New gene associated with both type 2 diabetes and prostate Ca

April 10, 2008

Scientists have identified six new genes that play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, and among the group is the second gene known to also play a role in prostate cancer (Nat Genet 2008; 40:310-5).

Scientists have identified six new genes that play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, and among the group is the second gene known to also play a role in prostate cancer (Nat Genet 2008; 40:310-5).

One of the newly discovered genes, known as JAZF1, contains a separate variant that has recently been shown to play a role in prostate cancer, and is the second gene that appears to play a role in both conditions, according to three teams of scientists in Europe and North America who led the multigroup collaboration. The first identified overlap between genes for prostate cancer and type 2 diabetes was with HNF1B. In HNF1B, the same variant that is associated with increased risk of diabetes is associated with decreased risk of prostate cancer. In JAZF1, the diabetes and prostate cancer variants reside in different parts of the gene and there is no known relationship between them.

“Some of these genes for type 2 diabetes might be involved in diseases other than prostate cancer; in fact, there is already a known overlap with heart disease in another genomic region,” said study co-author Laura Scott, PhD, of the University of Michigan Department of Biostatistics, Ann Arbor. “We have about 25,000 genes, and we’ve found a very small number by genome-wide studies, so to have the same genomic regions come up in studies of different diseases is actually pretty interesting.”