methylation of the gene–or the process that modifies DNA–is associated with type 2 diabetes.
The research team examined methylation in blood samples of over 350 participants. Blood samples between diabetics and non-diabetics were compared, and in both groups, it was found that this gene was not methylated. This was particularly the case with people who had blood glucose levels that were not well controlled. The study was replicated twice and found the same results.
This finding could lead to improved future diabetes therapies, as well as identify people who are at the greatest risk for the disease.
These findings were published in Human Molecular Genetics in February 2016.