Gene Mutation May Identify Type 1 Diabetes

SEPTEMBER 01, 2004

A study of 1000 diabetic families identified a new gene mutation?called SUMO-4?as a contributor to juvenile diabetes. The discovery will increase the accuracy of existing newborn diabetes screening, according to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia, who found SUMO-4, are conducting a second study that will enroll about 5000 children with type 1 diabetes and their relatives. Furthermore, the researchers are screening 40,000 newborns in Augusta, Atlanta, and Athens (Ga), and in Aiken (SC) to determine those with high-risk genes for diabetes. The researchers intend to follow children with such genes for 15 to 20 years. (The findings were reported in Nature Genetics, July 11, 2004.)