Kidney diseases leading up to its eventual failure could be something that gets transmitted genetically from one generation to the next, researchers at the Translational Genetics Research Institute (TGen) have found.

Results of the research were presented to the 70th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association that began last week at Orlando in Florida. The study team detailed the DNA study of American Indians in Arizona where they found the genetic biomarker linking to kidney failure.

There was also substantial evidence to prove a correlation with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or kidney failure in the marker numbered rs13315275. In addition, there was also enough information to associate ESRD with four other markers.

Dr. Johanna DiStefano, the lead author of the study and the Director of TGen's diabetes, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases division, revealed that the study could someday lead to better treatment for patients suffering from diabetic kidney diseases.

The institute is conducting further investigation of these markers and the studies could potentially mean development of new therapies, Dr. Johanna said.

The five biomarkers are variants of genes SUCNR1 that are located in the chromosomal region of the human genome identified as 3q24-q27, this region has been associated with diabetic nephropathy or diabetic kidney disease in studies done earlier.

SUCNR1 is a receptor gene which works in the kidneys to aid the rennin-angiotensin system (RAS), a hormone system which works to control the body's blood pressure and fluid balance. High blood pressure can cause damage to the heart, kidney and aggravate the harmful effects of diabetes.

Studies done in the past have shown that diabetes is a relatively high occurring amongst Arizona's Native American communities. In another TGen study, scientists have started to investigate to see whether the PVT1 gene impacts development of a diabetic kidney disease.

Studies done in the past have shown a co-relation between PVT1 and kidney failure in patients with diabetes, both autoimmune (type 1) and also the usually form of diabetes type 2 which is caused by excessive weight, poor diet and lack of exercise.

In the latest study, researchers have found that PVT1 was expressed in messenger cells that are specialized cells around blood vessels in the kidney, and their rate is five times higher when the person has higher levels of glucose as compared to people with normal glucose levels. High blood sugar is the most common symptom of diabetes.