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Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

Researchers from the UK, Germany, and elsewhere have identified 10 novel genetic loci associated with insulin resistance, findings they used to uncover candidate genes involved in glucose uptake. The team analyzed genetic data from more than 55,000 participants 55,000 participants without type 2 diabetes from 28 different studies who underwent a glucose challenge tests, which gauges the body's response to sugar. As they report in Nature Genetics, the researchers identified 10 new genetic loci associated with insulin resistance, eight of which had a shared genetic architecture with type 2 diabetes and one of which was within the gene encoding the glucose transporter GLUT4. By focusing on associated loci within mouse cell lines, the researchers homed in on nine novel candidate genes involved in GLUT4 expression or trafficking. "Our findings open up a potential new avenue for the development of treatments to stop the development of type 2 diabetes," senior author Claudia Langenberg from Queen Mary University of London and the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité-Universitätsmedizin says in a statement. "It also shows how genetic studies of dynamic challenge tests can provide important insights that would otherwise remain hidden."