Genetics of type 2 diabetes

Author(s): Owen KR, McCarthy MI

Abstract

Identification and characterization of genetic variants that either cause or predispose to diabetes are a major focus of biomedical research. As of early 2007, the molecular basis of most forms of monogenic diabetes resulting from beta-cell dysfunction is known and, in particular, there has been recent success in delineating the genetic aetiology of neonatal diabetes. Finding genes predisposing to more common, multifactorial forms of type 2 diabetes represents a far greater challenge, and only a handful of robust, well-replicated examples have been established. Nevertheless, 2006 heralded identification of the most important type 2 diabetes susceptibility gene known so far, TCF7L2, and in 2007 large-scale genome-wide association studies are destined to provide novel insights into the genetic architecture and biology of type 2 diabetes.

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