Researchers in India have found that 65 proteins in the saliva of people with type 2 diabetes have patterns unlike the patterns of the same proteins in the saliva of individuals without diabetes. Not only may the differences be a potential way to identify type 2s, but the proteins themselves are associated with immune response and metabolic regulation-two bodily functions that run afoul in type 2 diabetes.
The research team at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences University in Hyderabad, India, set out to see if there was a difference in the pattern of protein expression, called the proteome, in type 2 patients compared to patients without diabetes. In all, they isolated 479 proteins from the patients’ saliva before finding that 65 of them were expressed significantly differently in type 2s.
Because the proteins associated with immune response and metabolism were expressed differently in patients with diabetes, the Indian scientists believe that they can be used as biomarkers for detecting pre-diabetes states of health.
The Indian study was published in the January 2 edition of the Journal of Proteome Research.
* Biomarkers are organic molecules or compounds that indicate the health or state of the organism in which they are found.