Diabetes gene discovered in mice and men

A joint work by EPFL, ETH Zurich and the CHUV has identified a pathological process that takes place in both mice and humans towards one of the most common diseases that people face in the industrialized world: type 2 diabetes.

This work was conducted in Johan Auwerx's (EPFL) and Ruedi Aebersold's (ETH Zürich) laboratories, and succeeded thanks to the combination of each team's strengths. The relevance of their discovery, published in Cell Metabolism, results from their joint effort.

In Lausanne, the researchers carried out a detailed study of the genome and the 'phenome' (the set of all phenotypes or clinical features) of a family of mice composed by 183 members. "By comparing the metabolism of twins subjected to different life conditions and with a different diet, it is possible to exactly assess the influence of the environment on the expression of certain genes and the way this affects clinical features and the risk for developing diseases" explained Johan Auwerx, director of the Laboratory of integrative systems physiology (LISP).

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