Studying specific proteins and the genes that encode them could help scientists develop new drugs that directly target the faulty metabolic processes in conditions like obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
According to the study, by breaking down complex conditions into the specific metabolic proteins and processes that underlie them offered a new approach to studying the genetics of these diseases and how they are interrelated.
Jennifer E. Below, working with colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Chicago said that it is important to capture the array of effects of genes, rather than treating each analysis as independent as traits don't exist in silos; they are richly connected and interacting.
The researchers have sequenced the genomes of more than 1,400 people in Starr County, where trends in obesity and Type 2 Diabetes rates have steadily remained about 30 years, they have studied relationships among many traits that affected obesity and diabetes, such as weight, sleep patterns, heart health, eye health, immune function, fat levels, and blood pressure and this allowed them to tease apart the roles of lifestyle and environmental factors, including how these traits may affect one another.
Dr. Below also added that by breaking these conditions down into detailed traits and genetic sequence data, they could inform potential treatments.