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Scientists discover a gene involved in diabetes and obesity

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 13 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:689
  1. Deborah Josefson
  1. San Francisco

    Canadian scientists have discovered a gene implicated in obesity and type 2 diabetes (Science 1999;283:1544-8). The gene encodes an enzyme known as protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP-1B) and plays a part in regulating insulin resistance and sensitivity through interacting with the insulin receptor. The discovery may lead to new drugs to treat the disorders.

    Researchers from McGill University led by Dr Michel Tremblay and Dr Mounib Elchelbly and a team of scientists led by Brian Kennedy from the Merck Frosst Center for Therapeutic Research in Quebec, Canada, genetically engineered mice in which the gene for PTB-1B was knocked out.

    These “knockout mice” were then compared with wild …

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