Cellular and Molecular Biology of Diabetes and Obesity
Functional genomics studies of diabetes and obesity examine global gene expression by microarray analysis and validation by quantitative RT-PCR. Changes in gene expression are analyzed in human muscle and adipose tissue in various pathophysiological states with interventions such as exercise and insulin sensitizing drugs. We also use rodent models to evaluate changes in gene expression in many tissues after diabetes drugs and/or dietary manipulation such as high fat feeding.
Diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease are polygenic diseases that have a significant environmental contribution. A number of candidate gene polymorphisms that may predict onset of diabetes and obesity have been identified by the EDN Genetics Group. We functionally characterize some of these mutations to determine their relative impact on diabetes and obesity phenotypes. Modern molecular and cellular techniques are used to evaluate these polymorphisms including but not limited to transcription analysis, protein overexpression and analysis of signal transduction pathways.