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Biological Sciences

Proteomics and Metabolomics Approaches to Diagnose Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

Sponsor: National Institutes of Health
Contact: Tom Metz

Diabetes mellitus affects ~5-10% of the world' s population. Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, more commonly referred to as type 2 diabetes, represents 90% of all reported cases. More than 12 million individuals in the U.S. have been diagnosed with this disease, and another 5 million are unaware of their disease. Pre-diabetes is the progenitor to type 2 diabetes and is characterized by elevated blood glucose levels insufficient to be classified as type 2 diabetes. While some specific genetic defects have been identified for some rare forms of type 2 diabetes, most of the genes that contribute to the common forms of both pre- and type 2 diabetes have yet to be identified. We are applying advanced proteomic and metabolomic nanoflow LC-FTICR technologies to study both plasma and blood cells from individuals with normal glucose tolerance, impaired glucose tolerance, and recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes.

This project involves defining the sample processing and LC separation conditions needed for broad proteome and metabolome coverage in human plasma and blood cell samples; pilot studies to define specific differences in the different samples; generating databases of both peptide and metabolite mass and time tags; and a feasibility study to evaluate application of these databases and the nanoflow LC-FTICR approach for identifying non-enzymatically glycated plasma proteins. The refinement of this technological approach provides the basis for high throughput studies of large numbers of samples, leading to identification of potential biomarkers for pre- and type 2 diabetes, as well as potential biomarkers predictive of impending diabetic complications.

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