Diabetes, which is a chronic health condition, is associated with insufficient insulin release by the beta cells of the pancreas in response to blood levels.
More than 530 million adults globally suffer from diabetes. India counts a total of more than 77 million diabetes patients. Diabetes kills one and a half million people every year. Researchers from India has now identified a gene variant, which increases the chances of having diabetes and is present in 15% of Indians.
A study says that 57% of the diabetes cases remain under diagnosed.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology at Madras have identified a molecule that can be used to treat Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry which stated that the molecule (PK2) triggers the release of insulin by the pancreas.
According to the study's author Prosenjit Mondal,
"Current drugs such as exenatide and liraglutide used for diabetes, are administered as injections, and they are costly and unstable after administration. We seek to find simpler drugs that are stable, cheap, and effective against both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes."
The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry which stated that the molecule (PK2) triggers the release of insulin by the pancreas.The molecule can act as a gamechanger as it can potentially be used as an orally administered medicine for diabetes.
"We first tested the binding of PK2 on GLP1R proteins in human cells and found that it is able to bind well to GLP1R proteins. This showed that PK2 can potentially trigger insulin release by the beta cells," said co-author Khyati Girdhar.
In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin while Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body processes blood sugar or glucose.
"Beyond increasing insulin release, PK2 was also able to prevent and even reverse beta cell loss, a cell essential for insulin production, making it effective for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes," added Mondal.
The IIT team from Madras have identified a genetic variation. They say that this peptide (small part of protein) increases the risk of diabetes. In this case the peptide is Pancreastatin and the protein is called Chromogranin A.
Pancreastatin A prevents the relese of insulin in the body. Diabetes is a result of this problem when the body is not producing enough insulin. In this case, a person has type 1 diabetes and in type 2, the body fails to use the insulin being produced.
Pancreastatin is present in nearly 15 % of the country's population in India. This new study helps the medical professionals to identify the genes and move forward in the next stage of diagnosis and treatment.