Research Roundup: Misfolding DNA and Type 1 Diabetes and More

Every week there are numerous scientific studies published. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting ones.

Misfolding DNA Linked to Increased Risk for Type 1 Diabetes

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that certain changes in DNA sequences can trigger the resulting genome to misfold in such a way that the person is at increased risk for Type 1 diabetes. The mutations changed how DNA was folded inside the nucleus, which affected the induction or repression of genes associated with Type 1 diabetes. They published their research in the journal Immunity.

“While we know that people who inherit certain genes have a heightened risk of developing Type 1 diabetes, there has been little information about the underlying molecular factors that contribute to the link between genetics and autoimmunity,” said Golnaz Vehedi, assistant professor of Genetics in the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn and senior author of the study. “Our research, for the first time, demonstrates how DNA misfolding—caused by sequence variation—contributes to the development of Type 1 diabetes. With a deeper understanding, we hope to form a foundation to develop strategies to reverse DNA misfolding and change the course of Type 1 diabetes.”

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