New research by scientists in the UK has shown a link between type 1 diabetes and a network of immune system. It was revealed that a particular set of genes that react in response to viral infections were present in both rats and humans, as well as the genes being associated with a susceptibility to type 1 diabetes.
The research, which was published in Nature, examined a network of genes that are controlled by the interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) gene, which acts to manage the genes in its network, the IRF7-driven inflammatory network (IDIN). It was found that when differences in IRF7 occurred, there were also differences in how other genes expressed themselves, prompting them to look for a network of human genes in humans that behaved similarly.
Stuart Cook, senior author on the study, commented ” Diseases arise as a result of many genetic and environmental factors through gene networks that cause tissue damage .”
He added “We used an approach to identify the major control points’ central command of an inflammatory gene network. This led us to uncover hundreds of new genes that might cause diabetes and one major control gene that controls the whole network.”
It is hoped that one of the genes involved could have the potential to be an effective target for drug treatment in the future.

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